A Journey to the Day | DIY Wedding Invites

Last semester, I documented the process of both planning our wedding and life together in the six months leading up to the big day for an advanced photography class. Now that it's all over, I thought it'd be fun to write about some of the things we experienced. I know some of you are walking through similar journeys, and I thought it'd be fun to share ours.
So. From the very begining, being an art major taught me to be VERY independent and self-sufficient. I learned how to print my work, cut matts (with fancy inner beveled edges), mount art to foam-core, cut perfect 90-degree angles... even draw grids with crazy-ridiculous-accuracy. So, whenever something needs to get done, my knee-jerk reaction is to just... do it. Because I can. So why not?

My kind-of-ridiculous-DIY-ness came out full force as Lucas and I were planning our wedding. I just wanted to do EVERYTHING... but I was also finishing college, running a business, and trying to have somewhat of a social life. I'm SO grateful for my friends and family that helped out with TONS of various projects that I was determined to complete in the six months proceeding our wedding... I honestly couldn't have done it without them.

Especially my invitations. I can not tell you how thankful I was for the friends who hung out with me for hours at a time, folding paper and gluing...and then folding more paper.... and gluing some more....

This was really the first thing I began to work on after our engagement, and probably the most time consuming. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And I honestly wouldn't recommend putting yourself through this. But. If you're interested, this is what I did!

1. First, I spent a TON of time researching what types of invitations I liked, what I wanted to do, and the best way to go about it. I decided on creating a tri-fold invitation with a pocket for two inserts- an RSVP card and a map.  I did some math to figure out what size paper to buy, and ended up figuring out a way to create a 4x5 tri-fold card with 8.5x11 paper. Ordered kraft paper online (but make sure you order thick enough paper! I didn't and had to reorder. Boo).

2. Design the card itself. I made the inside of the card reflect our personalities and included all of the necessary information!  I also drew out the map by hand (in Photoshop, using a tablet) because I couldn't find one online that looked decent.

3. Print out everything. Then cut it all out. (I used an exacto-knife and a large paper cutter that I had access to through Henderson. Lots of college-perks...) It helps if you print everything with a VERY thin line around it, so you know exactly where you need to cut.

4. Measure and mark where the paper should be folded, and then fold and glue. Shout outs to Kara, who pretty much folded ALL of the invites and glued the flap for the inserts down. You're pretty legit. =]

5. Glue the inner paper to the outer card stock. I did this asembally-line style with spray glue. It was SO much quicker and more efficient than hand-gluing everything together... and I think it probably stuck better as well.

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6. Fold everything back up with the inserts inside!

7. Attach tags to the front and hand-write names on them.

8. Attach hemp around the front for added decorative-pretty-ness.

9. Adress all of the envelopes. This took a long, long time. And I was very thankful for Lucas, who licked all of the envelopes after my tongue felt like it was going to fall off. Envelope glue tastes really, really bad....

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Easy, right?! Again- I do not reccomend you begin such an endeavor unless you have lots and LOTS of time. It's honestly best to order invitations from a reputable company who can provide you with a high quality product.... but if you're determined like I was (and a little bit crazy!), this can work well, too. =]

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Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! Also- what was the most challenging DIY project you did or plan to do as you planned/are planning your wedding? I'd love to hear from you!!