I was horrified when I started to look at wedding invitations and what people spend on little pieces of paper. So when it came down to finding my own invitations, I was initially in full DIY mode. I had it all figured out- all I would need would be cardstock, some watercolor paints and a regular printer. I knew what type of design I would paint and exactly how it would look. As I planned this, I was also of course coming up with lots of other great handmade projects and creative things to do for the wedding. The list was suddenly getting very long, but my fiancé just shrugged and told me he knew I could handle it if it was that important to me.
Of course, my mom struggled to be politely supportive and yet discouraging at the same time. It was at her insistence that I “just look around” for some pre-made invitations that I could be happy with. On the second stop of our wedding supply excursion, we popped into Target, actually to exchange an early bridal shower gift. We wandered over to the stationary section, and voila! there were some super simple pseudo-letterpress invitations and RSVP cards that were very simple to my watercolor vision. The invitations were a simple half sheet of off-white with a green dandelion on one side. Oh yeah, and they were on clearance. It was perfect. I spent about $85 on 150 invitations.
The struggles that ensued with those invitations were concrete proof as to why painting my own invitations was a crazy idea.
It shouldn’t have been so difficult. I found a template online for the invitations, and it took me just an hour or so to figure out how I wanted to lay out the print on the invitation. I hit a bit of a snag in trying to download a font to my Mac, but a quick computer switch with Dave and I was good to go. Or so I thought.
I have a pretty basic HP printer. Nothing fancy, but does a good job. Unfortunately, its format does not allow you to center the paper you are trying to print on. You have to line the paper up on one side in order to print it. But the template I used was formatted so that the paper was supposed to be centered. I know this sounds confusing, but the end result was that only have of the ink made it on the actual invitation, while the rest missed completely, going on to an imaginary centered document. It looked like this:
Not good. And not as easy to fix as I thought it would be. I had to abandon my 8.5 x 5 in. template in favor of a normal 8.5 x 11 document, set my margins and guess as to how the typeface would fit around the dandelion. It took foreeeeeverrrrrr. But, hallelujah, I figured it out! My invitations were perfect. I was so thrilled, I was jumping up and down. Dave was a little put out, because according to him I wasn’t nearly as excited when he proposed to me.
But life was good, and I commenced printing-and immediately realized my printer was getting completely hung up on the paper I was using. If I put more than one piece of paper in the printer at a time, it would pull in two or three pieces at a time and mess them all up. So in the end, I had the oh-so-scintillating experience of printing all 125 of my invitations individually, sitting next to the printer and feeding it one sheet of paper at a time.
That’s what you call devotion to a cause.
What kind of invitations did you guys choose? DIY or fully engraved? Did you hit any speed bumps in your printing process like I did?