I was pretty proud of our invitations. Shelby and I designed them (that is to say, Shelby did the work while I loomed over her shoulder being picky) and I had them printed at a letterpress printer called Mercurio Brothers in California. Letterpress was a splurge, but with Mercurio, it was vastly more affordable than even digitally printed invites were with some other companies. I survived a writer's conference I had been dreading and I got a hefty honorarium, so I put that check toward the invites, and I'm glad I did.
Our wedding didn't really have a color scheme (um, "bright"?) but we did wind up repeating marigold (orange-yellow) and charcoal gray in several places (gray for the men's suits; marigold for their ties, for some of the flowers--more on that later--and for the ribbon used to tie the favors and the bar tablecloths). So our invites focused on these colors. I wanted them to look both elegant and countryside-lovely. Shelby chose the two fonts, which were beautiful; we used these everywhere, including on the program and the favors (more on that later).
There were a few pieces enclosed: the invite and response card, both letterpressed; a map that Shelby drew and scanned and I printed (individually, and they were double-sided, which meant each had to be fed through twice. And then I cut them with a paper cutter, and then Shelby neatened those cuts with her exacto blade. If I could do it over again, I would pay the extra whatever to have them printed!); and a brunch invitation (the latter two not letterpressed). Originally the brunch invitation was going to be a white design printed on the marigold background, but the printer expressed reservations about being able to match the yellow, so we wound up just going with gray on white. I was worried this was too funereal but Shelby and I made a gray-and-white sign for the guest book at the wedding, which we matted on a marigold background, so in my head, everything ties together.
I tied the pieces together (erm, literally, in this case) with orange-marigold raffia that I bought at JamPaper on Fifth Ave. You can just see the response card in this photo. Its design was identical to the brunch invite.
I didn't use an inner envelope thinking that by flaunting tradition I was being eco-friendly. Some of our invites, though, arrived at their destination with the ink having bled or smudged. If I could go back in time, I would use inner envelopes after all. I worked so hard on these that it breaks my heart that some of our guests got damaged ones.
I addressed the envelopes using a thin pen nib and white calligraphy ink. This was one of my favorite things to do out of the whole wedding planning process, even when the last pen nib got scratchy and I went through ten envelopes just trying to get my grandparents' envelope to look nice. The response cards were stamped with our address, a stamp I had made by LoveToCreateStamps on Etsy. I also stamped our address on the back flap of the return envelope.
I was kind of sad to mail them, I must admit! In fact, Chris had to take them to the post office for me!