There were a few things in the wedding that we got help from and eventually enabled us to save the budget. These came from none other than our own family members. The wedding invitation was the very first that we worked on with our cousin, Marini. She was actually the one who offered to design the invitation before we even get to her!
My fiancé (now-husband) let me handled the idea and brainstorming process. We both kind of have the same taste and preferences so we trust each other. That way, we can split our duties to share the workload of the wedding prep.
So, shall we?
It all started with leaves, eucalyptus to be exact and Eryngium Blue Dynamite (I call it the blue pineapple). I love them and I wanted to include them in the wedding. I had an idea of putting the leaves and other plants into a foliage. There’s a color theme then and it was hugely inspired by the muted colors of eucalyptus and a touch of dusty blue as the accent.
I gave her different photos of the leaves, plants and other references as a mood board. She was going to challenge herself by painting them with watercolor. I didn’t expect her to draw the leaves the exact way. There’s no need to be realistic. I appreciate a little of abstract and surrealism. It’s the ambiance that I sought for.
I’ll know it when I see it, so to speak. And she gets it.
She started by experimenting and painting different branch of leaves and small berries. Once I agreed with the selection, she started to work her magic by digitally processing the paintings, combining them together. Then she edited the colors to get the muted tone that I want.
At the same time, she also started working on our initials and the font that we’re going to use. I’m not a fan of too curly or too elaborated initials because sometimes they’re not the most legible. Once we agreed on the initials, she also tweaked it to be made into the custom wax seal stamp.
The font we used across the invitation has a serif typeface. The format is quite straightforward. There’s not a lot of size differences or variations that could be deemed as distracting. It’s crucial to make it easy to read and comprehend, considering we’re going to send these to our families and many of them are older. Not that I’m saying they can’t read, but I want to make it easy for them.
There are three versions of the wedding invitation. The first one is for the family (holy matrimony + private dinner reception). The second one will be for holy matrimony guests where our parents invited their friends and colleagues. The last one is for our friends (second reception). The layout and size are the same, just the information that’s different.
For that, we needed to create three different maps for the venues. The maps were handled by Dimas because I suck at directions 😐 I want them printed in this dusty blue shade to complete the theme.
Was it confusing? At one time, it was. We had to decide the number to print for each version, making sure we get every info and details correctly and not forgetting anything. It was a back and forth effort. Some of our guests requested for a digital invitation, so that helped cutting the cost too. In the end, we printed more than we needed, just in case.
I want to do something with the leftover invitations but haven’t come up with an idea yet.
The wax seal was the first element that we both wanted without asking each other. I’ve always wanted to have it and he loves the vintage touch. There’s no doubt that we were going for the classic red wax. Any other color looks ungenuine.
To make it easier, I ordered the wax that can be inserted into a glue gun. It’s so much more efficient than the melt-and-pour technique. Sure, it’s not as traditional. But we’re just being logical. The glue gun saved a lot of time considering there are hundreds of invitations that needed to be stamped.
FYI, we both handstamped the invitations ourselves, directly on the paper. Not pre-stamp them beforehand on some surface, peeled off then glued on with double-sided tape. No. We sit on a small table, facing each other. I handled the wax and he’s on the stamping duty. It’s a two-person assembly line.
Fun fact, we decided to add Eucalyptus parvifolia to be stamped with the wax for the friends’ invitations. We thought it would be a nice touch against the plain envelope since we didn’t put our parents’ names on this version.
We definitely love the responses we received. Many of them didn’t have the heart to open the envelope! Friends were asking what kind of fragrance we put on it. Believe it or not, that one small stem of Eucalyptus parvifolia scented the invitation. If you didn’t know already, Eucalyptus leaves have a beautiful scent!
Mini assembly line.
Because this is still considered a DIY project, we also handled the printing ourselves. We came to two different printing companies and had the invitation samples printed to compare. This is an important aspect to consider if you’re going to do this yourself. The two companies have different pricing and while we had hoped for the cheaper option, the print quality and the paper didn’t meet our expectations, even though they claimed it’s the same type of paper. The first company we went to had everything we wanted. They got the coloring exactly just like in the digital file. The muted tone is right on the dot.
To save more budget, we needed to be smart about how we want to print them. First, we used single paper instead of stacking two or a board-insert for the invitation. The paper we chose called Tintoretto 260 gsm, has enough thickness to stand on its own. I specifically wanted the paper to have a slight texture on the surface and an off-white color. Both elements will show off the watercolor painting that Marini worked so hard for. And there’s that rustic touch as well.
I was more lenient with the envelope and the maps. They don’t have to be that expensive but I still want the paper to have a thickness to it. We chose Eggshell 216 gsm. As much as I would’ve liked it, we decided not to add gold foil on our names and initials. In the end, the color of our names already works well against the watercolor painting. There were no other special effects or finishes either.
Let’s be realistic, most people throw wedding invitations anyway. I like to keep ones that I find beautiful and worthy to keep, but eventually, I have to let them go because it’s taking the space I need. They just sit there collecting dust.
Bottomline, we didn’t want to spend too much on the invitations so we minimized what we can while still achieving the look that we want.
Our wedding invitation is truly a labor of love. It may not be grandeur or out-of-the-box for others, but to us, this is more than just an invitation. Many months and hours were spent. We put our heart and soul into every bit of detail. I hope that everyone who received this can feel the love coming out of it.
At one time, I did get slightly offended when someone compared our invitation to other couple who happened to had a wedding close to our date. Sure, at a glance, it might be similar. Theirs had botanicals too. But that’s just about it. The type of plants, colors and style are miles apart. Nothing alike. Theirs were definitely, definitely not custom handpainted *HA*. But clearly, I’m in a biased position to say so 😛
We would like to extend a special gratitude for our dearest cousin, Marini for her brilliant mind, hands and all of her help in realizing this. Without her, none of it could’ve been conceived the way that it is: a portrayal of our personality 💙