Paul and I met in Gardiner, MT, the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Since we’re from different parts of the country, one of our families and one set of friends would have to travel for the wedding, we decided to get married in Gardiner. Bonus to us: it also helped keep a smaller guest list for the wedding itself, and we could have bigger, hometown receptions. But 1 wedding ceremony and 3 receptions means we need to cut costs. Completely DIYing wedding invites seemed far too time-consuming with law school going on and a 3+ hour drive home for help. So wedding invites were an almost DIY. This post is full of pictures taken on my iPhone.
Suggestion before starting the invite process: Know what you want! Have some general idea or you can get lost in a sea of online options. Setting a budget also helps limit those. We wanted something a little casual, no sparkle, and were less than interested in letterpress so as to keep prices down. We wanted to give off a whimsical/outdoor vibe with bright yellow and gray printing on white card stock.
For save the dates, I thought vintage postcards would be nice. But I wasn’t sure if I could find 150 vintage Yellowstone postcards or how to write on them when I got them. Then, browsing Etsy one day, I found someone selling 25 vintage Yellostone postcards and asked her if she had 150 by any chance. She did and I bought them immediately. It never hurts to ask!
For the “save the date” message, we got clear mailing labels and downloaded a font I liked online. I printed a few test runs, finally got them formatted so they would print vertically, and got to work. They needed to be trimmed to fit on the postcard so we cut the full sheet of labels with a paper cutter, peeled each off, and stuck it on. Then hand-addressed each postcard and mailed them out.
Let it be known: I’m no computer or graphic design whiz. So the task of creating a PDF for invites was given to Printable Press. This site is amazing. There are fantastic designs and you can change the colors to your fancy. Then they are formatted per your request and you get a customized, printable invitation suite right in your inbox.
Next, you find a printer. Printable Press has some suggested links. You could save some extra money by taking the PDF to something like Office Depot or Office Max to have them printed as well. They may not be as high of a quality, but we’re planning on using them for the hometown reception invitations.
For wedding invites, we used Cards and Pockets for printing. I also bought envelopes from there as well. But I wanted liners and couldn’t find the right shade of yellow anywhere. So I found Artzy Fartzy Invites. They had a great shade of yellow and custom cut the liners to fit my envelopes since the ones I bought had an extra long flap.
I also wanted a map and my best friend saved the day. She looked up a map of Gardiner, and drew it by hand on a 3×5 card. The first time, she made a super colorful map, but it looked more cohesive with the invites in gray. So my friend re-drew them in black and Office Depot made copies, lightened them to the perfect shade of gray, and even cut them for me. I found yellow card stock in as close as a match to the yellow of the envelope liner I could find, and my sister, friend, and I glued the maps to the card stock, then used paper cutters to cut so each map was backed with card stock.
I decided to hand address the invites; not because I have great handwriting, but because I think its so expensive to pay for calligraphy and some of it is too fancy for our wedding. So I browsed Etsy to get ideas, got a black Sharpie pen, and practiced on a legal pad and then addressed them on my own. The process was tedious to begin because I was so careful, but as I eased into it, they got much better and more free-flowing.
They may not be perfect, but I’m happy with them! And thankfully I found some great companies to help the “DIY” process…even if it wasn’t completely DIY.