Designing Our Wedding Invitations

“I could NEVER design my own invitations. I’d never be able to make up my mind!” This is what a friend of mine responded when I mentioned we were going to design, print, cut, and assemble our own wedding invitations. I thought: “We’ll be FINE. It can’t be that bad. I do this for a living.”

Turns out… she was right.

As a graphic designer, you’d think I’d have my mind set on a design, or at least a direction. The truth is, I do this with clients and at work everyday, and it’s simple for me to make these kinds of decisions. After I settle into a deep brainstorm and let my mind wander with creativity, I have a vision…. and when I have a vision, I usually quickly develop a clear path, a set of rules and guidelines, to achieve it. Making decisions is easy from there. I know what I do and don’t need, what does and does not work for whatever project or design scheme it is, and boom… the result is a product that’s backed up with reasoning and meaning and designed to influence. Of course, there’s tweaks along the way and even complete revisions… but that’s all included in the process. My point is – I make informative decisions based on the rules of design and what makes the most sense… and sometimes decide to rebel against this intentionally. “Ya have to know the rules first in order to break them,” a professor of mine always said. But our invitations? oh. em. jee. What a process.

It’s simpler to design for someone else… it’s most difficult to design something for yourself. Have you ever remodeled your home? Ever try deciding on what color to paint your living room? I bet you suffered from at least some anxiety before you made the final decision. Ever help suggesting a new paint color to a friend of yours? It’s a lot easier.

I had the vision. And then another one. And then another one. Why was this taking so long? Why was it so difficult to make up my mind? Was I putting too much pressure on myself to get these invitations right? I am a graphic designer, after all… so these had to be perfect. Or was it that I was afraid to commit? Ah – the designer’s worst enemy. Design-commitment phobia… It’s common to hear among the design world, “a project is never truly done,” because, ya know… commitment. It’s also common to find tattoo-less designers for the same reason.

Moodboards, color palettes, and typography galore! Needless to say, I eventually developed the vision. Marble, copper, and gray all fell within the design scheme, and I experimented with transparent vellum in new ways. Weekends later, (and about 30 designs later) we had a final design. Then came the hand-cutting, the paper-tearing, and the assembling! Luckily I had some assistance when it came to assembling and sealing the envelopes. (A HUGE thank you to everyone that’s offered to help us throughout this journey!)

Finished invitations were dropped in the mail after I spent my entire lunch break post-office hopping for the right stamps.

The whole process was a lot of fun. It IS what I love to do, after all. Though, I may think twice before designing another invitation for ourselves… or at least get a tattoo first to break the commitment-curse.


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