Friday, June 6, 2014

Invitation Frustration

Oh invitations, you sweet amazing, little danged pieces of evil! Let's go back to the beginning shall we?

I struggled with our invitations pretty fiercely. I love receiving them in the mail and I know how important they are - how else are your guests supposed to know what to expect? However, when it came my turn to start thinking what I wanted to do, I was kind of at a loss until I stumbled upon this image:

Proud to Plan Wedding Stationary via their blog

I had it in my mind that I wanted to do and create a pocket fold invitation suite. I was bound and determined to do our wedding invitations by hand. It was this stubbornness, (I blame my mama, at least that's where she says I get it from) for being the whole reason I had such a difficult time with our invitation suite. I was too stubborn to let go of an idea. I saw these and thought, hey I can create those no problemo!

You see, I am no designer, as I have alluded to in previous posts but I was convinced I could do this invitation myself and not only do it myself but do a square invite? Way cool. It was exactly what I had envisioned until I started doing my research. You see, thanks to the fabulous bees on Weddingbee, I discovered that a square envelope/invitation is considered "odd" or " not standard" for the United States Postal Service. What did that mean to me? Big moola spent on the damned postage, that's what!

If I wanted to use a square design I would have to fork over MORE money on top of the required postage to send the danged thing. Well if you remember correctly, we have a lot of people on our guest list, there was NO WAY I was going to pay extra for 160 envelopes simply because of their shape. We are already spending a lot on postage because of our large guest list; square envelopes were out. I am so thankful I found this out before I started designing these bad boys. For those of you considering square invites, heed my warning, be advised about the extra postage!

Knowing that I couldn't have a square envelope I decided to switch my gears to designing a rectangular invite itself. I knew that I needed to design the invite before I could move along to any other part of the invite.

 Seriously peeps, what I am about to show you is awful. Thank goodness I have enough sense to know that I suck at life when I "attempted" to create this. I give you for your viewing pleasure, Miss. Barn's attempt at an invitation:

Are you cringing? Because I am!

Clearly this was my first draft. I obviously learned from my first failure (or so I thought) and after refining it a bit I came up with this little gem:

Cringing again?! Because I am!

Every time I would modify my design I would do the unthinkable. I would Google invitations and find some other invite that I liked better. This went on for a good 2 weeks. Design something, Google something better. Re-design something, Google something better. Eventually I just gave up. I was SERIOUSLY running out of time (based on my calculations) and clearly, let's face it, I sucked! 

I really needed to turn to the professionals, so to Etsy I went. I still wanted to do our invites myself so I decided to find a downloadable invitation suite that I could submit to a printer. That way I still had some control over our invites. Seriously listen to me, don't bite off more than you can chew. If you don't know a thing about graphic design, don't try it. If for one second it crosses your mind and you think, well maybe I could try it out, I encourage you to look at my pitiful attempts above and reconsider. 

When it comes time to pick out your invitation suite you really need to decide how you want to tackle it. Do you want to:

1. Do the whole thing yourself
2. Only do certain pieces yourself
3. Let the pros do all the work

Once you figure out what route you want to take, STICK TO IT! Do not change your mind midway through. The whole invitation process takes a while as there are a lot of steps and a lot of pieces to worry about.  You don't want to waste a whole bunch of time changing your mind. Take it from me, do not let invitations consume weeks/months of your life as they did mine. Some times you need to let ideas go because they are unrealistic. Don't be unrealistic. 

Did anyone else have any invitation struggles? How awful are those designs?!

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