So after it settled in that I was actually engaged and thoughts turned to planning the wedding, these are the things I thought would cause me the most sleepless nights;
- My wedding dress because I studied fashion design and have a taste for luxurious fabrics and well cut patterns.
- Family.. who doesn’t worry about this!?
- Money. See above.
In terms of the Invitations, I was not concerned in the slightest. In fact, being a buyer for stationery, cards and gift wrap, this aspect was at the forefront of my mind. I LOVE designing, creating and seeing the finished products be admired by the masses! I remember every Christmas time, one of my favourite things was going round to friends for dinner and seeing how many of my cards or presents wrapped under the tree were ‘mine’! Unfortunately, I no longer buy those categories (although I now buy homewares which is great fun!) and I saw our wedding invites as my chance to design one last thing for all our friends and family to receive from us (me!)
I scoured Pinterest for ideas and had visions of foiling, embossing, debossing, glitter and neon (obviously at this point price was not something I had given any thought to..) For once, I had no idea what to do. Usually, I would look at bestsellers, what upcoming trends were and what new techniques I could use, all with the end customer in mind. But here I had myself in mind, no history to use as a starting point and I fell in love with absolutely everything! From simplistic to florals and tonal to bright, everything was gorgeous.
Finally, I collated a shortlist of ideas and showed them to Callum. I think it was one of those moments, like when tossing a coin to decide something, as soon as you throw it up in the air (or out for another opinion in this case) you immediately know which one you had your heart set on. Luckily, Callum and I were on the same page! We went for a classic, elegant and very sophisticated look with blind debossed finish on gorgeously thick paper. The colour palette was warm white and an inky navy (which matches the suits but more on that to follow..) We chose envelopes that had navy liners for that extra finishing touch.
I had seen a lot of beautifully illustrated invitation designs throughout my pinning but this didn’t really fit with our minimal look. Not willing to give up on this idea completely, we decided to incorporate just a touch, in order to show our personalities. A very good friend of ours Sam, not wedding planner Sam but another Sam, is an incredible artist. Having both gone to uni with him, he knew all about our story and we asked him if he would possibly consider doing an illustration of us to include on invitations. Sam created the most wonderful drawing of Callum and I, from when we first met at university. This added the touch of colour and playfulness that the invitations needed.
Sam our wedding planner extraordinaire, designed (like actually physically designed) the invites, bringing our ideas to life. She also sourced all the different paper qualities and finishes for us to select from, organised for the finished product to be printed and wrapped them up so beautifully to be delivered to us. The designing started months and months ago but our invitations only went out two weeks before Christmas.. they were definitely a labour of love but having said that, they were totally worth it!
Even with all my experience, the invitations were a huge learning curve. Here are some of the things that I learnt;
- If your attention to detail and expectations are SKY HIGH like mine were, be open and honest with the people who are doing your invitations. They need to manage your expectations or else it could be a huge disaster!
- Set a budget and stick to it- it’s easy to get carried away with all the gorgeous bespoke designs out there.
- Saying that, these are going to set the tone for the wedding so do not waste the opportunity!
- Get the addresses of your guests early as they can take a while to collect. However, be weary that people do move house so it’s best to double check before sending.
- Keep a spreadsheet with guests names, addresses, if you have sent their invite out and if you have received it back. It can get very confusing and RSVPs do go missing.
- Give the guests a return address!
- Either write your guests names on the RSVPs or number them so you know who each one is from!
- Make it blindingly obvious who you are inviting. We wrote the names of the guests on the RSVP and included plus ones on that. Envelopes get thrown away and you don’t want any awkward conversations about is my girlfriend/boyfriend invited.
- If like us, you want to save some pennies and scrap the save the dates.. send the invites out super early. People book holidays and need time to save up- weddings are expensive for guests too.
- Do not underestimate how long it takes to write out invites. I kept putting it off and was up until 2am writing them all single handedly.. Callum’s handwriting isn’t the greatest!
- Set your RSVP deadline way earlier than needed because people do not respond. I mean both our families haven’t yet!
- I have had a couple of friends who invited people to RSVP via email which I thought was great because it was so easy and also saves on cost (more so than you will believe!)
- Don’t forget to factor in the postage costs!!! IT IS A LOT!
In the end, everything worked out and we are over the moon with the results. Thank you so much to Sam White for the incredible illustration. It brought a huge smile to our faces and reminded all our friends and family what we looked like all those years ago! The invites would not have been the same without this personal touch. Also, thank you to Sam Butler who persisted with a very indecisive Bride and Groom. We have had so many compliments on our invitations and are very nearly there with all the RSVPs so we can get started on the table plans!
Team Bride: 74
Team Groom: 36
P.s. I am off shopping for wedding shoes today so no doubt my Instagram (hmhickey) will be flooded with pictures of beautiful shoes later..