I’m so excited to share this post with you!
Mel and I have been furiously making plans for our wedding and the first family party that we’ll be having. When I announced our engagement, I mentioned we would probably end up doing a very small ceremony, with the bigger events being family parties in each location where we have a lot of family, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re trying to keep everything as casual and low-key as possible, and that’s all working out just fine.
Once we conferred with several important attendees on a date for the party, my mind went into overdrive to design an invitation. We had just under two months before the party date. Designing something for yourself, your own harshest critic, on a really strict deadline? Not easy.
But somehow, just before VLV I hatched the perfect idea for the invite. I knew it was going to take some work. The time frame was going to be tight: we get home from VLV on a Thursday. We go to work Friday. We go out to Mel’s parents’ house on Saturday to discuss party plans (since they are hosting the party) and completely firm up the date. Sunday we start taking photos for the invites, I design the invite, and I send it to Moo to get printed on postcards by Monday night.
It sounded crazy. No way could I whip up an invite in Photoshop in one day. I am not a graphic designer by trade and though I’ve had lots and lots of experience designing things over the years, it usually takes me a little while until I get into a rhythm with a project. One day to find the rhythm and get it all done? Yeah right.
And what if the photos came out crappy? Or the lighting was bad? That’s a problem I have a lot in our condo, which is where we were planning on taking the photos because we needed a solid-colored background and didn’t have enough time to inquire around for alternate locations, and no time to even get to and from an alternate location with me still having time every other waking moment of the day to design, anyway. There were a lot of things that could have gone wrong.
But you know what? It went off like clockwork. Mel’s photos came out great. I managed to design an invitation that we are still both giddy about and that everyone so far has loved. My hair didn’t dry after setting it a bit too late on Sunday, but that was no matter as I set up the tripod after work on Monday, worked on my photo that evening and submitted the design to Moo before my self-imposed deadline. The cards even came 4 days early so we got them in the mail sooner than we planned, stuffed in brown postcard-sized envelopes with National Park stamps. And the invites looked freaking amazing. It was meant to be!
While I have you on the edge of your seat, I’ll first run through my inspiration for our wedding invitations. Though technically, these aren’t wedding invitations, they are invitations to the party, the first of which will be held the day after the wedding. We’ll reuse the design, altering time and location information on the front and back for the other parties later in the year. (Moo will print runs as small as 20 postcards, which is perfect.)
I wanted the invitation to look like an old west show poster. Great fonts, somewhat sensational writing style, the whole bit. Something like this…
No small order. We also wanted to slip in a little reference to our favorite postcard. Our friend Jen sent us this vintage postcard after the first time she went camping with us a couple of years ago. She replaced the name on the front with our names, as you can see.
And last but not least, we were inspired by this particular photo of everyone’s favorite vintage Western couple, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. I loved how they were standing back to back, giving each other a sly little eye. And I just love Roy and Dale, anyway.
I also wanted the photos to look a bit like hand-colored vintage photos, to be more in keeping with the idea for the rest of the invite.
And this is what I came up with! First, the photos we took.
This is Mel’s original photo (well, after Photoshopping out a light switch and nails in the wall). Before…
And my after…
And the grand finale, the front of our finished invitation! (Last names blurred. 🙂 Hopefully this won’t be a letdown after my big buildup, hee hee!
Isn’t that so us?? It feels great to have designed something I am truly 100% happy with, for such a special occasion—our special occasion! 🙂