Wedding Crafts: Invitations and Save the Date – Stamp making and printing

I've decided to create a series of posts detailing what I've been up to craft wise during the wedding planning journey. The Wedding Crafts series is starting with invitations and save the dates. Making and creating, but do not give wrong information, make sure you watch your spelling, and don't forget to post them in plenty of time, all imperative to ensure your guests show up!

For the Save the Dates we wanted it to be small and easy to hand somewhere or to pop in your diary. I imagined people hanging these save the dates off a fridge magnet or on the top of their paper calendars. We put the smallest amount of information on the Save the Dates because if we started to add location etc well it just becomes an invitation! We are actually having the ceremony in Metz, France, where we live, then a wedding celebration with both families at Crewe Hall, Cheshire, England. We did have to clarify with some people that this save the date was for England! As for the ceremony in France there will be only a small amount of people.

We found these great coloured luggage tags which we preferred to the brown ones. The brown paper was actually self adhesive which saved on time and the result probably ended up a lot neater because of this. We bought a full collection of alphabet stamps, accents not included! Then the ink pads. So the tags were reversible so all the information was included in one small package, easier and cheaper to send in the post!

Below is an image of the invitation and it's components. 

We wanted to make the invitations by hand, we just felt the opportunity to be so creative would've been missed. Some of the logistics of getting them personally printed would have also have been annoying as although the photo above only shows the English version, we had a number of French invitations to make too.

I spontaneously started stamp carving with some large erasers I had bought to do exactly that with, but I hadn't originally intended to use this technique for our invitations. It did take a while to carve the stamp, I have the proper tools but sometimes I find that an eraser doesn't carve detail as smoothly as a proper stamp block, the material is slightly more crumbly in a normal eraser.  However, once the stamp was made, it was done, and could be re used again and again.

I chose to print with acrylic paints, mixing different tones of greens and yellows together. The acrylic brought out the definition in the design much more than ink or watercolour or other watered down paints. The acrylic also left a little relief to the invitation, the texture felt like it was obvious that we had made each one individually as opposed to printing the same copy. We printed the writing with a computer printer, this took some time and trial and error to line up the space meant for the writing (within the floral stamped edging).

Overall, we were really happy with the design of the stamp, it felt modern but also original. We then used the stamp motif to cover a sheet of A4, which we then scanned in and used as a background for the menus for people to fill in and return to us (so that we could 1. inform the venue of meal choices, and 2. put the menus on the table on the day to remind people of their choices!), and to add a lining to the envelope which I felt was a really nice idea to make everything complementary and accessorised. 

Blog entry addition: Now that we have had our celebration, I can reveal how we worded the actually invitations. We had to create a French and an English version, Day and Evening version. We wanted to add something more to the written word. I chose to write the English invitations to the tune of the song "be our guest" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Two reasons influenced me, the live motion film of Beauty and the Beast had just been released at the time we were thinking about making the invitations and secondly the word guest kept reoccurring and reminding me of this song. My husband chose to write the French invitations in the style of the famous poem "Demain dès l'aube" by Victor Hugo.

English Version:

French Version:

(Then we added extra details like who this was for, the evening buffet and disco, addressing gifts....)

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