When an evite just won’t do

Folks, its been a while, and for that I’m sorry. Life gets busy. It’s good to be back into blogging!

Lately all of my attention has been on the rooftop soiree we’re hosting in just a few weeks. All my fingers are crossed for a sunny, WARM day, and I’ve checked the extended forecast way too often hoping to see a trend in the right direction. With all the wind and chill we’ve had in D.C., I’m a little worried.

RSVPs are starting to trickle in, which means all the action is just beginning on my end. I’ve got some ideas on food and drink and a few little decorations, but mostly I’m just excited to hear from guests! It’s clear that I’m not the only one who loves this bride & groom, all of their friends & family are so excited to celebrate every step of the way with them.

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I really had fun designing my own invitation suite and have gotten a lot of questions on HOW I did that given that I have 1. no true design experience (unless you count endless decks at work!) to speak of and 2. no design software like InDesign or Adobe Illustrator. I’m here to answer those questions!

First thing, having no design experience should NOT intimidate you. Especially when you’re just doing a little project like this to have fun. All you need is a clear idea of what you want to create. For me, that meant sticking to a color scheme. I love color, and a lot of times for me, color suggests different kinds of design.

For instance, rich navy blue seems preppy and formal to me, whereas watercolory teal seems more casual and less structured. This is just the way my (crazy) brain works. Your design could also play off a key word (a name, a place, an idea, an adjective) or a motif (crabs, pineapples, snowflakes, etc.) You can also look at favorite resources or brands for inspiration. Hello, Pinterest!

Whatever you do, STICK TO YOUR SCHEME! Design gets messy when you try to squeeze in too many ideas, even if they’re all really good ideas. Leave that to the pros. All you amateurs out there, keep it simple 😉

Second thing – welcome to the glorious internet, where literally most things you need are a quick google away. Canva.com is your best friend, kiddos. TONS of free fonts, and that’s like, my favorite thing. I love fonts. (Just ask the sweet soul who designed our wedding invitations how many fonts I pondered over! Caitlin, you have the patience of a saint!)

I loved how the colors I was daydreaming about had a flowy, light, watercolory feel. So I found a free image that had a watercolory look to it, and used Canva’s photo editing features to achieve the right color and fade. Since the background was busy, I kept the lettering as simple as I could, and used a left alignment on an otherwise pretty standard layout to keep it a little avant garde. I uploaded my design & printed them on vistaprint.com, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Honestly, this was more affordable than using some of the popular invitation shops like minted.com or weddingpaperdivas.com!

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Then, I put my calligraphy skills (I learned from my dear friend Deanna of District Calligraphy – check out @districtcalligraphy on insta!) to the test by creating a soft watercolory backdrop using a peach watercolor brush pen, and then using a thin calligraphy nib and darker teal ink to address the invitations. Rookie mistakes I made: not letting the envelopes dry quite long enough, which caused the calligraphy ink to bleed (but I decided it looked cool and went with my watercolory vibe. Is watercolory a word yet? Also, I failed to consider that the peach background might add a warmer hue to the color of the teal ink — it looks a little hunter green to me on these. Oh well.

I had so much fun dreaming these up. I can’t wait to do it again. If you decide to take on designing your own event invitations, let me know how it goes!

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