That noise has been the only thing keeping my going for the last week. Kinda odd, right? Well, thunk is the noise that a buttload of nice, thick envelopes make when you drop them in the mailbox. That's right kiddies, invitations went out yesterday (except for a handful of people that have yet to get back to me with their addresses)!
I had been waiting quite impatiently for them to arrive since I ordered them about three weeks ago. They finally showed up on Friday and Ari and I worked pretty much non-stop on them for four days. Well, I worked on them a lot Wednesday and Thursday, but 95% of what I did those days got scrapped.* In the end, our invitations ended up being 7 pieces, with a grand total of 2 pieces that we didn't doctor at all or make from scratch (though I wonder if adding a stamp counts as doctoring, the amount of time I spent researching and selecting stamps and then schlepping all over town on multiple occasions to buy them and then affixing them, I'm saying yes). We needed $0.61/invitation, but I decided that the cake was ugly and the dolphin wasn't quite the look we were going for. I decided to suck it up for the extra 3 cents to get the $.064 monarch butterfly which went a bit better with the colors and aesthetic I was going for. The international envelopes got the butterfly plus an ecclectic mix of other $0.44 stamps I had in the apartment.**
There were the outer envelopes and the coordinating inner envelopes. The outer envelopes had the return address embossed, which I don't have a good photo of but looks hella fly:
The actual invitation card and coordinating response card. We didn't change any of this beyond tweaking the sample in the book (first names all caps rather than all lowercase, using our own wording, some cute responses rather than the tired accepts/regrets, putting "name" before the line on the reply card rather than the "M" which seems to perpetually confuse young single men):
We used the Liberty Bell Forever stamps pretty much because that's what they had (that and flags... eugh) at the only post office open on a Sunday... the grocery store. I liked that they worked with our metallic color scheme. Ari, apparently the sentimentalist, liked that they said "forever." This comment may or may not have made me melt a little. I definitely picked a good one. Anyhow! The reply card and envelopes:
Originally, we weren't going to do info cards. Then my mother said that the restaurant was going to give us directions cards we could just throw in. Then what they had was on a full sheet of regular paper. Then we were just going to print our own version of the directions they had on their website. Turns out it was just an embedded map from MapQuest. At this point we were committed. So we drove to three (four?) office supply stores around town before finding an acceptable paper to print on (the invitations and the color scheme are metallic, so we of course needed metallic paper. Unfortunately we couldn't find anything precut to the right size, or with much heft, but we got a nice champagne pearl 32 lb. paper and we used the paper cutter the quarter. Ari typed up directions from three starting points and I edited and added subway directions, the venue address and phone, and our wedding website. The photos don't really do the info card justice,*** they turned out really nicely.
And lastly, my favorite touch: the belly bands. The belly bands are the product of six assorted visits to Jo-Ann's and Hobby Lobby. I made them using four different scrapbooking papers, two different paper cutters, glue dots and a whole lot of time. I could only find papers I liked in 12" squares, which initially created a problem because usually belly bands wrap horizontally around invitations. It was Ari's idea to turn them vertically, and it both worked perfectly and looked beautiful. They did put us over weight for the $0.44 stamp, but I think they really made the set special:
So here for your perusal, is the entire suite:
In the end, I decided I'd rather put them in the inside box rather than the regular one outside. This particular Post Office has a hopper-thing where you put your letters. Consequently, the invitations made more of a loud "ssshhh, plop" noise, rather than a "thunk," but it was still satisfying. I was so excited to be done, I might have made this face:
And oh yeah, Ari helped too, even though I don't have a picture of him with his eyes open to prove it.
*For future reference, buying lots of crafting supplies and punching 300 cardstock tags and bruising your palms in the process before you have the actual invitations they are going to adorn is probably a bad idea. Save your receipts.
**Yes, some people got a wedding invitation with a cat making a weird face on it. It's ok, I thought it was funny, and really, no one else cares.
***There was a giant smooshy (yes, that's the technical term) and a fiber in the frame on my good camera. I couldn't tell if it was on my lens or the sensor. I hope the former! And I somehow lost my lens cleaning cloth. Then my memory card magically wasn't in my little digital camera. So I used Ari's camera which is really nice, but full auto, and as I write this, I still haven't gotten a chance to look at the images because I can't find the upload cable.