Our Wedding Invitations

Take a look at our Catalina Island-inspired wedding invitations!

This was one of the funnest projects of the wedding simply because it was in collaboration with one of my besties. But, really, who knew paper could be this creative and fun! This is how our invites came to be:

After sending out a huge lot of inspirations files to Alana Bailey Brand, I let her do her magic! She translated our wish for a whimsical and destination-themed invite into something prettier than I could have imagined.

The central design is based off of a wine bottle that I found with my mom on a trip to Sendona, Arizona. We were rummaging a wine market trying to find a special bottle for her birthday and it was there waiting for us. It was just days after we officially decided to have the wedding in Avalon so I thought it was fate! The wine company is called Avalon and had the most romantic little heart logo that reminded me of the famous Catalina Island’s tiles all over the island and at our venue. I’m not sure if the wine has anything to do with the town of Avalon or what the logo is supposed to be, but the image stayed with me and it sort of became the logo of our wedding in mind instantaneously.

Alana loved the idea too and transformed the simple heart design to a scrolling, wedding worthy vision with our initials monogramming the front. After a little back and forth about colors we finally found the hues that were on point with our wedding theme of peaches, pinks, corals and gold.

You can see the first three proofs where we are playing around with color. The next proof has different versions of our initials. Mr. P decided on which initials we would go with (you have to give your hubby decisions to make them feel involved…haha!) The last proof is with our wedding palette.

Next, were the map of Avalon and RSVP cards to do. My only direction for the Map was that I wanted it to have the major streets on the island, to make sure it incorporated where we were staying because it was in a remote location, to have a few hotels listed as accommodation ideas, and for it to include a few of the major tourist spots. I love the maps by Laura Hopper, and she was the inspiration for ours. She has very loose calligraphy and fun icons that are so sweet and adorable. Alana totally captured the feeling with her design. And the coolest thing for me: Alana took my very own drawings of the Country Club, Casino, Wrigley Botanical Garden and added them directly onto her map. So I literally helped make it! It was a really sweet gesture since I had been having so much fun art-ing and drafting up ideas!

The map felt so effortless to decide on, but that wasn’t the case for the RSVP cards. It was tough to figure out how to include everything we needed to on one card. We were trying to use it to capture the names and number of people that were attending the wedding as well as their food selection. We also were asking if the guests would be attending our rehearsal dinner (a.k.a beach party) and the day after brunch. That is a lot on a small card! In the end I think it was a little confusing, although no one mentioned anything to me.  This is why: The cards were to cover an entire family but we had a check mark next to the food selection–instead of a blank spot for people to fill in the quantities of their entree selections. So how do they indicate who wants what when there are multiple people involved? The other thing was that the entree selection was underneath the Brunch option (it just had to be there because of space) so it seemed as if we were asking about that menu selection. But it all worked out! The RSVP cards worked enough because people made their food selection tableside so it didn’t really matter. I just needed to give the venue a rough estimate. And since it was a destination wedding, we sorta knew who was on the island during which dates and so who would be around for brunch. Live and learn! RSVP cards have to be really, really well planned out!! We should have done a trial run.

Alana suggested letterpress to execute the invites and had a printer in mind she wanted to work with called Dexterity Press. I was thrilled about the idea of letterpress and couldn’t believe it would be for my invites! I ordered the paper and envelopes from Papersource.com, and shipped it straight to the printer and we were ready to go! While I was waiting for the invites I got my stamps ready–I bought all the ones that were island themed, meaning Kelp & Dolphins.

image from Avalon Winery

One note: we decided that the design was perfect for a square shaped invitation, but I didn’t realize how much more it would cost (although I was warned that it would be more expensive). The size of the square is not actually the square option on the post office’s website, but it is a little bigger and because of it actually fits in to the large envelope category–making it much more than I calculated.

Catalina Island tile at our venue, image from spookshows.com

Then just a few short months later (which felt like eternity), a package came in the mail all bubble wrapped and beautiful. Even the packaging was inventive and customized (our initials printed on leftover paper)! I loved them. They were much more delicate then I imaged. I hadn’t seen many letterpress invitations and they were much more pressed than I thought they would be–I mean major indents!

So this project was part professional and part DIY. My end didn’t go so great. There were two things that I didn’t anticipate, both were related to how much my personal printer is pretty much useless. I thought I would run my outer envelopes through the printer instead of doing hand calligraphy. I spent hours organizing my invite list and making them spaced appropriately for this. I even bought a special font called Nelly on MyFonts that matched the whimsical calligraphy of the innards. This all proved useless because of my printer. The envelopes wouldn’t print correctly no matter how much I played with the setting! I was going to hand address all of them–EEK! I freaked out, yelled at my hubby-to-be (because he wasn’t helping at all) and tried to address 120 invitations in one night. I failed, and wasted way too many envelopes because I was doing it too tired.

The second thing I wasn’t expecting related to my printer (really it was my computer) was creating labels. In the same night I was trying to address all these invitations I was trying to print on the labels I bought from Papersource. These were going to go on the reply envelopes. It was the first time I tried to use Mac’s TextEdit program for labels and I couldn’t figure it without giving it more attention than I wanted to give. So I went down to the Kinkos in my neighborhood and used Microsoft Word to complete the project in less than 2 minutes. I should have gone there earlier and saved myself the headache.

Invitation, RSVP card, Map, Stamps
Close up of the map
Invite wording
Stacked and ready to collate
The trio
Map stacked first so first thing people see
Wedding helper
@ Kinkos printing labelsReply envelopes, labels printed!
Ready to be sealed!


What was your process of creating invitations? Did you make them yourself? Collaborate? Or order from a template? Did you run into any glitches? Did they turn out better than you expected?

Did you miss our Vintage Travel Save the Dates by Alana Bailey Brand? Check them out here.

*all images personal photos. Designed by Alana Bailey Brand. Letterpress by Dexterity Press.

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