Making my Invitations (DIY)


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So, my Husband and I got married on Saturday 8th October 2016.

When we were looking at invitations we genuinely became completely overwhelmed. I knew of many independent people and small businesses that made the most wonderful wedding stationary that I would have more than loved to have; however they all came in over budget. When they were able to work in our budget the Husband and I couldn’t decide on anything. It was like trying to choose a photographer all over again!

We looked at everything from independent people and small businesses to big companies such as Vista Print; I even did online edits before deleting the basket out of an inability to decide.

The solution to all this? We decided to make our own!

Off too Hobbycraft we plodded. This narrowed our choices to
A) What we could buy in Hobbycraft 
B) The limitations of our imagination and crafting ability
and
c) What we could buy with our budget

The budget: £100 

We purchased:
Gold ribbon, blue check ribbon, blue paper, cream paper, plain cream cards and envelopes, a tree shaped stamp, ‘evening invitation’ stamp, ‘wedding invitation’ stamp, gold ink pad, blue ink pad, craft glue, ruler and an A4 guillotine.
All came in under £75. 

It took 4 people 8 hours from start to finish. The Husband, myself and two wonderful helpers.

We had figured out before we started what we wanted to do and before our helpers arrived we made a mock up of what we wanted to achieve. We had also printed onto cream paper the wording for the inside of the invitations, slightly different wording for day and evening invites.

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Once the invitation wording had been printed it was then down to assigning tasks to each person to create a production line.
B: Used the guillotine to cut the invitation wording to size and folded them (A very precise job)
K: Cut the blue paper to size using the shaped scissors for the inside and the cover of the invites
H: Glued the ribbons in place and glued the invitation wording and the blue paper inside the card. The glue was applied only in a small line down the left hand side of the margin so the ‘pages’ we left loose.
S: Glued the cream paper onto the blue paper to the front cover and stamped the trees and the ‘wedding/evening invitation’ to finish the invites

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Including a fresh printer cartridge and postage we came in under £100. 

What helped us stay in budget?
Making them ourselves
Hand delivering to local guests
Reducing the weight of the invites by utilizing a wedding website for all the extra information
Not doing ‘Save The Dates’ – instead we just sent the invites out 5 months before the wedding

My Order From Ahoy Designs


Ahoy DesignsComing home from work on Thursday  to see the package I’d been eagerly awaiting lying on the welcome mat made me so giddy. The Guest book I had ordered from Ahoy Designs came quicker than I thought it would.  I was planning on creating a video of me opening the package to share with you but I am very sorry to say that excitement got the better of me so there isn’t a video 😦
if you’ve seen the guest books Rachael at Ahoy Designs creates you’d know why!

Buxton based Rachael  single-handedly runs Ahoy Designs  hand crafting each sumptuous Guest Book to suit your wedding colours. As many of you know the colours the H2B and I have chosen for our October 2016 wedding are blue and gold so I requested the ribbon colour to be gold.

Packaging

wpid-imag1257.jpgOn the Jiffy bag was a “FRAGILE handle with care” label
The box inside the Jiffy bag is wrapped in tissue paper
when I peeled back (who I am kidding – Ripped off) the tissue paper I found the book inside a PVC box.
Upon opening the box I found my guest book, a pen and a personalised note from Rachael
In my opinion the delivery couldn’t have been packaged better – I’m a sucker for tissue paper! 😀

The Guest Book

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The ribbon is iridescent and seems to almost sparkle under the light. I couldn’t help but run my fingers over the different textures from the ribbons to the lace onto the card. It is obvious from the cushioned feel of the book to the soft n silkiness of the materials that Rachael pays close attention to detail and sources her materials from quality suppliers.

Overall Experience

I’ve left this up to the H2B: “I love the textures and the handmade feel. Everything from the book itself to the note just make it all feel personalised to a T. Everything about opening gave a real sense of occasion that even made me feel excited.”

So there you have it, even my caveman of a H2B had only good things to say, which is why I wpid-imag1264.jpgwanted to share with you this Spot Light on Rachael and her Ahoy Designs business.

What inspired you to start Ahoy Designs?

I made my own guestbook for my wedding back in August 2014. I’ve always been crafty and loved making something we used on our special day. I got so many compliments on the guest book from wedding guests that I started making them for my friends and family . In June 2015 I took the plunge and started Ahoy Designs as a business.

How do you juggle working full time in web design and running Ahoy Designs?

It’s been a hard learning curve to be honest. I burnt myself out in September – I’d go home after being busy in my day job and work on Ahoy until 10-11pm at night. I didn’t realize I was burning myself out, because I love what I do and didn’t mind working late each night. I’ve now learnt to listen to my body and have a couple of nights a week off which means I can make more time for my Husband.

Continue reading

Invites for Less


I’ve had a love for stationary ever since I can remember, from the days of buying nice letter paper for writing to pen-pals to finding great joy in an exceptional wedding invite. When someone hands me a business card, I instantly want to keep it if the text is raised or if the paper is textured.

This very love for all things made from paper means I don’t want to have mediocre wedding stationary just because I’m on a budget. So how can I have invites my guests will proudly display in their homes without breaking my budget?

For the answer to that question I have asked two industry professionals.

Suzanne is the mastermind behind ‘Paper Tree Design‘ with 15 years experience in retail buying and product development she created her business over 3 years ago. Rosie at ‘Little Vixen Designs‘ had 5 years of experience working with couples designing wedding stationary, before creating her ‘Little Vixen Designs’ business 4 years ago.

This experience makes Rosie and Suzanne the perfect people to provide hints and tips on how you can still have professional invites within budget.

No doubt you will have found a couple of companies you are thinking of ordering your wedding day stationary from, perhaps you’ve seen them at a wedding fayre, or you found them in some way online. If your initial chat with them about costs left you feeling they may be slightly out of your budget, don’t be put off.

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Arrange meetings with your preferred suppliers, or if this isn’t possible arrange a telephone call with them to let them know you love their designs but you have £x budget to work with. The stationers will then recommend what can be done within your set budget.
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“It is the time it takes to apply all the tiny details that add to the cost of bespoke, luxury stationary but without them you loose that feeling of quality and luxury”, therefore…

If you feel happy doing some of the assembling yourself then you can definitely make savings. This may be as simple as gluing the ribbon and diamonte decorations onto the front of the invite, or could be as complicated as gluing multiple layers of laser cut designs together that create one 3D effect design.

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Irrelevant or whom you are thinking of ordering your invites from, or how good their work appears to be, make sure that you get physical samples of your chosen design on the chosen paper type before committing to a full order. Even though you may have seen physical examples of other work of theirs, the paper and printing type you’ve chosen may be different to what you’ve been before, which may mean disappointment with the final product.

Companies such as basicinvite.com who offer a fully custom service with a vast range of beautiful designs, plus an instant online preview of the design as you customise it, can lure you into not ordering a physical sample, but it is still really important to do so you know you will be 100% happy with your order when it arrives.

Even if you have to pay for a sample, it is better to do so than to be disappointed when your full order arrives.

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It is easy to forget this as we have to calculate costs per guests for food, drink, favors and other stationary types such as place cards.

Also, a charge that some stationers include in the amount you pay is postage to YOU, but money can be saved here too…

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This is something that would never have occurred to me if it wasn’t for Suzanne.

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Consider hand delivering your invites rather than posting them. Live close to friends and family and see them regularly? Just hand them their invite next time you see them. Do your parents or siblings see other family member more regularly than you do? Perhaps ask them to pass invites on for you.

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A wedding website I have used before is ‘gettingmarried.co.uk‘ but there are a couple others including ‘theknot.com‘, both of which offer a range of templates you can customise with all of your wedding information.

I hope that you find these amazing tips contributed by Suzanne and Rosie helpful. I’m looking forward to hearing your budget wedding stationary success stories, and would love you to share you story if one of these tips helped you to come in on budget.

Wedding Planning App Review


Hwpid-screenshot_2015-08-05-19-48-39_1.jpgaving looked at a few wedding planning apps for Android and the reviews for each I decided to download an app simply called ‘Our Wedding’ to see if it would be a helpful planning resource.

I love a paper organiser because I’m a note taker, there’s nothing better than writing lists and crossing things off. When I was looking for a venue I took a folder with me and made notes about my initial feelings and pros and cons of each venue.
So, can an app really be as good an organiser?

My first impression of the app was positive; the menu is clear, the options are easy to navigate and everything is intuitive to use. However a BIG downside is that there are loads of adverts – not something you expect to get with a wedding planning app.

With four simple options of ‘To-Do’, ‘Guests’, ‘Budget’ and ‘Vendors’ you are able to manage your spending, keep track of your invoices, which guests have RSVP’d and what parts of the wedding they are attending, and what tasks you have left to complete.wpid-screenshot_2015-08-09-19-32-27.png

One of the most difficult parts of wedding planning is managing the budget. The app allows you to input your total wedding budget, which it then automatically allocates to pre-set costs. For those at the very start of planning, the cost allocation could help decide what areas of budget you need to cut back on so you can spend more on others. There were a few costs included in the standard list that do not apply to my wedding, such as transport. To delete an unnecessary cost from the list you simply click on it and press the bin icon. The budget previously allocated to this cost will now show as ‘un-allocated budget’.

Imagine being at a wedding fayre where you see an entertainer you think would be perfect for your day, you don’t have to pull out a massive organiser or wait until later to access your wpid-screenshot_2015-08-09-19-33-08.pngspreadsheet to know if you can afford them or not, you simply load up the app and allocate some budget to a new cost category to see how it would affect your overall budget.

At first the apps ‘Guest’ section doesn’t seem all that great. You can add guests, select the status of the guest (invite sent, will be attending and if they are full day or evening only, if they are a ring bearer, Best Man etc) along with their contact details – Not really the type of thing you benefit from having on your phone. I can see 1 benefit though. Ask anybody who has got married in the last 10 years and they’ll tell you trying to get RSVPs out of your guests will be one of your biggest stresses. So when you’re visiting or speaking to your guests and they say they’re coming you can just update the app to show them as attending. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have a way of filling in menu choices too.

Out of the different sections for me the bit I use the most is the Budget section. It’s still 14 months until my big day, so I find myself looking at things, putting them in as a cost and seeing how it affects my budget.

As far as a wedding planning app goes this one isn’t too bad for quick planning on the go. Although I don’t think an app can really beat a good old fashioned organiser.

Recipe Gift Book


A brand new gift list service only launched THIS YEAR that I have fallen in love with is ‘Recipe Gift Book‘. Many couples getting married live together before getting married so the gifts for the home are no longer needed, so it can be difficult to know what you ask your guests for. You may feel uncomfortable with asking your guests for gifts, but at the same time guests usually WANT to buy the couple a wedding gift, and appreciate having ideas of what you may like. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with asking people for money, so this new gift idea is the perfect solution.

Just imagine having the recipes to your Aunts cookies, your grandmothers sponge pudding and your best friends lasagna.
This this brand new unique gift you can! The gift is completely free for the Bride and Groom (Bride and Bride or Groom and Groom), and your guests just pay a contribution to submit their recipe.

Your guests can submit their recipe, photos and a personal message which will then get made into a hardback in the style of your choosing to be made and delivered after the wedding. The book can then be handed down the generations as a wonderful family heirloom.

The H2B and I will be putting the details of our Recipe Gift Book in with our invites as well as putting the details under the ‘Gift List’ section of our wedding website. I can’t wait to get my hands on the recipes of some of my families best meals and treats!

10 Thing To Cut From Your Wedding


Are you wandering what things you can cut from your wedding to save money? Sometimes it feels like everything is necessary; but there are things that you can remove from your wedding that wont detract from an amazing day – and guess what? No one will even notice they aren’t there!

invisible ways to cut your wedding budget; repin and save!

Expensive wedding day entertainment can also be cut to provide extra room in your budget. Instead of hiring magicians, musicians, or children’s entertainers how about providing much cheaper entertainment? Provide board games, colouring books and/or a dressing up box for children to entertain themselves with during the day. For the adults you can provide entertainment through stationary ideas such as:
Table number.. love this idea! I want to do that!!! --- we did something like this for my little sis every year on her birthday she opens a birthday card that guest made at her baby shower. I think she'll do this till her 18th bday...

or even cards games and board games for adults who don’t dance:
Have board games at wedding for people who don't dance. Love it.

If you are having a summer wedding, how about raiding your friends summer games boxes and having an outdoor space where people can do the limbo, sack races or even swing ball? This way you can provide entertainment for people during the arrival drinks when people are milling around before the wedding breakfast as this can often be awkward for people when you want them easily accessible for the wedding photos but don’t want them to get bored.

What entertainment are you having at your wedding? Are you going down the budget route or have you found room in your budget to hire entertainment?

*All pictures are taken from and linked to my Pinterest or linked to the original source.