Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Wedding Invitations {an eco-friendly challenge}

I have mentioned before that I designed and hand-screened our wedding invitations, and in honor of the eco-friendly giveaway, I thought I would share our invitations with you on this week's Wedding Wednesday.

Early on, in our quest to select paper for the invitations, I'd decided I wanted the paper we used to be recycled. I loved the look of kraft paper and wanted to find a paper in the same colorway that would be a softer, finer paper, suitable for invititations, which was also made of recycled content.

My mom and I set out on a major search to find that paper, and a lot of what we found was just a little off; either the color wasn't right, the paper was rough, or -gasp- it wasn't recycled. My mom was fully in agreement when the color was wrong or the paper quality was too poor. Yet, when she discovered a beautiful, soft paper that was the right color, but wasn't recycled, I think my mom wanted to pull her hair out when I said I was sticking by my "must be recycled" declaration.

Using recycled paper was an easy way I could see to make our wedding slightly more eco-friendly, and I couldn't give up on the idea. So I didn't, and we persisted. After much searching, my mom found a paper that met all the requirements!

As evident in the photo above and those below, just a few of the many taken during the process, our invitations were a bit of an endeavour. We started making the invitations just after E had arrived home from his deployment to Afghanistan, and I am not entirely positive that he didn't wish he'd come home a week or two later.

My mom drove down from Tennessee for a week, and the three of us worked almost around the clock to complete the hand-screening of our invitations. I joked that I was running a sweatshop, and I think they were ready to mutiny about halfway through the week. At one point, probably running on three hours of sleep from the night before, even I questioned why I had thought DIY-ing so many different elements was a good idea.

We sent out a little over 200 invitations; multiply each of our nine (or, Mom was it 11??) elements by 200+, and, well, we had a lot of pieces and needed a lot of space for drying! E rigged up clothes lines throughout the house and garage; it was rather comical to watch as we tip-toed through rooms and ducked under lines, being very careful to not disturb the prints before the ink had dried.

After all the pieces had dried, we still had much assembly (and addressing!) to do. My mom took almost half home with her, where my brothers and dad were roped into the process too. They completed their group, while E and I worked devotedly on ours.

In the end, our invitations turned out to be a true labor of love, one we all agreed was well-worth it.

{click on any of the pictures to enlarge them}

*Remember, you have until 11:59 pm CST tomorrow (Thursday) night to enter the giveaway!


please sir said...

WOW they look wonderful!

Kate said...

Courtney! Those are amazing! I love the rsvp card with the little pictures on it. I've always thought that was so cute! You did a great job and you've made me slightly less afraid of my gocco. I keep stockpiling supplies, but I'm afraid to use it.

Tina said...

these are so beautiful, love the borders decorative borders!

Joyce said...

Very impressive- I love the details of the invitations! Simply beautiful!!

kd said...

I loved your invitations! Enter me!! *just kidding*

check out my blog! Miss you! kt

alissa said...

courtney theyre beautiful!

citysage said...

They turned out so amazingly! But looks like a lot of work! My house was a similar assembly line right before the wedding. i did the favours myself, and of course the boxes don't come assembled, so there were stacks and stacks of them as my father in law folded boxes for hours on end!

Blair said...

I am so incredibly impressed. They are SO SO beautiful. My biggest regret from my wedding was not doing more of it myself!

Stephanie said...


Do you do this professionally? In not, you should!

Pink Heels said...

I had no idea that you could make such beautiful stationary at home. How long did it take you to create these? I think that you missed your calling in life...they are beautiful.

gracemejin said...

Your invitations are absolutely gorgeous! I love paper just as much as you do it seems.

I just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me those words of encouragement. It means a lot that people out there know and understand what I am going through as a military wife.

Take care!


Emma @ White and Wander said...

I love your devotion to the cause - and it was well worth it because they just look fabulous! I am a big fan of the string ... plan on using it all over my wedding (when I meet a nice enough bloke of course!) xx

Kimberlee said...

A-MAZING Courtney. What lucky guests to receive such beautiful invites bella xx

Courtney said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words! It is always a bit nerve-wracking to share something of yourself, and you all couldn't have been sweeter!

Kate- Ha! Don't be afraid! It was completely intimidating to me at first, but definitely not so scary once you jump in.

Anne- Oh, I know! I had my matron of honor fold boxes for favors, and it felt like she did it for hours... and then I would say that about half the favor boxes weren't taken home. They are still sitting in my bedroom b/c I don't have the heart to dismantle the actual boxes after all the work she did putting them together! Soon...

Blair- It's funny because sometimes I wish I had done less DIY and sometimes I wish I had done even more- not that I know if that would've been possible- I certainly didn't have the ability to cook the food or bake the cake! I guess sometimes I wish I'd had more time to do more smaller projects that never got done. You just can put the DIY skills to use with fabulous dinner parties and the like!

Stephanie- Oh, thanks! I don't, but I have thought about it...

Pink Heels- Thank you. I don't know how many hours it took to do these all together, but more than I can count! :)

Suzan St Maur said...

You may be interested to know about my blog:

… where readers can post questions about how to make their weddings and other celebrations more eco-friendly, or they can email them to me, and I respond with the answers.

The blog is based on my latest book, “How To Get Married In Green: have an eco-friendly wedding without compromising on style,” which was published recently.

You can read more about the book here:

…although of course it’s available on all Amazons, not just the UK version, and is in most good book stores worldwide.

With all good wishes


Rebecca said...

wow, Courtney! wow wow wow! loooove the brown, the scrolls & bit of twine! yay for you!!

Courtney said...

Courtney - these are incredible and I'm so impressed you did these yourself! Thanks so much for sharing and I bet the wedding was amazing!