Geek and Groom

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Invitations, Part III: Our RSVP Postcards

I took me forever to understand why our invitation suite "clover green" kept reading as neon green online. Guess which Blogger accidentally saved the file as CYMK rather than RGB? Oops!

Our RSVP Postcards will measure 4 x 6, and feature our showcase flower: the dahlia!

I searched, searched, and searched through the internet to find a public domain clip art illustration of a dahlia. The original clip art had other flowers in the image, and I had to be swift with my eraser tool in Photoshop to edit them out.

We're printing them without a glossy finish so our guests can write on them.

We'll be writing in the number of reserved seats in a gold calligraphy pen.

I wish I could find the exact credit for our RSVP wording. I've seen numerous brides use modifications on the above text on OffbeatBride. I stumbled across the wording, jotted it down, and never actually saved the URL. If anyone has a credit I could link to, please be let me know!

The back of our postcard will be more modest, and just in black ink to save on costs. (Pardon the super-stealthy black censoring bars.) I hope our guests will take up a our offer and write us a note!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Color Conviction.

I am finally convinced. I fell in love with our colors.

(1. four-leaf clover / trevo de quatro folhas, 2. Ornaments of gold...dedicated to you ..., 3. Ethiopian Harrar, 4. Bear Creek Rose #7)

My Heritage
I had never considered the significance of a green and gold wedding for an Irish-American lass. As a small girl, I would proudly wear the green kilt my Grandmother kept in her closet. The kilt had a delicate golden thread woven throughout the skirt. We would visit my Grandparents on the weekend, spending our Saturday night watching Star Trek Next Generation with my PopPop and spending our Sunday morning at Mass. I'd proudly wear my kilt to Mass, and most Sundays I would listen to my Grandparents sing in their church choir.

My Grandma is a fierce alto, an identical twin, a mother of six, and a grandmother of eleven. I hope she will be personally delighted with my incorporation of Irish linen, classic hymns, green, and gold.

I thought I'd call "our" green "spring green." Now, I realize our actual choice is "clover." The lucky kind, to be specific.

Our Environmentalist Spirit
Christopher and I both attended an "Environmental Liberal Arts" College. We were fed a steady (sustainable) diet of environmental theory, literature, science, and philosophy. We both live in Vermont, although we were not born in Vermont. We chose to live here, to start and continue our new life together, here in this fine state.

Vermont strives to lead the environmentalist charge. I live exactly two blocks from a Co-Op, owned by our community members, selling locally grown organic produce and local meat. I live exactly half a mile from a community garden, and as I type I can peek at my seed packets. I'm waiting for the morning frost to end, the "mud season" to conclude, and the earth to warm again. I can't wait to plant. I know where my power comes from (1/2 from "cow power," or, as Chris likes to call it, "poop power"), we keep a mostly chemical-free household, and I did a DANCE when Steven Chu was announced as our new Energy Secretary.

We want to keep our wedding modest not only for the holiness of the day, or our small budget, but for our impact on our neighborhood and planet.

We don't want to be wasteful with tulle or plastic. We don't want to buy everything brandnew.

We want to re-purpose.

Deep browns remind me of our planet. Green signifies life. Sunshine is golden and ivory.
It's not just that I teach literature, and am a sucker for color symbolism. Love, love, love.

My first color scheme was scattered. Bless Kim (my MOH, Future Sister-in-law, and BFF) for not laughing in my face when I told her. She was endlessly supportive but, if I asked, I'm sure she would admit it sounded disharmonious.

I wanted Tiffany blue, burgundy, gold, and ivory. I only added in deep brown when I realized Kim's complexion would be washed out by a black BM dress.

My intentions were okay. I look wonderful in both Tiffany blue and burgundy. Both colors are found in our reception site. I thought gold-toned accessories would be easy to find and affordable. I thought ivory was appropriate for weddings.

Nature provides the perfect palettes. I believe our finalized color scheme is concise and balanced.

It's classic. Simple. Perfect. Like I said, I fell for my colors tonight.

When did you know you loved your colors? What could your colors symbolize?

Did I blog about our FANTASTIC DIY cakestands yet? I'll have to do that tomorrow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Our Invitations: Part II

A bit of Photoshop tinkering, a ton of patience, and three revisions later...

I present our invitation.

Humph. The green looks really Day-Glo on my monitor. In real life it is a grounded muted green, promise.

Our Invitations: Part I

After searching for the proper balance of quality and price, I finally committed myself to a stationary purchase.

I created this mock-up by cannibalizing images from Paperandmore. We're cutting thin bellybands from a thin golden paper from California Paper Goods Company. This is the best choice; it is translucent, and the sheen of the gold paper works well with the pearlescent pocketfolds.

We ordered the majority of our stationary from Paperandmore, and our envelopes from LCI Paper. Specifically, we went with Paperandmore because of their glorious A-7 bronze-brown paperfolds. Not only are these cards heavy, smooth, with the perfect metallic... but they were quite affordable.

For $2.06 per person (including shipping, but not including postage for the invitations), we'll have supplies to create our ceremony programs, pocketfold invitations (including RSVP cards, two enclosure cards, map, decorative elements, and envelope set), and menus. Fabulous!

Paperandmore cut our cardstock to two custom sizes. It was absolutely worth the extra $7 to know I wouldn't have to cut four hundred sheets of cardstock, even with our industrial (cartoonist quality) papercutter.

Our spring green matting (the actual color is called Green Fairway) was cut to 6 3/4 x 4 3/4 to neatly fill our 5 x 7 invitation. Our actual invitations, enclosures, and RSVP postcards will be printed on 6 1/16 x 4 1/16 Cream cover stock. The enclosures and RSVP cards will be additionally trimmed to layer nicely in the pocketfold, but that will be an easy papercutter job that I can delegate to Christopher.

I'm excited to start crafting. I have a week off for Spring Break in April. What a perfect time to find a large table at the Cartoon School, set out our paper-cutters, adhesives, t-square, bone folder, corner rounder, a hot thermos of chai, and MP3 player loaded with the Steve Miller Band and Three Dog Night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Calligraphy = Sanity

I'm an English teacher. I've mastered the skill of writing precise cursive on a whiteboard.

When I try to write on envelopes, however, I get all shaky from worry.

My mind begins to race: Is my envelope centered on my light box? Will my pencil guides erase completely? Is my lettering consistent? Do all of my "e"s look alike?

In other words, I get a bit weird. Weirder than normal.

I've hired a calligrapher for my own sanity. I'm not going to post her name; she is getting married next month and is buried in her own DIY projects.Above is the test sample she created for our stationary. It is curvy and classic, and I love the "chubby" ink.

I considered our budget, and decided I could devote $120 to all of our calligraphy expenses. We're inviting fifty guests, but we only need to create thirty-three invitations. I've also hired her services for our placecards.

Inner and outer envelope sets seem charming, don't they?
(Or is the belief that stationary can be "charming" or "cute" another symptom of bridal-craziness?)

I ordered A-7 Ecru unlined envelope sets from LCI Paper. I may make my own envelope liners to accent our invitations. The inner envelope measures 5 7/16 x 7 7/8, almost one whole inch larger than our A-7 5 x 7 invitations. This provides plenty of room for our invitations, rehearsal dinner invites, RSVP postcards, and our over-sized foldout Vermont maps. Stellar!

YES, our invitation supplies arrived! I'll post photographs and product reviews tomorrow.

Are you using both inner and outer envelopes? Was this choice made to honor tradition?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DIY Mini Rehearsal Dinner Invites

I got these mini stationary sets at a discount warehouse for three dollars a box.
The very petite green, brown, and white cards perfectly match my wedding colors, and will be used for attendant gift tags.

The purple cards... do not match. Yet, they are adorable. And I've never been one to waste!

The small purple ones are for our Rehearsal Dinner/My 26th Birthday Party.
They measure 2.5 x 5, so I created a 2 1/4 x 4 3/4 inner card in Photoshop.

A bit of tweaking with fonts and colors, a trip to Kinkos, and a papercutter later... ta-da!

It also was a practical way to test both my font choices and my font colors.
I'm using Albemarle Swash, modified with a faux-bold.

I tucked a business card from our restaurant--Stonehearth Inn and Tavern, in Chester VT--into the envelope.

I almost (in a crazy bride moment) thought to send our envelopes to our calligrapher but I realized that would make me crazy.

Not everything has to match, coordinate, or look perfect. It's my new mantra.

Will you be using the same "colors" for both your Rehearsal Dinner and your Wedding? Coordinating colors? Or are the colors for your RD not at all in your mind?

What NOT To Buy Early

Chocolates. Lake Champlain Chocolate hearts, to be specific. Delicious Vermont chocolates.
Purchased at a 40% discount at the Quechee Markets*.

I had hoped to re-package them--along with Sweet Beauty's organic Mocha Sugar Scrub and some freetrade coffee beans from the local Co-Op--into a nice gift basket for Kim, my Maid of Honor. I know she's planning my Boston Bridal Shower, and I wanted to surprise her with a gift when I see her next month.

Note to self: Chocolates are tasty, especially to visiting cartoonists. Christopher and his friends demolished the bag, albeit small bag, of chocolates.

I noticed The Knot is throwing their "Chocolate Sale," but I know Hershey Kisses wouldn't be safe in this apartment.

What else should we brides avoid buying too early?

* * *
The Quechee Gorge Village is the perfect place for Vermont Brides to purchase gifts, favors, and accessories. Their country shops stock Vermont jams, fudge, cheese, coffee, teas, beer, wine, crafts, and every imaginable maple product. Their antique booths offer a variety of unique linens and jewelry, and Danforth Pewter is divine.