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!

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