Holiday Save the Dates {DIY Style!}
Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:51AM
Louise in Holidays, Invitations, Save the Date

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Just so we're clear: I am not a graphic designer. However, I often play one on this blog. I trip and shuffle my way through color fills and fonts, pdf files and clip art. I can get a job done, but since I lack the required skills and training of a professional, it takes me DECADES to manipulate my work.

That being said, I'll have to admit that I was both overjoyed and terrified when my friend Marie asked me to do her Holiday Save the Dates. Marie and I go way back. WAY back. We were lab partners in biology our sophomore year in high school - that's how we met. We became friends over the dissection of our fetal pig we named Wilma. Good times have ensued ever since. And now she's getting married and I couldn't be happier for her. Like me, she too waited (and waited) until she found the right guy! And I love the fact that she met her love at a wedding. At his twin sister's wedding. In Bali. That's right, Bali. I'm sure you know the one. Cool, right?

Marie is a laid back kind of gal. Her mom is not. Her mom is more like me - specific in her likes and dislikes. I knew I could make Marie happy, but I was so worried about her mom. I wanted to do the best job I could, but was concerned that I was lacking in a skill set that would result in hideous Save the Dates. Hideous! No one wants hideous.

So I jumped in with both feet and hoped for the best. There was a specific design the bride was liking, so I took it and basically knocked it off to suit the couple. I emailed layouts and texted pictures to the bride pretty much all of last week. I lined up paper colors I'd narrowed down, sent font options - all that kind of stuff. We were all juggling different ideas - should I mail them from here? Do we want return address labels? Envelope liners? It's hard to do it all via text and email! So last week I sent off two completed Save the Dates and then held my breath. Marie called me on Friday and set up a three way call that included her mom. I swear, I thought I was going to faint when I heard her voice. My immediate thoughts were, "She hates them. I have to start over. What am I going to do if she hates them? She hates them. She hates me. What if Marie hates them too?" Oh, my mind was going in a bazillion directions at once.

And then the gushing began. And the thank yous. And more gushing. They did not hate them at all. They LOVED them! I swear, I sat down, put my head on the table and nearly started to cry I was so relieved. I just didn't want to mess up my friend's Save the Dates. I wanted her to be over-the-moon happy with them because you know what? A bride SHOULD be over-the-moon happy with everything associated with her wedding. And yes, I wanted to please her mom too.

So without further adieu, here are the Save the Dates I did.

All the paper came from Paper Source. We used A7 folded cards in Superfine Soft White with A7 envelopes in Red. I lined the envelopes with their bulk paper in Leaf using an A7 liner template. I used a corner punch to get the top of the liner rounded just right as I wasn't totally digging the template corner. It was just too fat of a corner for the envelopes. The design idea came from a Save the Date the bride found on-line. Clearly, I am not as clever as this Save the Date may portray me to be. All the patterns and fills and art came from free online sources. I simply recolored them and dropped them in (I say "simply" but it's anything but simple when you're only playing the part of a graphic designer.). These were my "practice" pieces, so they aren't exactly perfect.

*Santa not included.

The inside was pretty basic - I used the Juice font for the stuff in red and Gabriola in dark gray for everything else.Then I decided that I couldn't just do the cards and liners. I mean, they had to have some sort of snazziness to them, so I decided to do some envelope wrappers. There are plenty of downloadable formats on-line, but I couldn't find one that I could manipulate the way I wanted. So once again, I started pretending I was a graphic designer. By the time I got those damn things done, I wanted to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick. They drove me crazy!!! But I finally got them done.

I did some last minute return address labels for the back in the same design style as the front. Not sure if they are going to use them or not, but I sent them along just in case they decide to. I think there were 111 cards total. Whew! That pales in comparison to the fifty or so that The Candyman and I cranked out!

And there are tools that I used to get this done too: a bone folder, double sided tape, full sheet labels, a paper cutter and scissors. In fact, I invested in a new paper cutter to get the last bit of this done. I had to. HAD TO. My little cheap piece-of-crap paper cutter was my excuse to buy this:

Look at how beautiful my new Swingline is, all shiny and new in the morning sunshine! It took a little getting used to, but now I ♥ it. Need some paper cut? Come on over, we'll play with my Swingline.

I finished these on Friday and FedEx'd them out to the Mother of the Bride on Saturday. I am praying that they are all to her liking. I'm wigging out again though because as I was writing this blog, I noticed what might be a typo on one of the address labels. A typo. Really, Louise? After ALL of this? I swear, I felt like I checked and double checked everything a bazillion times. But, I did send extra blank cards and envelopes, just in case they needed more or I did mess something up that I didn't catch. Again, I only play a graphic designer.

So what do you think? Did I do my friend proud or should I be hanging my head in shame? Doing something DIY is SO different when it's not your own!

Article originally appeared on The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog (
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