Saturday, 7 December 2013

You Are Invited...

For those of you who have sent out any kind of invite, you will appreciate that it can be quite difficult to fit in everything you think needs to included. It's all about compromise - you don't want to overload the guest with information, yet you don't want to leave them asking questions.
When choosing our wedding invites from Planet Cards, I chose to just include the basics that the guest absolutely needed to know (this didn't ruin the design either):
- Date of the wedding
- Time of the wedding
- The Venue(s) and addresses
- Information on gifts/money - this was achieved with a lighthearted poem
- When to RSVP by
- How to RSVP
I just needed a way to include a little extra information for our guests. 

After a little research, I found there are a few ways to include extra details. Examples include:
- Pockets built into the invites to insert maps and RSVP cards etc.
- Loose information cards to match the invite
- Including a web link to further information on the wedding day

Built in pockets were not an option as I had already chosen our invites, and I didn't like the thought of loose cards for fear of them going missing. I did like the web link idea - however not everybody in my family (grandparents for example) have access to a computer. I opted for an information booklet - all of the information would be in one place, and it wouldn't need a pocket in the invite as my plan was to use paper clips. 

With this idea, the first hurdle was deciding what was to be going into the information booklet:
Hotel Info
Including room tariffs, room information, hotel/venue website and number.

Including a cheaper alternative for somewhere to stay, the address, website and number.

A map from the venue to the alternative hotel.

Although the hotel will probably have a list of local taxi firms, I thought it may be useful for guests to know them beforehand for pre-booking.

What details to include when RSVP-ing.

After this I used scrap paper to create various booklet prototypes. I didn't want to use more than one sheet of A4 paper for each booklet to keep costs and materials down. Trialing was necessary! The first prototype in the above image was an experiment on how to fold paper to create the booklet. The second prototype was created from half a sheet of A4 paper, allowing me to print two per page. Even though this appealed to me, the words and map were just a little too small. This is when I came up with the third prototype - made from one sheet of paper, big enough to read, and easy enough to make.

Even though I had found a design that worked for our invite, I wanted to use something a little less stark than white paper - especially as the invites have a lovely vintage finish. I opted for a pack of cream paper that I picked up from Ryman in town. In the photographs, you can see how the booklets look before they are folded. They are made up of two rectangular pieces, each split into 3 equal sections. Each of these sections is a different page of information. To create these templates, I simply used a Table in Microsoft Word and printed them off on a laserjet printer at home. If you have lovely handwriting, or don't have access to a printer then these could be done by hand no problem. However, it would take a lot longer as a lot of measuring would be involved!
Once the rectangular pieces have been cut out, they each need to be folded into a concertina-like state in order to form the pages. The 'Table' idea within Microsoft Word made it really easy for this part of the process. I simply folded across the lines that split the strips into 3 sections. 

The next part of the process is to put the booklet together. For this, any kind of glue/adhesive suitable for paper will do but my personal favourite is double-sided tape. The idea is to stick the 'front page' of the booklet to the first 'inside page'. As seen in the top photo on the right, this creates the first two pages of the booklet. The second two pages of the booklet are created in the same way - the 'back page' is stuck to the last 'inside page'. Once the two components have been made, they then need to be fixed together (using more tape!) to create the entire booklet. This is done by sticking the back of the second page onto the back of the third page. You need to make sure that they are perfectly in line with each other to get a clean finish. Once this is done, I close the booklet and rub a small piece of paper over it to make sure it is fully adhered. I use paper instead of wiping my fingers directly over the finished product to prevent smudging of ink and marking. After this, I open the booklet and 'read' through it to make sure it all looks okay. Each one of these booklets took me around 10 minutes to make and were easy enough to do whilst relaxing in front of the television in the evening. As with any mini project, if you start early enough, it doesn't become a chore and you can just work on it every now and again until it is done!

And here is the finished product! A four page booklet including all the extra information (hopefully!) guests may require when receiving their invite. As with everything I make myself, I stamped the backs with my 'Handmade By Zoe' stamp - one of my favourite investments to date.

And this is what each of my day guests have received! I tried to keep the paper and the font as similar to the invite as possible so not to compromise the overall look.

I would love to know what you think. Have you done anything similar with an invite to a wedding, party or shower? Would you have done anything different? Let me know your thoughts and ideas by commenting below this post.
Alternatively you can message me:
Twitter: @ZibZobHandmade

Hope you enjoyed! And keep an eye out for the festive posts. I will be making Christmas cards, crafty gifts and sharing my pretty wrapping.

Keep watching this space!

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