Friday, March 12, 2010

Commenting with Love

I've been busy working away at a few items on my rather HUGE To Do list. Why you ask is said list so huge? 'cuz H and I have been trying to keep the wedding budget in check (I had no idea how much these things cost, damn they are expensive parties!), and... I'm totally OCD, so doing some DIY was both a necessity and a preference.

For weeks now I have been plugging away at a few wedding items, and one of them is finally ready for its big reveal... our comment cards.

For the wedding we are going with a vintage modern vibe to go with our location, a 1920's villa overlooking the sea. As I am Canadian, and my future hubby is Belgian. We currently live in Belgium but will be getting married and starting our married life in Canada, our Save The Dates were a way to excite our Belgian/foreign friends and family for their upcoming "adventure". Instead of a book for people to sign, thought that sticking with the vintage postcard idea would be a fun way to continue the theme.

Buying real vintage postcards was an option, but even on Ebay, the cost to buy and ship the cards quickly added up- not mention trying to find enough blank vintage postcards with images we liked! So, it was quilckly dismissed. Instead, I decided to recreate my own.

We wanted our guest comment cards to be something fun and memorable, both for us and our guests, as well as being one of the few wedding souveniers that we will keep with us long after the wedding is over, we wanted it to be special and reflect our journey so far. So, we scoured the internet for vintage postcard images of special places to us...

  • Vancouver, Canada (my hometown, our wedding location, and future home)
  • Leffinge, Belgium (H's hometown)
  • Oostende, Belgium (where H's family are from)
  • Dartmoor area, the UK (where my family come from)
  • Brussels, Belgium (where we live now)
  • the Ilse of Skye (where we got engaged)

  • I then found some blank backs of vintage postcards and as easy as copy paste I set up in MS Illustrator four postcards per page- 10cm x 14.5cm per postcard (in Europe we work with different paper sizes so I am not sure if four would fit on a letter size piece of paper).

    Then, via a lot of layout work and manual alterations of the postcard backs to suit my needs (because I am a perfectionist)- conserving as much space as possible for comments, adding a spot for their names, and removing/hiding plenty of unwanted details of the postcards, I finally have come up with my masterpiece.

    It was a bit of a fiddle getting the two sides lined up so I made a guide and then used the same guide on all pages to match everything up. on the backs I added two lines perpendicular to the card for them to write their names and thus freeing up more space for the comments than the original cards (no addresses required!).

    H and I went to AVA (our local paper and party supply store- kinda 1/2 Michaels and 1/2 Staples), and found some great thick slightly textured paper to really make them feel like vintage postcards (FYI- I'd recommend no less than 200g paper to get the "postcard feel").

    After a nervewracking few minutes worrying that my printer would cooperate or not, these babies are finally ready to get put away in a box until June!

    Tip- when I am printing off a large number of pages, I always print in small batches so if there are any printing problem only a few sheets are messed up.

    At 64 cards we now have enough unique cards (no front image is repeated) for all our guests to leave us a little note on our big day (I calculated the amount we would need based on the assumption that most couples will write a comment card as a couple so we will actually only need about 40 cards plus extras for "do-overs", and a few that we will mail to family who can't make the big day). After the wedding the cards will be kept in an antique art deco wooden box that I inherited from my Grandparents (by making the cards myself I was able to custom size the cards to fit the box) and I think it'll be wonderful to not only read all of the loving comments but also enjoying the historical images of our and our families past.

    I probably could have hired a professional to do the work for me, but as I wanted each card to be unique I think the cost would have been astronomical. Doing it myself was definitely more time consuming, but flipping through them 20 years from now I think I will still feel a great sense of I made that accomplishment, which I think is priceless.

    But, as we all like a budget breakdown, and I think the numbers are pretty impressive:

    • Software: free (part of standard MS office suite)
    • Paper: 200gm ivory paper at 0.54€/sheet= 9.72€

    Total per piece: 0.15€ (including the 2 sheets that my printer decided to eat!)

    You can see my other DIY wedding projects here and here

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