As our own wedding celebration draws closer and closer (only three months to go now!) and I still have many unchecked tasks on my To-Do List, I can finally see first hand why people typically spend an entire year on wedding planning.
For one thing, both wedding venues and wedding planners are hot commodities that need to be booked months in advance. Second, there are numerous appointments, e.g., the tastings of menus and cake, meetings with photographers and DJs. And finally, it takes time to choose things and get things made…
Case in Point: Wedding Invitations
I wasn’t even entirely sure that we would mail out traditional Wedding Invitations in the beginning as practically everything can be communicated via email/websites these days. But … who doesn’t like to get mail the old-fashioned way? Not to mention that all the wedding websites inform me that I must send Wedding Invitations. And Pinterest is filled with pretty Wedding Invitation Suites (numerous stationary designers are cashing in on bride-to-be’s).
Although I was convinced that we would have Wedding Invitations, I was not convinced that I wanted to spend several hundred of dollars on these Wedding Invitations – which is the cost of having bespoke wedding stationary designed and printed for you.
I only visited one store in Dubai to enquire in detail about the Wedding Invitation Design process – The Card Co. – as I’d walked past it in the DIFC building where A works. With a minimum order of 50 invitations, I would need to dish out anywhere between 1,750 – 4,500 AED.
I also checked out online vendors such as Minted and Wedding Paper Divas and while this would have been slightly cheaper, international shipping (costs and wait time) seemed like too much of a hassle.
Which is how I came to the decision that I would just have to DIY my own Wedding Invitations. There was plenty of inspiration on Pinterest, I own some watercolors (watercolor invites are all the rage on Pinterest), and I like to think that I have an eye for typography. It wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but with <50 invites to make how hard could it be?
Back in Portland, a quick trip over to Michaels would fulfill all my art and craft desires. But there is no Michaels in Dubai. Nothing equivalent could be found in either the Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates (there is Paperchase but their selection of cardstock and fancy paper is limited). Thankfully, an internet search led me to discover Creative Minds, the alter ego of Michaels in Dubai.
Cardstock, envelopes, calligraphy pens and fancy paper at hand, I extracted my watercolors (used only once before) and set about trying to paint something for our Wedding Invitations. As I quickly discovered, watercoloring is not at all easy. Clearly, I would not be hand-painting each card.
Then I thought I could maybe create a stencil and re-use the stencil for each card. Somewhere between my watercolor fail and my stencil eureka I decided that I wanted peonies and Russian folk art on our Wedding Invitations. I looked up “How to Make Your Own Stencil” on YouTube and set about drawing out a stencil design on a transparent folder. By the time I was finished I also realized that it would be impossible for me to carve out my stencil. *cry*
On the verge of defeat, I did some more extensive research on DIY Wedding Invitations – and decided to give watercoloring one more shot. Watercoloring 50 cards was impossible, but if I could create a single design and get a local printer to print copies on cardstock, I might just be able to pull it off. With a little more patience I managed to paint one decent peony using my watercolors. I wrote out our names in calligraphic style. I found a Russian folk art design I liked and edited it on the computer. I scanned and jigsaw puzzled everything together in Powerpoint. Victory was finally mine!
Now I just had to find somewhere to print my design. Luckily, DIFC has another printing service – Spectrum. Since they specialize in business card and brochure printing, I wasn’t sure they would be able to print Wedding Invitations, but not only did they reassure me that this was definitely possible, they also carry premium paper stock. As an added bonus, they would be able to print everything in just two days. And would cost only 675 AED for 45 cards plus inserts. Hurrah!
A will be picking up a proof of the printed card later this afternoon. Hopefully everything works out well and then I can finally get around to mailing out our Wedding Invitations!