I love parties. And I especially love all of the details that come with them. The joy you get when you open the invitation and get a small glimpse into what the party may or may not be like, the colors, the theme!
NOTE: If you don’t geek out on stuff like this then you may want to stop reading now because it only gets nerdier from here…
If you’re anything like me you love browsing invitation books and web sites for design ideas. And you might be my long-lost twin if like me, you hate the overhead that comes with them. $47 for 15 cards that I then have to buy stamps for and send on my own? And don’t even get me started on square vs. rectangular postage restrictions! Oh the post office sorter machine isn’t set for square envelopes? Well, that would have been good to know a month ago. Oh, an extra $25 in postage will fix that? Ok then. Or how about the design factor? I like that design but I really like this one too. Can’t I just have them mate and mail out their offspring?
Each time I’m faced with getting invites out for a party or event, I always question whether others will appreciate the effort that goes into receiving a mailed invitation. But then there’s that little voice inside of me that chimes in,
‘But it’s a printed invitation Sarah. Something tangible. Something that might brighten their day amongst the junk mail. Remember the joy Sarah, Remember!’
Damn you heart, you win again.
The purpose of this post is to let you know you don’t have to settle for big box invitations. Although I do think that companies like Tinyprints, Target, Shutterfly and the like have wonderful options, many of which I’ve used in the past, these are also great resources for finding a starting point for your own custom invitations. You know, so you avoid situations like the time you showed up to the prom in the same dress as a freshman…not that that ever happened to me or anything.
And I’ll also tell you that you don’t have to know a lot about design or have fancy software to get started. While photo editing software like Photoshop can help and InDesign is great for laying out pieces, I have laid out a number of invitations in Microsoft Publisher, mostly for its compatibility and quick edits if you are working on it for a friend or client. There are also a few free software options out there if you’re in a pinch and don’t want to spend the money on the real thing. Gimp is a good substitute for Photoshop and Scribus for InDesign.
While the party theme doesn’t necessarily have to match the invite, I like to pull elements from the piece (color palette, background pattern, font types) and bring them in throughout the party to tie it all together. From signage to food and candy, it’s an easy way to bring the theme through to the actual day.
Now that I see a sample of all of the invites from last year, I realize I have some retroactive posts to write. From baby showers to birthday parties, it was a year filled with joyous celebrations and I feel very lucky to have been a part of each and every one.
Have a great week!