The Invites Have Left the Building

June 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

I repeat, Pretzel invitations have left the building and arrived at their destinations.  You know what that means?  I can finally share with you the labor of love that has consumed months of Mr Pretzel and my life!

OK, maybe not months but with full disclosure I will admit that we spent a LOT of time on this project.  Before showing you the invitation p0rn, and who doesn’t love some good old-fashioned paper peeping, Mr P and I want to share a little about the very messy creative process that brought us to our end product.

If you remember we are the proud owners of a PG-10 Super GOCCO. We purchased the unit for the express purpose of creating our wedding paper products.  We were very smitten with our Pretzel designed and Gocco’ed Save the dates.

If you remember we had to learn to work out our creative differences, to blend ideas and articulate vision.  It wasn’t always pretty and it made us love the product all the more.   In reality, we are amateurs and as happy we were with the save the date design we weren’t sure we could repeat the performance. We suffered from OMGhowthehellarewegoingtotopthis-itis.  Had we  peaked?

We had some vague ideas of elements we wanted to work into our design:

Kraft Paper

We joke that kraft paper is our 6th man or our “other” wedding color.  Ok, it’s really not a joke- it has become our “neutral” to offset our bright color palette.  It has become a popular invitation element but we knew we wanted to incorporate it in our suite.

Source (this is one of Mr P’s favorite inspiration pieces)


We used this element in our save the dates and we couldn’t resist incorporating it into our invites.  Like Kraft paper, the ampersand is slowly working itself into our wedding theme.


Drink Coasters as Invitation element

I am not sure where I first saw a save the date drink coaster, but I can tell you it was after we had designed and printed our save the dates.  Both Mr P and I felt like it was a missed opportunity and I was hell-bent on using drink coasters in our invites. Come on we’re having a BEER themed wedding!


Belly Band as Inside Envelope

At first I thought belly bands were a frivolous invitation element (sorry but it is true). Sure they could look pretty and keep your invite pieces corralled but their main purposed seemed to be purely decorative.  When I discovered I could use them as a replacement for an inside envelope I wanted to jump aboard the belly band wagon. You see, as much as I thought belly bands were unnecessary I had a deeper detain for inside envelopes.  I was against inside envelopes from the get go but they do serve a purpose in providing a space to indicate all of the members of the household invited to the wedding.  A belly band could be printed with the same information and look 10x cooler.  I explained the situation to Mr Pretzel and even devised an embellishment we fondly call “the buckle”.

A consistent typeface theme

When we chose our typefaces for our Save the Date we weren’t looking ahead to what the rest of our invitation suite and wedding paper products would look like.  I felt strongly that our invites should contain no more than three typefaces and that these typefaces should be what we use in all of our wedding paper items.  When I pressed Mr Pretzel to help me  he was skeptical. “Why do we have to have consistent fonts?” he asked.  I showed him all of the wonderful paper goods from Mrs Cupcake and I didn’t even have to argue the point.  He agreed that the impact of setting a typeface theme was worth it.  Settling on the fonts was a different matter.  Mr Pretzel kept coming back to the big top styled Cast Iron font from our save the dates. I felt it necessary to balance it with a script font that contained glyph-like elements.  Apparently Mr Pretzel has something against swirly script fonts and the “Great Glyph Debate of 2010” raged.  I gave in and promised to use the glyph-like elements sparingly.  In the end the fonts balanced each other nicely.

Cast Iron, Champignon, Champagne & Limousines all free fonts from

Armed with all of these inspiring elements I sat down to start laying out some design ideas.    Then I hit a design quandary.  When I laid out all the text on the invite it seemed like something was missing.  The fonts looked amazing but it was missing a graphic element.  Mr P to the rescue! He suggested a vintage image of the pre-prohibition brewery where our reception will be held.  This gave us our final inspiration element.

Vintage Brewery Drawing

I was off to the internets to find a high quality image of the building that I could re-purpose.  Regrettably it seems that no such image exists.  I did find a lower quality image for inspiration and set to figuring out where I could find an artist to do a pen and ink rendering of this image.


Early in planning I remember being a wee bit jealous of other brides who have amazing friend-ors.  Until recently I was convinced that we didn’t have friends/family who could help us with professional services for the wedding.  The artist we were seeking came to us in the mail –  literally. Months earlier we received this beautiful Christmas card from my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law – or SIL’s SIL. That would be the wife of my brother’s wife’s brother… I think.

Upon closer examination I realized that the card was a reproduction of the SIL’s SIL artwork. She is a landscape architect and a wonderful artist. Going out on a limb, I sent her a random note. Imagine my elation when she said she would be happy to help us out.  Apparently my niece has been telling her lots about Aunt Pretzel’s wedding.

After nailing down all of these elements the design was relatively easy.  Mr Pretzel and I barely butted heads on this one, save the “Great Glyph Debate of 2010”.  I dare say we are actually getting the hang of this co-design business.  As for not being able to top our save the dates, I dare say we are just as happy, if not more so, with the final product.

Did you fear being more “in love” with your Save the Dates than your invites? What were the design elements you chose to carry through your paper products?

Entry filed under: DIY, Paper.

Pretzel’s Big Day O’ Showers: Part II Mail Call!

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