How To Make Your Own Wedding Invitations- Step By Step

Alright, here it goes!
I tried to take pictures to go through all of the steps. It was easy to do but very tedious so if you plan on going this route, have patience.

My friend Jessica helped me with all of this so an extra set of hands makes a world of difference. Even with her help, we worked on 55 invitations for several hours.

I will review previous DIY posts so that all you new readers can catch up!
I got my FREE templates from

Two invitations fit on one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of vellum paper-- which I was able to print the templates at Office Depot for $.59 per sheet (per 2 invitations). If you want to print in black and white, it is only $.10 per sheet.

To start out, Jessica and I cleaned off the table and made sure we had plenty of space. You will need your printed sheets, cardstock (if you want a thicker/harder background), ribbon, a hole puncher, scissors and a paper cutter (a ruler and X-acto knife will work fine but will take longer).

After you have all of your supplies, start cutting. Make sure you practice with a spare sheet first so that you can measure where you need to cut. You wouldn't want to mess up and have to run back to the store for more supplies. Plus, you want to make sure your text sheet fits on your background sheet.

After you have cut the text sheet out, line it up to make sure it is the right size for the bottom sheet.

Once your sheets are lined up the way you want them, grab your hole punch!
Figure out where you want your bow and the distance between the two holes will determine the thickness.
I punched holes about an inch apart in the top middle of the sheet, right above the initial.

Be sure to empty your hole punch. It stacks up fast and creates complications like this! You wouldn't want it to get jammed or stuck on your invitations.

Now it is time to tie the bow! I have included a youtube video link so that you can have video instructions (to make that a bit easier on you). If you don't prefer to watch the video, I will provide written instructions as well.

Pull the ribbon through one hole. The other side of the ribbon will go through the other hole so that the ribbon is across the front of the invitation (both ends will be poking out of the back).

After the above steps are complete. Grab one end of the ribbon and pull it through the opposite side and towards the front then do the same thing with the other end.

Next, we added a small touch, pearl stickers!

Then we finished! I am really happy with how they turned out!!
Hope this helped everyone else.

Purchasing Our Unity Candle

When it starts to get closer to your day, all of the little things for your big day start presenting themselves.

Last week, John and I sat at our computer to re-create our budget. Things have changed a lot since last April when we got engaged. We have saved a lot of money here and there by doing things our way and having friends and family so willing to pitch in. One of the things we forgot to budget for back then was our unity candle.

We didn't really know what the average cost of one was so we pulled up several different tabs on the computer to get an idea. Typically, the range anywhere from $50-$200. This seemed a bit high for a candle. We did more searching and found that Hobby Lobby sells unity candles that range from $20-$40. This seemed a bit more reasonable, although none of them really popped for me and John.

We went online to Amazon and eBay to look for unity candles. A lot of people have a misconception about eBay. Yes, people do use it to sell their used things but there are also sellers around the world that use eBay as a business. We got lucky and found a business that sold unity candles. They had a whole page of different styles and types, even an option to leave a message in case you had any special requests.

We found one that we both really liked and it was only $20 WITH SHIPPING.
I am very pleased with the way it looks. I took a picture to share with you, however I did leave out the two skinny candles that came with it because they are simple and everyone knows what they look like.

Supplies For DIY Wedding Invitations

After finalizing our decision to make and print our own wedding invitations, John and I decided to head over to Hobby Lobby just to LOOK at paper. Well, looking turned into purchasing. That seems to be the case when going to Hobby Lobby.

I am really glad John came with me. He seemed glad to do so which made it even more fun.

Once we made it to the 'scrapbooking' isle, we got down and dirty with the details. For those of you who have never been to Hobby Lobby (I find that hard to believe) there are at least 4 long isles of every type of paper you can think of.

First, John and I were looking at our options with cardstock. We found our wedding colors and started planning how we could design the invitations. I looked up and noticed that all the individually sold sheets were on sale for 50% off. On the other side of the isle were packs of cardstock that were regular price. Thanks to a customer, I was informed that Hobby Lobby had an online coupon for 40% off regular priced items. She seemed pleased at our reaction and went on to do her shopping.

John and I sat in the middle of the isle like children looking at all of our different choices laid out on the floor. We had shades of blue, brown, white, black, you name it! We finally narrowed it down to a few choices. Another woman walked up and asked what we were trying to make. I informed her that we were designing our wedding invitations together and she immediately got excited. She then sparked another idea into our heads--vellum paper. I don't know why I didn't think of this. I love vellum! It looks very classy yet simple.

We made our way down to the wedding section and both got very distracted. Unity candles, party favors, isle runners, veils, toasters, everything! This really made John and I step back and look at what is happening. We are planning our wedding TOGETHER the way best friends would. Both enjoying our time and loving each other even more.

We then decided to get back to business and ask an associate where we could find vellum. She took us back to the wedding section and handed us a packet of white vellum paper.

Once again, we went back to where the cardstock was located. Only this time, we found more vellum paper! Single sheets of every color, including our baby blue shade we chose for the wedding. After laying out more and more options, we finally decided to have a white cardstock background, baby blue vellum paper with chocolate brown ink and a brown bow at the top just to add a final touch. After picking out the vellum, our cardstock for the invitations and the response cards, as well as enough ribbon for 60 invitations we were ready to check out.

We left Hobby Lobby with a total of $25. Now all we have to do is print them! We have the option of using a professional printing company like UPS or doing it at home. Even if we add in the cost of ink, we are getting by with less than $1 per invitation. That sure beats spending $200 on invitations that looked horrible! By doing this ourselves, we will be saving close to $140 AND we got to have a wonderful time enjoying eachother's company.

Here are some examples: 

The blue background on the invitation will be the baby blue vellum paper. The vellum sheet will be placed on white cardstock and tied off with a chocolate brown bow at the top.

Once we get to putting it all together, I will provide a photo tutorial to help you if you chose this option as well.

Once again, here is the link that I used for these fabulous templates:

Happy planning!

Do It Yourself Wedding Invitations, RSVP Cards, Table Numbers and Programs

I know that a few posts back I said that John and I chose our invitations and that I was keeping them a secret. Truth is I ordered a sample from and absolutely HATED them. They looked like something I could do with my eyes closed. There is no way I would spend $200 on invitations that I could do myself for free.

So then it hit me. John and I started to talk about designing our own and printing them at the closest print store. I have to admit, John is one-upping me with this wedding planning stuff. First the flowers, now this? I thought this idea of printing our invitations would be terrible and cheap looking.
I started to look online to try and find ideas on how to make your own wedding invitations.

Honestly, it looks like if you don't have Photoshop, you're invitations won't really come out the way you want. Good news is, I found a website with some REALLY cute free wedding templates!
You choose your design, enter your information and done! Click 'print' and it will save to your computer so that you can access your design easily and take it to your print store. 

They not only have invitation templates but RSVPs, Thank You's, Menus, Programs, and Table Numbers. I got really excited about this and I can't even image how happy my findings made John. That only makes this more of a win. Here are some examples of the templates I made!

This first example is not really my style but it could be cute!

This second template is our FAVORITE. Pretty sure we will use this:

This next one is more of a casual version than my favorite:
Here is a rough draft of our wedding program:
 Table Number Template:
And here is an example of our RSVP:

We are going to definitely play up the baby blue! We will put the invitations in a chocolate brown envelope and send a couple of copies of our engagement pictures.

In case you didn't find a template you were looking for, here are a couple of other sites that may help you.

Hope you enjoy! These sites should keep you busy for a while. I can't even begin to tell you how long I've been sitting infront of this computer. It is really interesting to see what is offered online to make your wedding exactly how you envisioned it.

A Bride-To-Be Crazy Calendar

I thought this was way too cute not to share. Thanks to Pinterest!

Someone PLEASE keep me sane during the last month, I don't want my calendar to look like this!

I Am My Bridesmaid's Bridesmaid

Clarissa is my roommate, my co-worker, my friend, my bridesmaid and a bride!
She will be getting married a little less than a month after me on April 6th.

The fun thing about this is she is one of my bridesmaids and I am one of her bridesmaids! I was really excited to be asked to be in her wedding being that we would both be going through wedding details at the same time.

Originally, Clarissa and her other bridesmaids were supposed to go bridesmaids dress shopping with me and my other bridesmaids but since it was extremely hard to get everyone together, we decided to go on separate days.

I took my girls shopping back in August and Clarissa took me and her other girls, MaryBeth and Christin, shopping last weekend.

We got up around 8:30 to hit the road around 9:30.
Our first appointment was at Brickhouse Bridal in the Woodlands. I really can't say I was impressed with this place. There were a lot of selections but the service was terrible and everything was way overpriced. Our consultant really didn't help at all. She didn't ask questions, help with selections, or give an opinion. She literally just stood to the side and took our dresses when we were finished trying them on without saying a word. We found a couple of dresses that we liked. However, they didn't have the color Clarissa had in mind and the cheapest dress we could find was over $200.

Obviously, we were ready to move on to our next appointment.

It was only 12 and our next appointment wasn't until 2. We drove the whole 12 miles down to David's Bridal just so we knew where we would have to be in 2 hours. We found a little Mexican restaurant and decided to go in and get some Margaritas. Christin and I ordered the house Margaritas and holy cow were they strong! I'm pretty sure I was handed a margarita glass filled with Tequila and one lime. Good thing I had 2 hours to finish it.

Our experience at David's Bridal was really positive. I bought my wedding dress at a David's Bridal in Austin and had wonderful service so I wasn't surprised to have good service here as well. It was extremely busy but our consultant made every effort to make sure she helped as much as possible. And her assistance was in addition to several other appointments she had at the time. We had 2 dresses we really like. One was a sweetheart chiffon dress and one was a sweetheart satin dress.

We agreed that we would visit our last appointment at Alfred Angelo before we made our decision although we were pretty sure it would be one of those two.

We drove a couple of miles to Alfred Angelo. When we first walked in, they were extremely nice. We told our consultant what we were looking for and she went to grab some samples while we sat and watched a bride try on different gowns.

It is safe to say that the short dress selection was awful. We tried on ONE dress we would even consider and even then, it was just boring. And don't even get me started on the other dresses she brought. Not to mention, she seemed very dissatisfied with us, even before we stated we didn't like the dresses.

So we went back to David's Bridal and put in our order!
Here is the style we purchased (but imagine the dresses grey):

After we picked these dresses and decided on the shade of grey, we moved over to the shoes! Everyone that knows me knows that I absolutely LOVE shoes.

We agreed on a yellow shade since Clarissa's wedding colors are grey and yellow. Our shoes will match our yellow orchid bouquets.

Picking The Perfect Wedding Cake

Ok. So maybe I am going a bit overboard with the posts today. But it's not like I have 2 years anymore.

John and I have picked our wedding cake! Can't say this was a hard decision. We both wanted something more on the simple side. Let's face it, some of these wedding cakes are CRAZY.
For example:

Pretty sure we can see who will wear the pants in THAT relationship. I mean seriously. How full of yourself do you have to be to have a life-size cake version of yourself?

After looking through numerous cake magazines, we found one that is simple and very precious. We both like it a lot, although we are probably going to have 3 tiers instead of 4 as shown.

I absolutely love the bows! It adds a little something to the cake but not so much that it would look so busy. However, the bows will not be that color; they will be closer to this.

My friend Jessica and I will be making this cake sometime in the next few weeks as a practice run. Mainly to see how much it will cost for ingredients and how much time she will need to make the cake the day before the wedding. I know I said a while back that we were going to do that and we never did but this is different because we have actually chosen a cake to bake!

Picking The Wedding Flowers

It will be time to meet with the florist soon. We aren't for sure yet whether we are using our family friend Sandy or if we will use a company. Either way, we will have gorgeous flowers.

I was browsing around on Google Images to see what flowers might go well with my our color scheme.
I was looking at yellow flowers until John came and looked over my shoulder and made a dissatisfied noise. I then asked him what he was thinking and he said to do blue flowers. Not going to lie, blue flowers with blue dresses and blue napkins seemed a bit much, not to mention the blue flowers I have seen in my life weren't attractive to say the least.

Since we want orchids for the wedding, I decided to search 'blue orchids'. Honestly, I did not even know these flowers existed but let's just say John will have one happy wife if he brings these home to me.

Here are some blue orchid ideas for our center pieces:

Bridal bouquets:

Here is what me and the bridesmaids would look like (kind of):

Here is what our dessert table will look like (minus the giant twig things):

Ideas for our centerpieces:

This last picture is probably my favorite!

After looking at these examples, I really like the hints of purple and turquoise!
I e-mailed Sandy to see what prices would look like and if she would be able to do it.

I can't wait! 

Here are some links so you can check them out yourself:

Engagement Pictures

Engagement pictures are finally here! Shannon has finished our wedding website and now filling it out is up to us. I am so excited with the way these pictures turned out and unbelievably blessed that Shannon would do this for us.

There are more pictures at our website which you can now check out at:

They are also available on Shannon's wedding blog:

John and Tina are two people that know how to have fun. I know these two very well considering John is my cousin. A key feature for good life style photography is good subjects. What makes a good subject in any type of wedding photography, is the clients ability to interact with each other. John and Tina are obviously in love. This shows through their ability to laugh, banter, and be intimate no matter the setting. I believe the greatest person to marry is your best friend. John and Tina are just  that; best friends. I cannot wait to attend their wedding! It will be a joyous occasion.
                             -Shannon Vandivier

I think it is safe to say I'm living my happily ever after.