7 In DIY/ Wedding

L-O-V-E ~ our save the dates (part 1)

One thing you must know about me if we’re going to be friends is


I’ve been known to spend entire trips to Target browsing the card aisle, making special detours to visit paper goods & crafting stores, and even waiting at the Papyrus door before it opened… {okay that only happened once at the 5th Ave. store because I was desperate… okay, twice}.

But, of course when you’re planning a wedding, it’s perfectly acceptable to spend hours browsing for the perfect paper goods {yay for me!} and design. And while we’re nowhere near settling on our invitations, I’m way overdue in sharing our Save The Dates. I decided to break it into 2 posts, this one focusing on how the idea arose and where we started and the next will give you the all the gory DIY-ing details!

{ the inspiration }
Not surprisingly, Pinterest played a big role throughout this process and it’s definitely the best place to start {here’s my collection of wedding paper goods on Pinterest if you need a place to start}. In all the research, I was immediately drawn to the idea of a postcard save the date. So simple, so frugal, and so fitting with our barn wedding. I also uncovered a love of all things kraft paper.

Then I discovered sites like Minted and Wedding Paper Divas that offer such incredibly unique designs at reasonable prices. I ordered my fair share of samples and was very tempted by Love Vs. Design’s postcards and some of Wedding Paper Diva’s options, as well {like this whole suite and this option}.

But, I kept coming back to the idea of DIY. I knew I could never trump some of the gorgeous designs I’d seen; still nothing felt just right. I knew I wanted to ‘play’ and feel like I had a hand in creating them beyond the click of my mouse. I toyed around with creating our own numerical banners like these…

Martha Stewart Banner Save the Date

source: Martha Stewart Weddings

But when I stumbled upon this gem, it whispered “this is it”


source: oh so beautiful paper

{ the execution }
At first, I set out to recreate Laura Coggins’ design almost exactly {imitation is the best form of flattery, right?} — plus, the mix of rustic & modern, chevron & kraft, was hands down the feel we are going for in our wedding. But, as in any good DIY project, you learn to put your own spin on it… that, and it would’ve taken me more than the 9 months I had before the wedding to learn that gorgeous screen printing technique!

Having ogled my fair share of merchandise at stores like Kate’s Paperie in Manhattan, I knew that it would come down to execution. The right paper {and the right photograph, as I learned} really does say it all. I searched high-and-low for pre-folded kraft paper but I never found something super close to the inspiration — plus, I was really stumped on the half-moon slit {how does one create that – I’d love advice if you know how!}.

Luckily I’m surrounded by a helpful team. My mom is a crafting queen {not to be mistaken for a coupon queen} and when I told her what I was looking for, the search began. She even spent some of her precious time visiting Denver on the hunt and we stumbled upon Bazzill Cardstock in ‘Rope Swing’ at Michael’s. It wasn’t quite kraft paper, and it wasn’t going to have the same punch of the chevron printed on the outside, but I simply adored the swiss dot, slightly raised pattern.

photo (30)
the perfect paper

Of course, Michael’s only had this in open stock {about 12 sheets total}, and would’ve had to make a special order to get the 100+ sheets I needed. I resorted to ordering it from Create 4 Less {and ended up saving a bit, too}. But, I will caution that it’s a good thing I didn’t need all 12×12 inches, because the paper did come with 1 corner slightly crunched.

Slightly crunched corner after shipping Bazzil Cardstockshipping damage

To give you a sense for just how dedicated I am to paper goods, I even asked one of my bridesmaids who still lives in NYC to make a special trip to Paper Presentation. She felt the various weights, explored color options helped advise me on which type of envelopes to buy — yes, the part of the invite everyone {including myself} throws out got at least 30 minutes of my attention. Hah! This picture sums its up — I mean, who really cares about these minuscule shade differences?

Envelope Choices

When it came to the photos, they were just as important, especially since I wanted my little sister’s handiwork to look as awesome on paper as they did on our computer screen. Always in a rush, we 1st tried Target – no way. We then tried Walgreen’s where you can make edits on their machine before printing – better, but still not right. Eventually we landed on Englewood Camera, a local shop here in Denver and we could not have been happier. I highly recommend them if you’re in the area and looking for the best digital printing possible {plus their online-to-print option is competitively priced}.

Want to see how we put our own spin on it? Check out my next post!

Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    our save the dates (part 2) | live more, love more
    February 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    […] ← L-O-V-E ~ our save the dates (part 1) […]

  • Reply
    let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy ~ planning a bachelorette party |
    March 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

    […] usual, invitations almost always show up on my boards {hello… I <3 paper goods} and this one is from Wedding Paper Divas, a site I just can’t get enough of.  They have all […]

  • Reply
    June 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Hi there! I know this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask.

    Does building a well-established blog like yours require a massive amount work?
    I am completely new to writing a blog but I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

    • Reply
      Jess Alayne
      June 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks so much for taking a look at my blog and congrats on starting your own! The best advice I can give you is to explore the blogosphere and regularly read other blogs that you like. They are often inspirational, helpful, and allow you to understand the types of things you’d want to be covering or writing about on your own blog. For me, my blog is my own creative outlet that serves a lot of purposes — journaling, remember events, keeping track of the work I’ve done, etc. I’m glad you stopped by and good luck as you start blogging.

  • Reply
    photo baby shower invites
    June 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put
    in writing this site. I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well.

    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to
    get my own, personal blog now 😉

    • Reply
      Jess Alayne
      June 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment. I have a great time writing and sharing my life, especially wedding and party planning. I wish you the best of luck in your own blog – I’m sure you’ll find it to be fun and therapeutic!

  • Reply
    step by step ~ tips for DIY wedding invitations | live more, love more
    July 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    […] I mean, I’ve explained how obsessed I am with paper goods {case in point: our save the dates part 1 and part 2} and I clearly love doing design work. So, it’s probably no surprise that our […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.