I actually based the look of the main invitation on the bat mitzvah invitations my mom created for me (and later the ones she created for my brother's bar mitzvah). Both times she put the ceremony details on a piece of vellum, and underneath, so you could see it through the text, was our first initial. (But here, instead of a single letter I used our monogram.) She attached it all to a piece of colored cardstock (I believe a purple-ish pink for me, and blue or green for my brother) and "sewed" them all together with a piece of ribbon. (I still remember being at sleep-away camp and my mom mailing me several ribbon samples telling me to mail back the one I wanted her to use.) It's been years since I've actually seen one of our invitations, but obviously it was something I haven't been able to forget, and I think I captured the memory quite well.
In the process of "sewing" the invite
"You needn't be "honoured" to invite people-you can be "pleased" or "happy" or "delighted." Their "participation" might be as important to you as their "presence." You might decide to invite people to "dance at" your wedding rather than just "attend.""Since the boy & I (or mainly him) are paying for the bulk of the wedding (along with very generous contributions from various family members), I had both of our names next.
As you'll probably notice by looking at our monogram the boy doesn't use his first name. But coincidentally both my middle name and his first name start with the letter "A". I had originally planned on creating an ampersand that not only looked like an "and" sign but also an "A". (Bridesmaid Chicago even took the time to design something that we could have used.) But when I started creating the invitation the idea of actually designing a new image seemed a little daunting to me. Instead I went through every font on my computer to find an ampersand that could work. That font was Edwardian Script, and I think if you look at the shape long enough you can find an "A" or two.
With our parents' names, I knew I didn't want to leave my mom off. Traditionally I've just seen invitations that list those who are still alive, but when I saw Mrs. Hawk's invitation wording, I knew listing her as "the late..." was the perfect solution.
I included the Hebrew date of our wedding next, again a line from The New Jewish Wedding seems to explain this choice best.
"Don't be afraid to use Hebrew. A transliterated word or a few clearly translated words used in the tesxt or graphic design informs your guests that Jewish tradition will be honored at your wedding. And don't worry about confusing people with the unfamiliar; in general, both non-Jews and Jews are far more intrigued than intimidated by the presence of Jewish elements in an invitation."For the time listed I have quarter after the hour shown. But secretly the ceremony starts at the half hour. I figured that showing a time 15 minutes early would help to stop late arrivals.
I did think about blurring the address of our wedding location, but thought since you already know where we're getting married, it would only take a brief google search to discover the address.
For the last line, I used the first quote I showed you from Diamant's book again for inspiration. I felt that including dancing as well as dinner, would give a better feeling of the reception I'm hoping to have.
While I've talked a lot about where each aspect of the invitation came from, I haven't really touched on the design. I actually used Adobe InDesign to design the entire invitation suite, and what I think is more impressive is that until I started these I had never even opened it. Basically I used Miss Wizard's InDesign tutorial and googling my way through any stumbling blocks. I'm not going to attempt to give any type of design help since I still don't really understand it. But again coming from someone who had never even opened InDesign before, until I came up with my own invitation suite, tells you exactly how helpful her tutorial was to me.
I had actually planned on using the post to explain the inspiration behind our inserts as well, but considering I've already written a novel I'll stop here and leave that to the next time.
And if you're already design (or have started designing) your invitations, where are you drawing your inspiration from?