Tuesday, 9 February 2016

DIY Save The Dates

I know, I know, 2017 is an incredibly long way off. Having said that, it feels like Samhuinn in Edinburgh was only yesterday and we were saying "Before you know it, it'll be Christmas!". With the storms and gales blowing up in fits yesterday, I was confined to the slow, dreary lull of a bleak and wintry indoors listening to Laura Marling's sweet voice on the record player, the occasional scratching sound of the needle on vinyl and the wind rattling our thin windows like an impatient creature, trying to get in. I found myself scrolling detachedly through my pinterest board where I was keeping some ideas back for our wedding. I came across a beautiful, water colour picture of a flower wreath that served as a wedding breakfast menu design and was inspired to pick up my paint brush and attempt my own version of the flowery wreath. 
Stationary is not something I particularly prioritise, having said that, I do like to try and make things look pretty. George and I have a rough idea of a budget in our head and it's less than half that of the average British wedding (as suggested in most wedding magazines). I had always assumed we'd make the invites and save the dates ourselves as I own paints, a scanner and George has an Adobe photoshop subscription, so there really was no reason to pay out for a company to give us templates.
I really hadn't intended to take on a DIY wedding, but with plenty of time spread out before us and a wet and blustery day keeping us indoors, designing some save the dates really did seem like a fun idea!

After an hour of building layers of paints on terrible quality A4 paper, I had a drawing which I scanned and imported into photoshop. I love using water colours, they're my favourite medium for drawing but I'm incredibly impatient so sometimes I use a design that isn't finished, could be improved upon and perhaps needs some more layers. I'll never be as good as the likes of Oana Befort or Clair Rossiter and I don't feel particularly clever or creative for lifting an idea for this flower wreath from a Pinterest pin. That said, I was in love with the feather idea and the blackberries and I've still got the proper invites yet to design which I have a few ideas for! Anyway, back to business. After everything was scanned into photoshop, I cut around the wreath design with the magic wand tool and built up a series of layers (which are super important when using photoshop). I made my background layer slightly grey, found a free texture for watercolour paper online and added that on the very top to give it the feeling of being printed on water colour. I turned it's layer type (from the drop down menu located next to Opacity) to multiply and lowered the opacity a little. I love the layers function ^_^. 
I buy font bundles from Creative Market where they are relatively affordable, if I don't paint them myself using water colour/fine line pen. Most of the fonts I used here were purchased from Creative Market a while back and had been sitting in my folder. I didn't spend any extra money making the save the dates, I used only resources I already had. I appreciate that photoshop is super expensive, and not everybody can afford it but most universities have it installed on their Macs, especially if your uni has an art & design/media/publishing course. If you're not a student, it's worth visiting your local library to see if they have it. Photoshop seems scary at first, but you can make something like this relatively easily. It's all about playing with layers and fonts. You add fonts using the text tool in the left hand column down the side; it looks like a capital T
I saved the file as a PNG for a good quality and emailed it/messaged it to some of my friends and family electronically. The real invites I'll send out in paper form so it made sense to keep this one as a little taster and save some trees by keeping it virtual. 

So the first clue about our wedding, you may have guessed from the Save the dates, is that it will take place in May 2017. We've booked the photographer and we've got a plan of what we're doing if it's fair weather (but shhh, we're not telling you everything!) - we just need a back up rainy plan. We figured that being Cornwall, there's a chance extreme likelihood that it will rain. We want everybody to have as much fun, even if the heavens open so we're working on a rain proof back up plan for the eating of food part! 

Here are some things I will tell you :) 
The theme we're going with is 'The Merry Month of May'. Interpret that how you will, I shall say no more about that for now! 
We're planning on having a great all round time and not getting too stressed about anything. We want to have fun planning this, not an aneurism. George is actually really bad at planning, when I say bad, I mean unbelievably bad. He refuses to make decisions. I feel this is typical man behaviour, I am undeterred.  Not wanting to plan everything myself however and be a Bridezilla, I've decided to just 'go with it'. The family and friends have a lot of ideas, suggestions and seem pretty keen to help out so rather than get caught up in knots trying to do everything myself, I'm going to take all ideas and suggestions on board and accept all the help I can get. Giving myself well over a year to plan this makes me feel that not only am I not having to panic about booked up vendors, but I've got plenty of time to just cruise along and tick off items on the 'to do list' at my leisure. I like to float along on my happy cloud and keep life as easy as possible, worrying is one thing that's not on the to do list! I'm feeling pretty positive about things. I've even got a dress for the registry office paper work part which we're holding on a different day because George believes that 'legal documents' and 'celebrating' should be kept separate. It also means we can be 'married before our loved ones' by whomever we choose and not a stranger! :) 
I hope a birthday party or a friend. Keep warm during the storms! 

I hope you like the save the dates and you feel inspired to make some stationary of your own, even if it's for a birthday party or a friend. Don't let the storms run you down :) I personally love them! I received many photos sent from family back home, where sea foam was covering the roads and fields like snow and flying about the villages. Can't wait to nip home next week for a visit and to see the poochies. 



  1. Hi lovely!! How enchanting your design looks. natural and whimsical just like you. We were lucky with our wedding invitations because my sister in law is a graphic designer so she did the invitations brilliantly incorporating all our favourites in a woodcut engraving artless, rabbits, owls, Jane Austenesque, cellos f/utes and my father in law took a beautiful picture of us dressed up in Regency-looking attire in a field of sheep!!x

    1. Thankyou Kezzie! :D
      My gosh, having a graphics designer sister certainly is an advantage when it comes to personalised stationary ;) Your invitations sound absolutely wonderful! From following your blog and glimpsing snippets from your life, those little motifs sound so like you ^_^ I would love to see that picture one day :D xxx

  2. These are sooo gorgeous!!! The border is just lovely :)

    hellomissjordan.com xx

  3. What beautiful invites, and congratulations!! I really feel like I need to get my watercolours out again and do some painting now because they haven't been used in ages!

    Emma xo // The Wallflower Wardrobe

  4. I love them Sarah! They're beautiful, and so personal that you designed them too! Why would you pay someone else when you're so talented! The tit bits abotu the wedding so far are exciting and intriguing, I can't wait to hear more about it! :) Alice xx


  5. Wow! I love stationary! The scan idea is great! Unfortunately my scanner is not the best one and that means that i spend more time in photoshop! Thanks for sharing! <3


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