Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A String of Pearls: Shower Invitations

One of my best friends from high school is getting married in March and her three Texas bridesmaids are throwing her a bridal shower in our good ole' hometown.  Even though none of us lives there anymore, lol.  Because I am stuck in L.A., unable to actually make it to the shower, I volunteered to do the invitations:
The scanner bleached the color of these invitations. Also, the various lighting conditions under which I took pictures of the invitations caused wild color variations to appear throughout the post. Sorry for this.

JJ's wedding colors are Tiffany blue and white, and we decided to use her wedding colors for the shower as well so it would feel in theme with her suite of bridal events.  But, just to be different, we added pops of red and pink throughout; this works especially well since the shower will be two days before Valentine's day.  And because pink is pretty.  And romantic.  Like us.

JJ's personal style trends toward retro elegance- think Jackie O. and Audrey Hepburn. She prefers cocktail length dresses and often wears a string of pearls. Once she gave me Amy Vanderbilt's book of etiquitte from 1955, and we sat around reading it.  Don't give me that look- it was both hilarious and informative.  That's the kind of people we are.  Because she is that type of person (awesome), she requested a shower that felt like a tea-party.  Tres chic!  Because of this I decided to go with a pearl motif on her shower's invitations.  I like to think that they reflect the bride's style.

These are the supplies I used to make the invitations:

Michael's "Recollections" invitation sets, flowers punched using Martha Stewart "hydrangea" punch and card- stock in pink, shiny heart stickers, a small paint brush, glue, a mechanical pencil, and acrylic paint in white and champagne metallic . 

Luckily for me, Michael's carries sets of invitatons and matching envelopes- some in fold-able card form, and some in single pieces (ironically called "cards") of cardstock - in a color that's close to the elusive Tiffany's-robin'segg-mermaid bluegreentealturquoise of J's wedding.  I went to dafont.com to download (for free) a font that looked like it would be appropriate for a vintage retro tea-party.  Next, I formatted the invite on MS Word, changed the quality settings on M's printer to get the darkest black available, and then printed them out:  Easy peasy!   

To make the strings of pearls I used acrylic paint in white and champagne metallic- equal parts each- and then the eraser of an unused mechanical pencil as a stamp.  On the back, to emphasize the different salient points, I stamped three extra "pearls".  This was my favorite part of this project.  The eraser on the pencil even happened to curve a little in the middle, creating the effect of roundness to the pearls. 

Earlier in the year I bought a Martha Stewart craft punch- "hydrangea"- just because I wanted one; thanks to the invitations, I finally got to justify use it!  I punched out two pink flowers per invitation.  I can now report that it is the easiest craft punch I've ever used; it also imparts joy!  Still waiting on the riches.

I glued the flowers to the invitations to fill empty spaces I'd left in the wording, and painted designs or "seeds" in the center of each flower.
This is was a project that required a lot of time to sit around waiting for things to dry:

Finally, I used heart stickers to help secure the invitation, and King and Queen of Hearts stamps to pay for the postage. I like the outside of invitations to be pretty too.  That way people know they just received something special.  Yay for love and mail! 

See what I mean about color variation?  The lighting in my apartment at night is very yellow, which bleaches my photos.
Random rant fun fact:  You know how invitations ask you to RSVP?  RSVP is an abbreviation for "répondez, s'il vous plaît"- which basically means- please reply- but in French.  Because the French invented etiquette.  Or were better at it.  Or something. 

Anyway.  When you receive an invitation that asks you to RSVP you should respond, according to Amy Vanderbilt, within three or four days, whether you will be attending or not.(1)  This is in contrast to the informal- "Regrets Only" also used on invitations- which assumes you will attend unless you say otherwise.  It's never cool (or correct) to use no response as a way of saying no.  Because then whoever invited you will be afraid that you will show up at the last minute and- being unaccounted for- have no chair or food.  Which would be sad.  A travesty really.  Even though you deserve it for not RSVPing. 

If you were like that.  Which none of you are.  Thank Goodness!   

1. Dunnan, Nancy; Vanderbilt, Amy; Tuckerman, Nancy.  The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette, 50th Anniversary Edition.  Random House, Inc., 1995. p. 208.


  1. Beautiful!! Your friend is lucky to have you! Further proof that you can have swanky/awesome things without paying too much money if you are creative and have some patience!

  2. Thanks PLadd! Creativity and Patience FTW!