Invitations Part 1 – Setting the Stage

Last Friday I traveled to my parents’ house with a Gocco, a Xyron, an embosser, 8 lbs. of paper, and a whole lot of anticipation!

As much as I want to jump right in and tell you all about our first experience with the Gocco, first I need to set the stage.

Nick and I love homespun wedding details, and so our invitations just had to be handmade. We also wanted to loosely tie our invitations to our Save the Dates and eventually to the rest of our printed elements.

I was introduced to the Gocco via several of the many wedding blogs I read daily. For those of you hearing this word for the first time, let me briefly explain. The Gocco is a compact screen printer made in Japan. Check out these awesome Gocco’d goods on Flickr.

The Gocco seemed like a great way to make our prints extra special. And I knew they were hard to find, so I jumped at the opportunity to get one of my own! It arrived perfectly packed with extra screens, bulbs, and inks (thanks, Amy I!). And there it sat — still perfectly packed — on my living room floor.


I had no time to experiment and no concrete idea of how we were going to use it. Instead I moved forward with the steps I felt comfortable with.

We effortlessly crafted our invitation wording. We opted for a more informal approach and included our favorite line, “Together we laugh, we dream, we love, and on this day we marry.”

We had a much more difficult time finding the perfect design element to accompany our perfect words. We searched iStockphoto page after page for trees, birds, and a combination of both until we arrived at this lovely one:

Blossoming tree, vector

We purchased the vector illustration (a must for the Gocco!) for just $10. Perfect! And, using Adobe Illustrator, we can separate various parts — like leaves and flowers — to use elsewhere.

Speaking of elsewhere, we’re planning to include the following inside each envelope: the formal invitation, an RSVP postcard, and another card for accommodations and directions.

Onto paper and envelopes. We wanted to keep with our color scheme, and I’ve always loved the presentation of pocket folds, so we ordered several samples and priced out options from Paper Source, Envelopments, and Cards & Pockets.

Cards & Pockets offered the best products and prices for what we wanted. And we took advantage of a coupon code (Nick loves coupon codes!) and saved 20%. Unfortunately it expired last week, but keep your eyes open for future deals!

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Invitations: 4 packs of 25 – 4.5 x 6.5, cream puff – $20.00
  • Invitation mats: 90 – 4.75 x 6.75, tuscan sun – $16.20
  • RSVP postcards: 4 packs of 25 – 3.5 x 5, cream puff – $16.00
  • Inserts: 4 packs of 25 – 8.5 x 11, cream puff – $14.00
  • Extra paper: 1 pack of 25 – 8.5 x 11, tuscan sun – $5.75
  • Pocket folds: 90 – candy apple – $88.20
  • Envelopes: 100 – 5.75 x 7.75, cream puff – $25.00

Total (minus S&H) is $185.15, or $2.25/invitation (for 82 invitations). This isn’t totally accurate because it doesn’t account for the Gocco and other supplies, or postage, but I think we’re doing well so far!

Shortly after we placed our order, 8 lbs. of paper arrived at my front door! (The envelopes are coming in another shipment — that’s another 8 lbs.) The texture and colors are just beautiful. I’ve never spent so much time admiring paper!

Let’s review: design, check; paper, check; tools, check.

Next up: Tackling the Gocco! Here’s a sneak peak at the fun:


Are you printing your own invitations? Did you recruit help from family and friends?