Creating Rustic Invitations with Real Bride, Ali Grace

When I received Ali and David’s save the date card for their wedding a few months ago, I knew that it had to be shared. And, unsurprisingly, the  invitations that followed were just as beautiful and unique. I caught up with Ali to learn more about the invitation evolution for her upcoming rustic wedding in Park City, Utah.

1. I was so struck by the rustic elegance in the presentation of your save the date, website, and ultimately the invitations that you chose, all so well coordinated. Which of the three did you decide on first? 

We decided on the save the date first.  I had read/heard so many times about the importance of a great invitation suite because it’s the first impression your guests will have of your wedding, but if you choose to send save the dates, then that’s actually not true! From there, it was just fun and important to us that everything felt cohesive but not too matchy-matchy.

2. How important are the invitations in setting the tone of the wedding day itself? Are there details from these that will carry over into your wedding?

Absolutely!  To me, “rustic” is really about using materials and elements that are really authentic and organic to the venue and to you as a couple.  It’s about enhancing the natural beauty of a thing or space–finding beauty in simplicity.  Park City is absolutely gorgeous, especially in the summer, so we were very careful to choose vendors that wouldn’t try to add anything unnecessary to that and, even more importantly, wouldn’t detract from it.

3. Can you tell us about the process behind conceptualizing and creating these gorgeous three-dimensional save-the-dates? It creates such a fun experience for the invited guests. 

We decided on the save the date concept after a conversation with my maid of honor Maggie about a Japanese pop-up card she had seen.  We decided that the different layers of the card should depict both New York (with the skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge) and Park City (with the tree line and mountains), as well as a fun picture of me and Dave and our beloved pup Maverick that was one of our engagement photos.  The next step was finding a great laser cutter and designer. After a whole lot of time with Google, I finally found Sarah Holbrook of Candyspotting. Working with her was so fantastic, and she truly exceeded all expectations.  We were absolutely thrilled with the outcome, and of course chose to collaborate with her again for the actual invitations.

4. Were there any challenges that came up as you made the invitation arrangements and put up the accompanying website? 

We had a lot of DIY elements.  For the save the dates, Sarah did all of the cutting, and then we ordered a custom save the date stamp and a return address stamp from Antiquaria and then stamped and embossed all of the save the dates and envelopes.  For the invitations, we designed our own stamp and had it made, then stamped and embossed the invites that Sarah designed and cut for us, added a map created by the uber-talented Lauren Spencer King, tied the two together with twine and an RSVP tag (another stamp we created), placed them into muslin bags printed with our wedding logo (also created by Lauren Spencer King), put the bags into box mailers we had lined with wood excelsior, then wrapped that with a burlap ribbon secured with a sticker that had our wedding logo on it, and finally wrapped those in kraft paper that we had stamped and embossed with our address.  Whew!!  It took is two weekends of a little assembly line, but in the end I do feel it was all worth it.  We wanted to do something different that would be fun and exciting for our guests to receive, and I think we succeeded.

5. Can you tell us about your decision to create a website?

With so many of our guests coming from out of town, and many of them turning the trip into a vacation, we wanted to have an easy reference point.  We put a lot of helpful information like a schedule of events for the weekend, hotel details, etc., but we also wanted to include some fun stuff, like information on the wedding party and a list of our favorite spots in Park City. We also really wanted to do an online RSVP system in lieu of RSVP cards to save paper and stamps, and I was thrilled with how well that worked out.

6. Your wedding is in early July of 2012. When did you start planning?

We got engaged over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, and by the end of the next week, we had booked our venue.  After the venue, we booked the videographer, photographer, and florist within the first month of us being engaged, and I’m so glad we did, because we’ve spent the past year getting to know each other and I think that will really be reflected in their work–it will be truly “us” which has always been our goal.  I’ve grown particularly close to our florist, Sarah Winward, who has really been more of an overall stylist and has greatly contributed to our vision.  We’ve been sending emails back and forth for a year now, and I can’t wait for everyone to see the amazing beauty she’s creating for our special day.

All photos courtesy of MCR PROJECTS / MCR PROJECTS.

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