easy DIY wedding invites and time capsule guestbook

January is "sarah wants to write about her wedding" month! Last week I wrote about our awesome homemade vegan wedding food, and today I'll be showing you our homemade invitations and our time capsule guestbook!
Kevin (the husband) and I clean up pretty well (hee!), but we're pretty informal people. We got married on the porch (it was going to be the lawn, but it was really rainy) of a camp by the lake in my hometown, and had the reception inside right afterwards. With such an informal wedding, traditional wedding invitations, with their million inserts, envelopes within envelopes, and flowery language, didn't seem fitting. Since so much of our wedding was DIY, we opted to make our own invitations as well.

I began with a trip to Paper Source!
We were shooting for a guest list of 70-80 people, so we got enough materials to make 100 invitations, since 1.) we were sure there'd be a few mess-ups during the making, and 2.) we wanted extra invitations so we could invite more people as others said they couldn't make it.

We printed almost everything at home... except the RSVP cards. Our printer HATED the dark green cardstock we were hoping to use for them and spat it out all wrinkled and streaky, so we had to go with a beige-color at FedEx/Kinko's last minute. But that was pretty cheap, and we had to go there anyway to do all our cutting. (I would've just used scissors, but Kevin pointed out that I can't cut straight lines, and I think he had fun using the paper cutter there anyway.) Home to stamp everything, and voila!
Invitations! It's hard to tell in this light, but the birch trees on the invite are stamped in a metallic copper ink. I think it's so pretty!
And here's the inside of the invite. (Our wedding was at a private location, so I blurred out the name/s.)

One advantage to DIY invitations is certainly that you'll save money. The whole endeavor, even including our printing mishap that led us to FedEx/Kinko's, cost less than $120. But I would do the same thing even if it weren't more cost effective. We had a lot of fun putting together our invitations, and we were really happy with the way they looked. These weren't just store-ordered invites where we plugged in our names and dates. Making our own invitations really made them ours. They were as much "us" as the ceremony on the porch--pretty, simple, and informal.

AND I had enough leftover paper to do another project, the wedding DIY project I am still excited about: our TIME CAPSULE GUESTBOOK.
I got the idea from this Offbeat Bride guestbook alternatives post. They write about a Japanese product that lets guests write messages to put in a vial, then the couple burns a candle to seal the vial, then ten years later they burn the candle again to unseal it, and they can read the messages. I figured this would be an easy thing to DIY.
I cut up and stamped some of the paper left over from our invitations, and set them out with some nice pens next to an old mason jar. (We used mason jars as centerpieces, so this fit with our overall look.) I included a note next to it so guests would know what to do:
You can click to enlarge the image, but it says: "In lieu of a normal guestbook, we're collecting messages from our guests that we'll seal in the jar to be opened on our 10th anniversary. Please take a moment to record something (well-wishes, a memory, a message, a drawing, even just your name) to help Sarah and Kevin of 2021 remember that you were with us on our special day!"
People really seemed to enjoy writing messages, and I think this is a more fun alternative for me and Kevin... Because while I can't imagine us taking out and looking at a more traditional guestbook 10 years later, we're already excited to do that with this one.

The only catch: you have to have willpower. A bunch of people at the wedding said things like "you're not really going to wait 10 years, are you?" or "are you going to peek first?" No, you guys, that's the whole point! I don't want to open it until our 10th anniversary, it would spoil the fun! But if you can't trust yourself not to peek, you could seal it up with wax.
I am PSYCHED for October 2021.


Carrie said... Best Blogger Tips

oh wow!! I love the idea of a time capsule guest book!!

Bridget said... Best Blogger Tips

we made invites for our wedding too and i really loved having that extra personal touch. however we (perhaps stupidly) took it one step further and had a "put together the wedding invites" party complete with cocktails. which meant that some people (including my parents) ended up with some awesomely backward or upside down invites.

lesson learned, celebratory cocktails for guests -after- the invites are put together.

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

@Bridget Ha! If it's any comfort, we did it on a quiet Sunday morning listening to This American Life and still managed to do some upside-down.

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That time capsule is such a great idea. 2021 will be here before you know it:)

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Marcie Norton said... Best Blogger Tips

This is such a great idea! I love this article. Here in Indiana, we make Baby and Wedding Time Capsules to sell. You can see them at www.timecapsule.com.
These time capsules come with a Baby or Bride/Groom Profile book for the parents of the child or the bride/groom to fill out together about milestone moments in their life. Then years later the child (now adult), and couple open the time capsule and look at all the special and meaningful items saved for them (toys of that era, newspaper, souvenir from honeymoon, photos of first date after marriage, prom, graduation, etc). These time capsules also come with "Message to the Future" letters for family and friends to fill out with advice/tips for the child or married couple as they get older, or where they see them going to college, how many children they predict the couple will have, etc. What a moment it will be when that child or couple opens their time capsule and reads all those letters, especially from a grandfather who may have passed away before the child was born or couple was married.
Traditions are so important to pass on to families. Keep yours alive, by buying a time capsule from us. We want to help keep your family memories alive.
Marcie Norton
The Original Time Capsule Co.

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