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Wedding Planning: Homemade Destination Invites

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Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Well we just booked our trip in September to Hawaii to check out the place we are considering having our wedding and reception at. We will stay for a week, and I have a bunch of backup venues to check out in case this one does not pan out. I also am working on getting proposals from vendors beforehand so that we can visit and pin down details while we are there (e.g. taste the cake, the food, listen to the music). Hopefully by the time we come back we will be relaxed AND well on our way to planning a wedding!! Since I can''t really do TOO much until then, I''ve turned my boundless energy to trying to think about the theme and blah blah ..colors..etc etc. Oh and trying on some dresses in the meantime. Don''t like anything!

So speaking of color and theme and that, I''ve focused on invites. I found this amazing destination wedding site that has some great ideas for invitations. www.redbliss.com. It has packages made up for the destination wedding, e.g. all the info you''ll need to know vs the other sites that just have the invite and the reply card. But that got me thinking. Since I''ve done crafty work in the past and that gave me some ideas. Why spend $12 per set of invitations (40 invites...starts to add up!) and not get menus or programs or anything in the same theme...when I could try to hopefully make them myself?

I found some great websites, and ordered some cool papers. Pulled out all my old stamping and crafty tools...and got to work.

I''ve attached the three fruits of my labor. These are just samples and the dates and times and all that are not legit...the idea is that there''d be an invite, an accomodations/travel card, a response card, and maybe a ''visit our wedding website to stay updated'' card. I will also enclose maps, directions, etc etc...chances are all of this is going into a ''pocket fold'' (E.g. where the invite is in the middle and the invitation opens outwards and there is a pocket for all the other information--so they keep it all in one place.

There is a clear favorite amidst all of those who have seen the work so far. Keep in mind we are going for a casual personal feel but still somewhat elegant. We are talking Hawaii...so which one do you think conveys that the best?! The pink is in there because we were considering the pink and white orchids that are so popular (pinky purple), and that would tie in with the color of the invites. The greens are because I love neutrals and greens to me mean islandy and lush. Plus it doesn''t commit to a ''color'' theme or anything if we don''t decide to really have one.

Thoughts?!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Took out our last names just in case any internet psychos get ahold of this!


mara tan invite anon.jpg
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Oh and by the way..my real name is Margarita for those who notice the invite...


Mara rose invite anon.jpg
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
The green in this one is slightly LESS green than the picture took...I think the lighting was a little bright.

bamboo green invite anon.jpg
 

PaulaW

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
632
Hi Mara!!
They are ALL very well done (and this is coming from an art director!). I have to say that the last one really stands out for me - very tropical!
I'm not engaged yet, but have already decided that a destination wedding is the way we're going to go too - nothing like putting the cart before the horse! I will pay very close attention to your findings and always read your posts with great interest - you should definitely consider diamonds for your next career!
Anyway, good luck to you and congratulations! I hope the place you picked works out for you!
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
Mara, again, a girl after my own heart. We made my sister's wedding invite, I'm working on my cousins and I am definitely making my own. I have also made baby shower invites and I make my own occasion cards. I like the first and third invitations! I'm so impressed.

BTW, I did catch that your name is Margarita, interesting.

Also, a girl here at work got married in Kauai and said her everything was great, do you want me to get the name of her caterer? She keeps telling me if we decide on Kauai that I have to try her caterer, that she thought of and took care of everything and then some.

I can also give you the best website for paper-I just bought mulberry paper for my cousins invites and you won't believe how little it cost.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Thanks Paula...from an art director that means alot!!

The third invitation is the one that I feel works the best for the island theme. It also got RAVE reviews from everyone who has seen the pix or the invite in person...so I think that may be the winner..maybe with a few small variations. The cool thing is that I can also make the Save the Date's similarly, and then also have a personalized menu for the wedding as well as the programs. Don't want everything to look the same persay, but it can all have a similar theme...and it will be less to make it all myself than it would to just buy the invites from redbliss.com (though her stuff is gorgeous!!). I am even considering doing this on the side after the wedding...because its so much fun. I could make my own little website and cater to brides and mothers etc. Not everyone wants to make their own but some want the look and feel of handmade. Could be fun! We'll see!

Lanee--PLEASE do get the name of the Kauai caterer for me. I have some vendors already from some other brides on theknot who are doing what we are doing too, but one more never hurts. I just got a preliminary estimate from one caterer and I almost fell off my chair. No way are we paying $100 per head which is what we'd pay here in the Bayarea...I want it to be cheaper there. So we'll have to move some things around, buffet instead of sitdown--that type of thing. I was expecting around $70 per head but not $100!

This paper website I found is http://handmade-paper.us/. A 20x30 sheet of that cool bamboo paper on the 3rd invite is only something like $4.00 and that size makes around 10-15 invites from one sheet. NOT BAD at all!! The website has tons of other papers (over 1700!), you should definitely check it out. Shipping was reasonable, there is really no minimum order (I ordered $30 of diff papers to just try some stuff out) and shipping was very fast.

Oh you should also check out http://remoteassistance.com/ as they have the Envelopment lineup, and you can get pocketfolds and the like (e.g. to wrap everything up for mailing very nicely!) for something like $1.50 per. I found them on another site for something like $20 EACH. Ridiculous! Their min order is $40-50 I believe...but I will meet that easily with my pocket folds and envelopes (they even have 7x7 which are hard to find around here). Also this website has a huge design gallery with tons of ideas for making invites, and also recipes for how to make them (e.g. this invite was made with a 7x7 envelope, a 5x6.5 card etc...its so helpful).

 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Canadian---precisely why I gave myself the nickname Mara in college and never looked back!!!
Too many bar jokes--though it was a great way to weed out the duds in potential boyfriends...bad drink joke earned them the door straightaway!
 

canadianice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
82
D'Oh! My lame sense of humour "weeded me out" again!


I'm outta this BrideZilla WorldWide forum.

What was I doing here in the first place?

Off to find bar lime and tequila!


P.S. Great invites though, Mara...
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003

----------------
On 6/26/2003 2:16:35 AM canadianice wrote:
D'Oh! My lame sense of humour "weeded me out" again!


I'm outta this BrideZilla WorldWide forum.

What was I doing here in the first place?

Off to find bar lime and tequila!


P.S. Great invites though, Mara...----------------
Yeah who let the *guy* in here anyway?!
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
That's the site for paper. I love it. Thanks for the envelope website- I definitely will check it out.
 

canadianice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
82
On 6/26/2003 12
8:42 PM Mara wrote:
----------------
Yeah who let the *guy* in here anyway?!

----------------
Originally, I was going to write "Mmmmm... Mara" but I didn't want Greg or *gulp* Richard Sherwood to hunt me down...

I'm now inspired to design my own invitations!
Something in "coral"...
Ta Ta!
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
WOW, Mara! A couple great websites! I'm passing them on to my daughter's swim coach. They are shopping for unique invites for their Christmas wedding!
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
Mara here is the caterer information.

DJ Star
PO Box 167
Anahola, Kauai, HI 96703
877-828-1700
[email protected]

I think they have a web site also under "heavenly creations"
 

cbunce

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2003
Messages
1
Mara,
Are you really planning your wedding at Waimea Plantation Cottages? I ask because I am! We're renting the Manager's House for the weekend of June 5, 2004 and having a plated dinner for 16 with a jazz band after a short ceremony.
Have you had any luck with other vendors - photo, officiant, florist, etc.? I've gotten a couple of quotes from caterers - the Heavenly Creations one that the other poster mentioned and Contemporary Flavors in Lihue (chef is Mark Oyama). They were a little higher than I expected but I was planning the food to be one of the big costs... What caterer did you get the $100pp price from?
I've spoken with Gelston Dwight (photographer) but he made it seem like he couldn't photograph inside at all (which is where everything is going to be happening for me)! Not much luck in finding officiants (non-denom.) or florists yet... especially on the West-side. We live in Oahu so that makes it a little easier but I'm still doing most things on the web because we have to pay long distance to call the other islands. We should exchange info (or keep posting here) as we get more info.
I am also making my own invites, but I haven't really started on that yet - you've got some great ideas though! I like the green the best as well. I'm trying to keep my invites to a traditional sized envelope though so I don't have to pay the extra postage.

Look forward to hearing from you,
Carrie
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Hi Carrie!

Yes we are planning on Waimea Plantation Cottages as well...though we will see when we go visit in September if it's really the place we want to be at. We are a little concerned about the wild roosters, so we'll see if they really overrun the place or are just in a few areas.

I am working with Contemporary Flavors as well. First off, I have TONS of info on them, they priced us out at exhorbitant rates (they are the $100 per person costs I quoted) for a plated dinner of 30-40..and then when I decided to go buffet after talking to a knottie who is using them too, they still priced me out at something like $85 pp. So I got more info and went back to them and told them my friend was getting a deal at something like $50 pp for almost the same food. So the last quote I got was much better, around $60 pp which is great. Lots of diff foods and pupus for 45 min too..and a bartender and all service. So we are meeting with them in September as well and hopefully will taste their food, definitely tasting their cakes.

Though for cakes I got a great referral on Cakes by Suzi or smoething like that. I have their info at work. They did the cake for Matt Le Blanc and his wedding, and their prices are GREAT. We will most likely get our cake for around 40 people at around $200. A small cost in the scheme of things!!

For photographer, we are most likely bringing our own from home so I can't be too much of help there. Our photographer here who we found before we decided to do Hawaii told us that he would split all expenses with us which makes him super attractive. We loved his work and he is such a great person, we really loved talking to him...our meeting with him was something like 3 hours over coffee. Very down to earth, reminds the fiance of one of his best friends from college.

Anyway--I also have a DJ that was referred to me by my knottie friend as well. They are $700 or something like that for 5 hours, both ceremony and reception (and cocktail hour). Not too bad. More than I wanted to spend but I don't feel like running around looking for a better deal, esp on a destination thing like this. We are going ot meet with him as well in September.

Thats pretty much all I have done so far! I would like to meet with some florists while in Kauai, I have a few leads..and see how much all of that would cost. I want orchids which can be pricey, so if the cost is exhorbitant, definitely not doing that. Plus I want to get a feel for the island and then find florists close by because Mr. Flowers told us they are on the other side of the island and don't work the Waimea area. Boo. So I figure once we get over there, I can finalize details like this or at least help narrow it all down.

We are most likely renting out many of the cottages in Waimea, our wedding is in May..probably early May of next year. We will probably rent out the Managers cottage for my parents, sisters and fiance and myself. Then everyone else can get their own cottages and we don't have to worry about dealing with their accomodations. We considered the private route but decided not to go that way (renting a private house somwhere) because we couldnt fit everyone and then I would need to deal with other accomodations for people. This way everyone is all in one place and its done! It also makes things like the scheduled trips (e.g. snorkeling one day and spa day the next etc) easier if everyone is hailing from the same starting point. I got 25% off our cottage for our trip in September and hope to get similar deals for our guests since we are bringing in a group. I also have a travel agent who worked with my maid of honor's brother at his Maui wedding last year working for us trying to get us airfare discounts and car rentals discounts.

So anyway thats the scoop for now. I am not in a huge hurry yet, esp since until we go to Kauai in Sept, I can't finalize anything anyway. If we love the WPC..which I hope we do because it seems perfect for us from a convenience and beauty standpoint...then we can sign on the dotted line while there, finalize catering, DJ, cake and florists on our visit. Then we come back and the REAL fun begins, save the dates, invitations, finalizing a dress etc.

Funny I actually like the destination thing somewhat because it makes it easy for me NOT to be extremely anal and controlling about things. When everything is so far away, you *have* to relax...and know that some things may need to be handled onsite a few days before etc. So for right now I am amazingly relaxed about it all..but we'll see!

I will keep you posted on what I learn and we should stay in touch via email as well or private message. I plan to let my knottie friend know what the results of our visit are (catering and DJ mostly and maybe cakes) and will keep you posted too. One of the best things about the internet is that it makes things like this possible. I really think a destination wedding would not even be an option for us if we didn't have the internet and people to talk to and get ideas from, and also help with the details. I never would have gotten the Contemporary Flavors quote so low if I hadn't had my friend to let me know what they were paying. And she won't know how their food tastes until her wedding day unless I tell her. So it's an interesting mix and the info sharing is extremely helpful!


Oh and one more thing..on the officiant...my best lead so far is to use a coordinator for that. I emailed one of the popular ones (Bali Hai maybe) and asked if we could 'piecemeal' a package using only a few of their services. Most particularly, I wanted the officiant, the help with the marriage license and a videographer (don't want anything super fancy, just the basics on tape). They said sure and quoted us a decent price. Something like $200 for the officiant and license help and I think $350 for videography which is fine. So I think we may just do that. They also said they could help with flowers so I may see what sort of quotes they can get and then see what I get on my own and choose the best price. Plus the coordinator can help with small items you can't do while you are here. Their services come with their packages, so with that $550 I'd get some sort of service, even if it isn't dedicated, etc. Since I have most of the basics covered, I am not too concerned, but the coordinator may come in handy helping with little details etc. We'll see. I'm not sold on the coordinator yet..but it could handle your officiant problem most likely.

Sorry for such a long post!
Off to bed with me now.
 

XvOrlyBearvX

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2003
Messages
33
Hey wow it looks like you have much planning I just want to tell you www.TheKnot.com has advice EVERYTHING you can think of about weddings creative and cheaply. This site is sooooo good.

It has:
-Theme wedding ideas
-A checklist for you from a year away from the wedding to the wedding day
-Reception Sites,Cakes dress and everything else in the cities section (even for Hawaii I just looked)
-Advice from other brides
-Everything!

I am really familiar with this site any questions
ask but i REALLY suggest you check it out I love the site!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Figured I'd update my post today...we are headed off to Hawaii tomorrow for a week. YAY..we are so incredibly excited, Greg even told his work that he wasn't bringing his laptop...first time in 3 years he has been unplugged. We have spent all weekend relaxing and getting ready for MORE relaxing next week.

I have all of my proposals from vendors and about 5 meetings setup with the ones we know we want to use. We have 2 cake tastings, we have catering to taste and sign, I am getting my hair and makeup done..the list goes on. I figure we will use the first 3 days or so to really relax and do our own thing without worrying about hassles. So I have scheduled all the appts for the last 2-3 days on the island when we will be more interested in floating around and visiting anyway. I will take many many pictures for the family and friends here, esp of the place we are staying at so that they can see real pix of the property and cottages.

So anyway, we'll be back in about a week....have fun without me and I will think fondly of the board as I drink small girlie umbrella drinks by the oceanfront pool. YAAAAAH!

 
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