When we first started planning the wedding, we began accumulating things we thought might be useful: for design ideas (sort of a lookbook, but a collection of objects and not just pictures); for the reception itself (decorations); or for the guestbook (a surprise).
Once I started putting all those things together into an idea for the invitations, I kept coming back to some vintage souvenir folders we had bought from eBay, featuring illustrations of various DC sites. In trying to figure out a use for the images I had scanned from one of them, I hit on the idea of an era-appropriate guide book for DC. The invitations themselves came together quickly after that (PDF).
To go along with that guide book theme, I modified this Esso map from 1942 from the BIG map blog to remove the pointer to the Standard Oil Building and replace it with a pointer to our venue (JPG). Including the map gave me the opportunity to add the “full color map included” declaration to the invitation itself for extra authenticity. The back of the map is our info card with details for the ceremony and reception and information about the hotel (PDF).
For the response cards I reserved an image of the Jefferson Memorial from the same souvenir folder I had used for the invitations (JPG). And here’s the back of the response card (PDF). The response cards include a link to the RSVP function on this very web site. This function is connected to our guest list to keep out casual snoops.
For the printing we used Vistaprint and were very happy with the results. We were lucky that the USPS introduced commemorative stamps to celebrate the centennial of the cherry blossoms in DC, with illustrations of either the Washington Monument or the Jefferson Memorial. These stamps were perfect for our invitations.
The invitations have been very well received. We are happy to share them with you.