Say ‘I do’ to making your own wedding invites at a DIY workshop

The Brooklyn Paper
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In this cash-strapped economy, lovebirds about to take the plunge are planning their weddings on the cheap — and saying “I do” to do-it-yourself.

Before walking down the aisle, a half-dozen brides and grooms will roll up their sleeves, slap on an apron, grab a squeegie and screen print their own save-the-dates, invitations, place cards and thank-you notes, at a week-long DIY Wedding Workshop at the Gowanus Print Lab, Oct. 14–19.

“People have taken on the do-it-yourself ethic, and are styling their own invitations and table placements more and more,” said Ashley Hildreth, owner of Gowanus Print Lab. “There are a lot of brides who are control freaks, and want to make sure it’s done right.”

The workshop consists of five three-hour classes, during which couples create and consult on a concept, make sketches and digital templates, select the right paper, shoot the silkscreens and hand-print their invites — no experience is necessary.

The first DIY wedding workshop was held in June, and attracted three crafty brides-to-be. One had met her husband at a food co-op, and designed an invitation to mimic a grocery store receipt; another made a mixed CD for each wedding guest, and screen-printed the cardboard jackets with musical notes.

The DIY wedding workshop caters mostly to the inherently crafty, but in the midst the failing economy, creative pursuits like knitting, sewing and screenprinting are enjoying a renaissance, and even those who aren’t exactly natural born artists are eager to participate — especially if it will save a few bucks.

“There has been a cultural turn,” Hildreth said. “There are people with no experience trying to turn their backyards into farms to be more sustainable — we get people like that. It’s about having a general awareness of our society, distrust for corporations and the desire to build something tangible. Plus, it’s a beautiful break from the cubicles most people are trapped in all day.”

The DIY workshop costs $500 — plus roughly $200 for paper, which the Gowanus Print Lab sells at cost — and yields between 150 and 300 sets. At one custom design studio, the same yield would run the bride and groom over $2,730; and that doesn’t even include envelopes.

DIY wedding workshop at Gowanus Print Lab [54 Second Ave. at Seventh Street in Gowanus, (718) 788-3930], Oct. 14-19, 7 pm. For info, visit

Updated 5:26 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Erin Gallagher from Park Slope South says:
Hello! My work is featured in the photo above, and in the photo of Ashley. I love printing at the Gowanus Print Lab and I now create screen printed wedding invites for clients. You can view my work here:
Oct. 6, 2011, 2:59 pm

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