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Epic Journey: RSVP & Complaints Edition

RSVP Insights

About 2 weeks ago we took the plunge and sent out the first wave of wedding invitations! It was an exciting and terrifying feeling. Since then I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for our guests to reply, and in that time a gem appeared that made me laugh, cry, and feel a little better about RSVP’s in general. Besides the invitations going out into the world we’ve also had to deal with friends and family asking if they can bring a +1, or confirming if they are still being invited. Awkward….

Pictures of me going through the many stages of feelings sending out the invites.

Pictures of me going through the many stages of feelings sending out the invites.

My fiance and I labored over the design of the invitations, and especially the RSVP. Should we write a number in for some people? Do we leave it blank? Will they understand the envelope is addressed to two people? How do we explain no children? It was exhausting. In the end we decided on a few key things to hopefully alleviate the stress for us, and our guests.

  • We listed “and family” if there were multiple people living in the same household.
  • We wrote in 1 for single guests, or for guests that were not allowed to bring a guest due to costs/venue limitations.
  • At the bottom of the invitation we wrote *An Adult Affair* in hopes parents would get the hint we, again, have cost/venue limitations.

I realize that wedding etiquette dictates we send an invitation for every relative that is 18+. Our budget didn’t allow us enough flexibility to afford an invitation for every guest invited. If people want to get hurt over (what I feel) is a small issue it’s okay. I feel there are bigger issues to deal with. Writing in the number 1 for guests who are single or not allowed to bring a guest was a consorted effort to not have my family show up with their “Babies Mamma” whom we’ve never met, and to ensure we had room for all the friends and family we wanted to invite. We’ve tried to communicate to everyone that out budget is tight AND that our parents are paying for this special event. Therefore we don’t get the luxury of inviting only the people we want. The note for the Adult Affair was something I saw on a family members invitation, and felt it wasn’t too weird to list on our invitation as well. We went the extra step and left the __ # blank for couples and large families who we knew had more than 2 people attending. Ironically, one of my fiance’s cousins immediately contacted me to give us warning that some family members might take advantage of this small loophole… and I politely let her know that if, and when, that happens my lovely and patient fiance would be the one to call his family members to inform them of our venue limitations. 🙂 {Insert pic of me dodging a bullet}

As of today 99% of all the invitations have been mailed out. We’ve received almost 40 replies out of 150 in 2 weeks. I won’t bother to do the math, but it seems like we’re off to a good start so far.

It’s a Matter of Opinion

I recently spent an afternoon with my lovely Mother to purchase a few odds and ends for the wedding. I ranted about some of the issues we’ve encountered over the last few weeks and she patiently listened and occasionally , and methodically, implanted a few “Uh huh” moments. Gotta love my Mom’s non-subtle reactions sometimes.

As we walked into one of three stationary stores we visited that day she stopped in her tracks as she encountered a shelf of floral printed post-its and stationary. She squealed like a little girl on Christmas morning and lurched at one of the pink colored sets. I told her to go ahead and grab them, since I knew she wanted to buy them any way. She grunted that she deserved to treat herself to some personal stationary that was obviously a necessity. I simply pointed out that I was not surprised she loved them since they are, in fact, covered in pink floral patterns. Which I am not a fan of. My Mother and I have never had the same taste.

“Flowers are your thing, not mine,” I commented.

“What does that mean?” she heatedly replied.

“I mean that I think flowers are over rated, which is why I’ve decided on doing paper flowers and not waste our money on something that’s going to wither and die within 24hrs.”

“What?! Do you hear yourself? Flowers are over rated? You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

No, Mother. I know exactly what I’m talking about, you simply don’t understand where I’m coming from because, as usual, we never agree on matters such as this. *sigh* My whole life I’ve lived with homemade floral patterned curtains, floral patterned couches, and floral patterned dinnerware. I have been over floral patterns since I was old enough to pick out my own clothes. My Mother once gave me some awesome clothes for my birthday when I was in high school and when I commented on how much I loved them she simply replied with, “I knew you’d like them because I thought they were ugly.” Gee, thanks. I love you too Mom.

Now, if I can only get my hands on a paper wedding dress…. *maniacal laugh*

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Epic Journey: DIY Wedding Invitations

Two posts in one week! What the what?!

I’ve hit a rut trying to come up with a fun piece for my friends at Defective Geeks this last week, and between finishing and mailing the wedding invitations and my Mother-In-Law not being a fan of anything that is dear to my heart, I thought I might try to distract myself with another piece about the wedding.

Crafting Issues

Last week with the help of many of my dear friends we were able to finish assembling the wedding invitations and now I’m starting to number and add postage to all the designated envelopes. However, we did hit a few bumps along the way during our crafting sessions.

Before my friends showed up to help I had out all the bands that wrap the invites. I then realized they looked a little plain and made the decision to add a decorative stamp to all of them. After I had cut them all out! *face palm* I made a lot of last-minute changes to the invite that I felt made it look a little…prettier and textured. I also decided to add the same decorative stamp to the pockets (that I already cut out and made by hand!), and to the flap of the envelopes. Yay! More work. 🙂 Luckily I had a lot of awesome and patient helpers who were much faster than I was at stamping all the crap we had to put together.

After all the stamping I found another small issue: the inserts were slightly too big for the pockets. *second face palm* I had to go back and trim the edges of all the inserts to ensure they would properly fit in the pockets. Deep breath. Patience. And a lot of DVR episodes to help me keep my calm while doing monotonous paper cutting. Fortunately, I had purchased a fancy paper trimmer from Costco a while back and was prepared for this type paper challenge. Silver linings.

There were a few more issues (not big enough to have a panic attack over), but I still had a mini-meltdown mid-week and just tried to reassure myself that not everything needs to “look perfect.” Part of the charm of our handmade invitations is that they are just that: handmade. Sure the embossed stamp is a little smudged on some of the invites. So what if the inserts aren’t totally trimmed properly. I had to adopt a mantra of “It Will Be Okay” to get through the week and prevent myself from becoming a Bridezilla. This is also where having awesome and understanding friends let me commiserate about the issues I encountered came in handy. I LOVE MY FRIENDS!! They understand my neurotic tendencies and helped me calm the fuck down and just get shit done. 🙂

The last item, which I was partially prepared for, was the postage. Most wedding invitations have multiple decorative stamps to cover the postage costs of sending heavy custom stationary. I recently took my lovely finished invite, envelope and all, to weigh it and make sure we had enough. Nope. It was exactly .1 oz over the minimum for the invites to require only a First Class stamp. DAMMIT! It’s cool. All the extra 20 cent stamps I bought will be used for my new pen pal from the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club! 🙂

Instead of going to WonderCon this weekend with my fiance and friends {insert pic of me crying while all alone}, I’ll be at home drinking a bottle of wine and trying not to spill it all over my wedding invitations as I slowly number and stamp them all. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!

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Epic Journey: Invitation Designs

I’ve been an avid Offbeat Bride fan ever since I discovered their website and Ariel’s book Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternative for Independent Brides. I love love love everything they put out there on their Pintrest, Twitter, or Facebook. Which is why I used their advice when designing and ordering our wedding invitations through Vistaprint!

My fiance and I have been designing our own Christmas/Holiday card for almost five years, and I’m an organizational freak-of-nature. We decided to combine our super powers and design our own wedding invitations with the help of online printing company Vistaprint to order and print the invites. We had such good luck while ordering our Save the Date and holiday card last Christmas we figured it would be easier on our pocket books and our sanity.

First and foremost we (and by we I mean my fiance) sat down and started sketching out some small images for the invitations. He came up with several adorable drawing and I methodically tagged each one to use for every part of our stationary suite (Invite, RSVP, Info Card, Thank You cards, etc.). After a brief period of procrastination and nagging my fiance then fine tuned the images to be used for the stationary. I then scoured the internet for invitations that I loved and could use as inspiration for our own design (i.e. possibly use….without paying hundreds of dollars!). We formatted some of the stationary we ordered when checking out wedding invite samples and customized them with our own images and language. Trying to balance invite wording and design was really exhausting and took a few days of editing, fine tuning, and agreeing on what it should look like and say. My fiance had the template to work with, but when it was my turn to review I had quite a few notes on what I wanted to change [insert grumble here]. Luckily, thanks to Offbeat Bride’s extensive advice section we were able to come to terms with how we were going to deal with questions some of our guests might have about our wedding and our limitations with the venue. All of the concerns are being listed on our wedding website FAQ’s because we didn’t want to ruffle any feathers with the invite itself (i.e. Dress code, Registry info, No kids).

It then took us another 2-3 days of scouring Vistaprint’s website to find the right items, and pricing, for each piece of the stationary suite to ensure we got the best possible deal. In the end we spent around $120 total for the entire suite of 100 invites and miscellaneous items, including shipping. Hot damn!! It was worth it. Every item we selected had the option to upload our own designs, front and back, with the images we created ourselves. I’m not a fan of selecting stuff designed by someone else because I love working with my fiance on the design aspect of the invites and holiday cards we’ve done. It’s always a little stressful because I’m working with my fiance…and I can be a bit bitchy and pushy. 🙂 I’m always thinking of new ways to tweak small things and it can be time-consuming to make those small changes when you have a deadline to meet.

I have a lot of experience designing forms, invites, and other items for fundraisers and special events, but it’s a lot of pressure to get your own design on paper. The hardest moment for me was pushing the order button for our invites. I had a lot of doubt they would be printed properly and still look beautiful once we received them. After a restless night of sleep (we placed the order just before midnight!) I woke up feeling a little nauseous and still riddled in doubt. My friends and fiance reassured me they looked amazing because of all the work and love we put in to creating them ourselves, and no matter what else happens at least we didn’t spend all of our savings paying for a fancy party invite.

February, was by far the most stressful and productive month we’ve had during our wedding planning process. Not only did we both get sick we also celebrated my birthday and caught up with friends, designed and ordered our invitations, and interviewed/selected a photographer (another post about that experience next week!). The month of March is beginning and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our invitations. I wish I could show them to all of you, but alas I’m afraid it will have to be confidential for the moment because I’m afraid of it being leaked to (undesired) parties. Not you guys, of course. You’re all awesome. 😉

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