First. Printing. We decided to have the invites printed by a professional. We couldn’t afford engraving (seriously, who can? It’s a fortune!!!), but we were able to use thermography (raised letter printing). The invites turned out beautifully. BUT, I designed a fancy schmancy little monogram to go at the top of the RSVP cards. I LOVED it. But when I saw it in person I was horrified. I’d forgotten that there was a scrolly design already printed on the RSVP paper. It looks uber busy. Of course, Mom, Dad, J and a dear BM all told me it looked fine and I was overreacting (who moi??!), but I’m still disappointed in the way they turned out. My only consolation, they’re RSVP cards, so they’ll get sent back to my folks!
Secondly. Direction Cards. We needed direction cards. Our ceremony and reception are in two different locations, we needed TWO sets of directions, and I didn’t really know how I wanted to approach this. I went to wedding mapper and tried my hand at my own maps inspired by wedding bee (if I would have stuck with these, I'm sure my guests would have ended up in East Zimbabwe for the wedding, and Alaska for the reception), nothing looked right. I finally decided to ditch the map idea all together and just print out the directions. Happily, I went about double sided printing both sets of directions on the perforated direction cards that came with our invitation set. Uh. Oops. You CAN’T double side print on perforated cards. I had no idea. So, back to square one. I ditched the perforated cards and bought 4x6 card stock at Hobby Lobby. I double sided printed those, 2 per card, and then had them cut at Office Max for under a dollar and it took maybe one minute! Seriously, if you need a big set of anything cut, take them to Office Max pronto!
Thirdly. Typing. I don’t know how to merge one document into another, so I spent an entire evening typing my guest list’s addresses into Avery label templates. And that was just MY guest list. Dad spent an entire evening typing his list too. My eyes grew crossed and my head started to spin. My heartfelt apologies if your label has some poor misconfiguration of your name on it!
Fourthly. Stuffing. I spent a whole other evening stuffing direction cards and RSVP cards into 150 invites. Thankfully, my beloved Cardinals were on tv. Envelope stuffing, Card's baseball, and Imo's Pizza/toasted ravioli. If you're from St. Louis, I've just described your image of heaven (sans envelope stuffing, I hope!)
Fifthly. The bows. I told my mom that the bows that came with the set weren’t critical. We could just leave them off. It’d save us a lot of work and they wouldn’t be missed. Mom liked the bows. So, I started tying them on the invitations. Mom said something along the lines of “can’t you get them to look normal”, I couldn’t. But she could, hers looked like perfect little Martha Stewart bows, so she took over the bow tying task. 9 days, and a finger blister later, she has 150 perfectly tied bows. (actually, some people might not have gotten bows.... maybe it was more like 30 perfectly tied bows... but they are PERFECT.)
Mom (Momtha Stewart)'s Perfection:
Sixthly (I’m making up words). The label putting on. Our invites are black. So we needed labels, as I mentioned thirdly, we printed them on Avery templates. Avery templates are wonderful. But they don’t actually put the labels on for you, where's Mr. Avery for that?? You have to do that yourself. ;-p hehe! Well, Mom had to do that herself. I was back in Birmingham by that time. Another. Day’s. Work. (PS. Thanks for all your hard work, Mom!)
Seventhly. Work invites. All the aforementioned hard work doesn’t count the invites we’re giving friends from work (J and I work together). We decided to do those separately, since we only had 150 fancy invites. We got 2 sets of black and white damask(ish) invites from Gartners. I took a bunch of the extra sillyly printed RSVP cards with me to stuff in the work invites. Oops, they are done in raised lettering. I can’t send out raised letter RSVP cards and flat invites. So, I sent off the work invites to a printer in Birmingham (didn’t get nearly the good deal we got in St. Louis!) for them to be done in thermography as well. Still waiting on those. And then the long, tedious task starts all over! Thank goodness there aren’t any bows on those!
The moral of this story. It might cost a teensy bit more. But don’t DIY your invites. Seriously, who needs the headache... or the blisters. You could order your invites, and they could arrive in a box, neatly, completely at your door.