Why NOT to DIY Wedding Invitations!

A friend recently shared this photo with me and I burst out laughing because it is SO TRUE!

I can’t tell you how many brides come to me with the same story … “I tried to make my own invitations, but it was just too frustrating!”  Or…”I tried to do my save-the-dates…I will NEVER do THAT again!”

While Pinterest is a great tool for brides, it can also be very deceiving. Everything is made to look “simple.” How many pins have you seen for “Easy DIY Wedding Invitations?” The wedding invitations in the picture look amazing, so you click the link only to discover that the title is misleading. A more appropriate title would be:

“101 Steps for Creating Mediocre Wedding Invitations”

Some brides aren’t scared by a long list of steps, so they decide to carve out the necessary time and energy to attempt their own wedding invitations thinking “How hard can it be?” What they don’t expect is the headache that comes with it… there are so many things that can go wrong! Every step becomes an obstacle…

Just see what this bride had to say about her DIY experience!

“I spent hours in Word trying to design the perfect invite (if I only knew then…) and fighting to try and get it to do what I wanted … I came up with this elaborate (and looking back on it, kinda ridiculous) design that involved snowflake printed clear wrap, vellum, standard paper, etc.  My only option for adhesive seemed to be spray glue. I spent a huge amount of time assembling these invitations, making a mess of pretty much everything, getting cat hair stuck to my invites, everything stuck to my floor, and generally using any and every curse word I could come up with to describe this project. I spent hours and hours printing a myriad of different inserts, wasting tons of paper because of my crappy printer and lack of proofreading, alternately wanting to cry and run away. But, I was stuck with it. (And that’s not all!) Having to design completely different invites because we decided to invite work friends and I had no more paper. Having invitations start falling apart before they were even sent because of using spray glue. Having to send envelopes out with spelling mistakes because I hadn’t bothered to order extra. It went on and on…

When it was all over I swore I would NEVER, EVER do it again (and to this day I often say to clients that if I were to have another wedding, I would hire someone else to create my invitations). I had spent somewhere around $1500-2000 on my wedding stationery, and WAY too much time, and I could have easily used that same amount of money to have something fantastic done by an honest-to-goodness stationer. I hadn’t taken into consideration the real cost of DIY.” (Click here for the complete disaster story from The Invitation Blog at Hip Ink.)

BUT WAIT, there’s more! Many other brides share similar DIY experiences… I couldn’t help but smirk while reading “The Great Wedding Invitation Disaster of 2009.” And ANOTHER…”You’re Invited (Part I): A DIY Invitation Disaster.” This bride had so much trouble with her “DIY adventure” that she had to write about it in TWO parts!! See “You’re Invited (Part II): Assembling the Troops” to read about the rest of the mess she endured! The list of DIY invitation disasters is endless!

In just those three stories alone, the list of potential problems for DIY wedding invitations is a long one: spending hours in word processing, reformatting templates again and again and again, having to completely re-do initial designs, paper colors not what expected, having to re-order (for a fee), spray glue (enough said), messy assembly, spending more hours printing, wasting paper, spelling errors due to lack of proofreading, running out of supplies, invites falling apart before they even reach the mailbox, problems with printing companies, text smudging, throwing away invitations, paying for a second printing, and even invitations blown away in the wind!!

Not to mention other problems I’ve heard brides lament about when attempting to DIY: printing invitations upside down, making millions of trips to the craft store, frustrations over learning new design software, assembly taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r, printers jamming and/or running out of ink, and of course many tears shed over these seemingly-menial-but-still-so-important-wedding-details.

The list could go on and on and on! Think you’re saving time and money?? THINK AGAIN!

Brides who contact me quickly realize that allowing a professional to handle the job allows them to relax, knowing that the finished product will look far better than anything they could make on their own! Plus, it frees them up to focus on other important wedding decisions. There’s just so much to do — why add the stress of designing and assembling invitations too? Take it from me (I know how much time and energy it takes to make beautiful invitations!)… this is one thing you will be glad you didn’t take on yourself!

It’s your special day! Let your invitations reflect how important your wedding truly is. We at ‘RSVP to me’ would love to assist you by creating custom wedding invitations for your upcoming celebration! Share your vision with us and we can create it!


Five Tips for Writing the Perfect Thank You

Your wedding day went off without a hitch and after enjoying a honeymoon in bliss, its time to tackle the dreaded thank-you card notes. With digital media at our fingertips, saying “thank you” couldn’t be easier, however it’s important to thank your guests properly with a well written thank you note. If you’re at a loss for words, we’ve compiled five helpful tips to assist you in writing the perfect thank you card.
Custom monogram thank you stationery designed by RSVP to me
1. Get organized: Use your invitation guest list as a way to document gifts received and as a checklist to track written thank you notes. Don’t forget to choose custom stationery that reflects your personality. This is a great opportunity to utilize your NEWLY married monogram!
2. Share the work: You’re a married couple now, so tackle this first task as newlyweds together. It will not only make that stack of thank you’s less overwhelming, but it gives you an opportunity to spend time together.
3. Be Personal: No need to be formal when writing your thank you cards. In order for the thank you to be heartfelt, be conversational in your writing. You can tie in a memorable part of the wedding or explain how you used or plan to use the wedding gift. Don’t mention the dollar amount for monetary gifts, however it’s always a nice gesture to tell guests how you plan on spending the money. For example, “Thank you SO much for your generous and thoughtful gift! We can’t wait to use our new crock pot and hope you will join us at a future dinner party!” OR “Thank you for attending our wedding day. It means SO much to us that you were able to be there and share in our celebration!”
Custom monogramed thank you stationery in bronze paisley print

4. Handwrite your thank you notes, be legible and proofread to check for errors.

5. Attempting to write all of your thank-you notes in one sitting is not a good idea. It’s possible that your guests will see poor penmanship and even more mistakes, such as misspellings and poor grammar. Set realistic goals and keep things in perspective by writing about ten thank you cards a night.

Remember, guests want to feel that you went the extra mile for them, after all, they took time out of their lives for you. Authentic and heartfelt thank you cards can go a long way. Happy writing!

Age Old Tradition – Tossing the Bouquet

            There are countless joys in planning (and attending!) a wedding, like the meaningful participation in age-old customs and traditions. The institution of marriage alone has been around for as long as history can recall, so it’s no wonder that a wedding involves a handful of classic rituals.

            One such practice that has always intrigued me is the throwing of the bouquet. You know the scene: the bride is at her reception, facing her back to all of her single female guests who eagerly wait for her to toss the bouquet in the air. The flowers fly in slow motion as the women reach their hands out, shoving one another and keeping their eyes on the prize. Finally, one of them catches the bouquet, shrieks in excitement and accepts a bunch of forced congratulations from the envious ladies who drag themselves back to their tables in defeat.
            The custom suggests that the woman who catches the flowers will be next to wed, which might explain the eager batch of bouquet-hungry women who participate in the practice. But, the meaning of the climactic catch originates from the historic belief that the bride is saturated with good luck and fortune on her wedding day.
             In 14th century Europe, guests were so enthralled with getting their share of this ethereal luck that it was customary to actually rip and tear at the bride’s dress, in hopes of taking home a physical piece of her, and sub sequentially some of her good fortune. However, the idea of people pulling and grabbing at a beautiful wedding dress is anything but ethereal. In today’s world, that just won’t do. While the modern day, fabulous bride may be all about sharing her luck with family and friends, there’s just no way that they’re getting near her Vera Wang with lace appliqué. Forget it.
            So naturally, we’ve adapted. Cue the tossing of the bouquet. It’s a less messy way for the bride to share her luck with the guests. Plus, the dress stays safe.
            Some couples include a garter toss, incorporating an actual piece of the bride’s clothing and staying in stride with the 14th century tradition. It’s customary for the groom to remove his bride’s garter and toss it to the single bachelors in attendance. The man who catches it is supposed to pair up with the woman who catches the bouquet, placing the garter on her leg to symbolize their newfound luck. That luck doesn’t necessarily mean another I do, but who knows, right? Maybe the garter catcher and the bouquet catcher hit it off and have a spring wedding in the works. Maybe not.

photo credit: long’s photography

           Regardless, it’s all about sharing the luck. A lot of couples completely toss out the idea of having a bouquet or garter toss at all. Some people worry that the bouquet toss uncomfortably isolates single people at the wedding. It’s a time to celebrate the beauty of true love and finding your soul mate, not a time to remind people of their loneliness. So, a common alternative to the bouquet toss is having a special song played by the band or DJ to honor those couples at the wedding that are already married. The song starts and all married couples are called to the dance floor. Slowly, couples leave the floor according to the number of years they’ve been married, in ascending order. The goal is that by the end of the song, the couple left dancing is to be revered as King and Queen marriage. They represent veterans of the married world, to be seen as an inspiration; the paradigm of what newly married couples hope to become: a loving partnership to last a lifetime.
            There are so many special traditions to consider when it comes to the wedding. Age-old or brand new, they each have a special meaning to celebrate. Of course, every couple is unique and every wedding differs. In fact, perhaps the only true tradition consistently upheld in modern weddings is that no two ceremonies or receptions are exactly alike. The great freedom of the contemporary bride and groom allows them to celebrate in their own unique fashion, bouquet-toss or not.