Let me preface this post by saying I love the art of a handwritten or printed note. The care, the personalization, the stamp…there’s nothing like opening a letter from a friend, loved one or even acquaintance. In an age of email, Evites and Facebook and the rest, this custom is becoming a sad rarity. So you could imagine my excitement when it came time to do our invitations.
Note, I said excitement.
The task was laid out in front of us. Our dear friend Jillian graciously offered to both design and execute our save the dates and formal invitations. What a gal! She’s truly talented, so there was no reservation there.

The Save the Dates went off without a hitch. Working with our vintage Hollywood studio theme, Jill did amazing Hirschfeld-esque drawings of us on a movie poster inspired design. Delightful! Big hit all around. This was late January.
Tick tock to April and we realized, “Oh crap, we need to get the actual invites out…STAT!” Jill, trooper  that she is, willingly stepped up to the plate again and created a fabulous design based on our requests.
One night Preston and I proofed the invite, including the RSVP card, etc. I had a few changes, which he volunteered to share with Jill. A few days later the RSVP cards arrived separately via mail. I opened them to find a glossy card (glossy! glossy!) and a typo. The correction memo must not have passed hands. Remember, I’m an editor, so a typo is akin to learning you were adopted at age 35. Out of a scene from The Devil Wears Prada, cards flew, demands were made and tears were shed. Ok, it wasn’t that dramatic…well at least I’m not going to admit it was. The good news is that he’s still agreeing to marry me and the RSVP cards were fixed and reprinted in matte. Phew.
Jill, as someone with a life of her own, would also now need to arrange time for the two-hour journey up to us with the stuff and actually die cut each of the multiple pieces she created for the package. She finally made it up and during a marathon cutting session at 5 a.m., the invitation fairy left us several neat piles of perfectly sliced components for us to assemble.

Let’s break it down shall we?

  • Folded invite sleeve that resembles the gates to the studio
  • Piece that’s glued inside with all the main info
  • 3×5 RSVP card
  • Hand cut ticket with Rehearsal Dinner info
  • A small card with directions and info on our event
  • A specially cut luggage tag with our Web site info
  • String
  • Stamps
  • Embosser for return address
  • Envelope
  • Black and white striped envelope inside liner

This was our invitation. Or as I fondly started to call it…advanced Japanese origami.
Breathe. It would take days to assemble and address these if it wasn’t for our guardian angels (aka Preston’s parents) who mercifully folded, licked, tied and stamped 200 invites with us over five hours one Friday night. We had fun. Truly. With 21 paper cuts between us and some dry mouth, we completed them all.

Reaction was swell and we owe that all to Jill and her brilliance. I’m sure we destroyed a few small rain forests with all our working pieces, but at the end of the day, we rested easy knowing we cleared another pre-wedding hurdle.
BTW…If anyone tells you there will be a 20-25% drop off in your invitees…don’t believe them. So far we’ve had 95% checked “yes” with no sign of letting up. Not a bad thing as we love our family and friends…I just better start looking for a fifth job.

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Contributor Darren Elms.

Photos courtesy of Darren Elms.

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