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Wedding Details: The Invitation

I thought I’d start my wedding posts at the beginning: the invitation.

The invitation

The invitation

When you’re doing a certain theme for your wedding, the invitation is the first representation of that theme that your guests will see.  Therefore, in my opinion, it’s important to make sure that the invitation makes an impression.

Our wedding, as you can tell, had a library/book theme.  To keep with the theme I decided that a library card would be a cute way to send out our invitations while still conveying the necessary information.  And because this wedding was being done on the cheap, that meant I was designing, writing, and printing the invitations myself.

As with all things I do, I began with research!

Here is a lovely example I found on Etsy:

Graham and Olive Stationary

Graham and Olive Stationary

The Graham and Olive Etsy store has very unique, beautiful invitations and sundry items.

However, this example (and the many I found like it) were for Save the Dates.  I was not going to send out a Save the Date! In fact, the fewer people who came to our wedding, the better! Seriously.

Using this Save the Date as an example, I came up with my own version.  But first I needed supplies:

1. Library cards

I considered using a template and printing on card stock, but I’m super computer challenged when it comes to downloading and then utilizing things like that.  So I opted to do it the hard way.  Yay me.

Library cards from the Library Store

Library cards from the Library Store

I purchased two packets of library cards, each containing 50 cards, from the Library Store via Amazon.  Each pack was 2.99, plus shipping and tax.  The total was $14.42.

2. Library Card Pockets

I’m sure I could have made these, but really, why would I? The time of construction and cost of the paper would have been at least equal to, if not more than, the buying the pre-made product.

From Ideal School Supply

From Ideal School Supply

Again I purchased two sets of 50, each for $4.49.  This time shipping was covered by my Amazon Prime membership, so the total came out to $9.70.

3. A Template

This was the part of the project that perhaps took the longest.  I didn’t have a template available (mostly because I can’t figure out how to download and integrate one into my computer) so I had to make my own.  This meant measuring the card and creating a word document to the size of the paper, the width of the internal margins, and then the width of the lines on the card.  Fun stuff.

Here’s what I came up with:

Home-made template

Home-made template

Even doing all this, it took several trial and error attempts with the printer to make sure everything lined up.

4. Date Stamp

My mother bought this for me so I don’t have to count it into my budget! yay!  I used a typical date stamp you would find in any office, library, etc. to add the dates of the RSVP deadline and the date of the wedding to the card.

Stamped

Stamped

There were two reasons I chose to do it this way: 1) I couldn’t figure out how to add letters going horizontal like that on the template; 2) I liked the authentic look of it, like you would find on a traditional library card.

5. Library Stamp

Again, I don’t count this into my budget because I’m a huge nerd and I’ve had this stamp for years.

My personal library stamp

My personal library stamp

As Connor and I say: BOOM BABY! I’ve had my own personal library stamp for my ever growing-home library for at least 5 years.  It’s pretty nerdy and pretty awesome (just like me! heehee).

Library Invitation Card

Library Invitation Card

Last, all I had to do was assemble all these pieces together and I was done.

All in all, the invitations cost $23.82.  If we factor in a percentage of the ink I used, I feel comfortable rounding this up to an even $25.00.  Not too shabby!

The best part of the invitation project was how much I enjoyed the finished product.  It was exactly what I had envisioned! It perfectly encapsulated the theme of the event, as well as my personality.  I was also pleased with the response to the invitations.  Nearly everyone who received it commented on how much they liked the invitation, particularly impressed by its uniqueness.  The fact that I was able to create a product that was so well liked for such a small amount of money truly made my heart swell with pride.

Next, all I had to do was bring that same level of personal investment and attention to detail to the rest of my wedding. No pressure!

A Question of Kindness

When planning a wedding there is bound to be some drama. Feelings will be hurt, words that were said cannot be unsaid, and friendships are tested. I just had no idea that this time around the pain would be largely mine.

A dear friend of mine is married to a man whose behavior at events (and in any social setting really) has been inappropriate to say the least. He is not an ideal wedding guest. For this and a variety of other reasons, my fiance did not want this man to attend our wedding. I cannot say that I blame him, nor did my feelings truly differ. The question then became what was I to do about it?

There was no longer an issue of this man attending. Even if I had longed for him to be there, my fiance did not want that. That’s really what it comes down to: do I choose the feelings of a friend or the feelings of my fiance? If I didn’t put the feelings of my fiance first then there wouldn’t really be any point in us getting married. We have compromised to make this wedding as small as possible while still including a vast array of friends and family, I could not begrudge him this request, especially since in my heart I felt the same way.

So what to do about it? Here were my options:

1. Not invite the couple

2. Talk to my friend and explain

I would love to be the kind of person who could just not invite them. I would love to take the path of least resistance, the path of passive aggression. But it’s not in my nature to do that.

I know first hand that passive aggression is just as, if not more, hurtful that confrontation. The questions of why? the confusion, the wounded feelings are not something I wanted to impart to my friend. This woman has been a dear dear friend to me and has supported me through exceptionally tough times. My decision regarding her spouse’s attendance had nothing to do with her and everything to do with him. The least I could do was tell her that.

I was thus left with the only option left: confrontation.

I feel like many people assume confrontation means fighting or yelling, when in reality it’s just a straightforward expression of feelings and thoughts. There will most likely be hurt feelings but both sides will have been honest. I worried then about the words I would choose. I worried that I would fatally wound our friendship. I worried that I might never get a chance to speak another word to this woman who I loved so very much. Just the thought of hurting my friend made my stomach turn and my heart beat faster. I knew the risks I was taking by confronting her about the issue and I still had no choice but to go ahead.

After we had dinner one night I explained my position, emphasizing as much as possible my love and respect for my friend, my desire to keep our friendship alive, my hope that she would still attend but coupled with my understanding that she might choose not to do so.

I guess that what a big part of this came down to: I wanted to give her the choice. She could attend or not attend. She could maintain our friendship or not. She could choose to stand my her husband just as I was choosing to stand by my fiance.

Nothing about that conversation felt good. My heart ached, my body rebelled and tears involuntarily welled in my eyes. It broke my heart to break hers.

Since that day I have questioned and requestioned my actions. I have been attacked by friends who sought to defend our friend. I have felt abandoned by other in the wake of one of the toughest moral decisions I’ve had to make. And even though I have played and replayed and examined ever possible angle, I don’t know that I would have done anything differently.

It comes down to a question of kindness. Was it kinder for me to be honest? Would it have been kinder to exclude the couple all together? Should I truly have been kinder to my fiance than my friend?

As always when I am faced by these types of decisions, I ask my self what would Christ have me do? What is the Christian thing to do in this situation?

I’ve been struggling to come up with an answer. I have prayed and reflected. I have discussed it with my fiance and my therapist. I have borne the ache in my chest that I have lost my friend and I truly don’t know what the Christian thing to do was. I loved as best I could and caused pain as little as possible. That will have to be enough for now.

Quick Plans

Well my wedding is in just two short months.  It was originally planned for May, but my fiance and I decided that we’d rather my sister didn’t go into labor at the reception, so we’ve moved it to March.  And I’m totally fine.  And everything is under control.  And I’m breathing…

And I’m a little overwhelmed!

I was doing fine until I made the to do list this morning.  It has 50-some items on it!  As Connor would say, “WHAT THE HECK, MIKE?!?!”

But it’s ok…it’s ok…shhhhhh…..it’s going to be fine….

So you’ll excuse me if my posts are somewhat sporadic for the next two months, I’ve got a few things to do….

At least I can cross one thing off my list this morning!  The invitations are done!

We’ve decided on a book theme for the wedding, since the fiance and I are both big readers.  The motto of the reception is “A New Chapter” since this is a new beginning for both of us.  We’re moving away from the past and starting the next phase in our lives.  Yay!

Everything at the reception will be done in book pages, typewriter type, and pops of color here and there.  Since I’m a librarian, library items will be a constant.

Take the invitations for example:

I used library due date book cards and card pockets (the card pockets cost $10 and the cards were $14.00).  Based on research, I designed the invitations myself.  Here’s the result:

libraryweddinginvites

I really love them!  Plus they cost me about $0.50 each!  Perfect!

So that’s done…sort of of.  I just need to create the labels, stuff the envelopes and get them in the mail.  Easy peasy!

Then I can move on to the other 49 items on my list.