I'm a complete paper snob. I admit it, I love pretty paper and could spend entirely gleeful days inside Paper Source. To give you an idea of how ridiculous I can be, one of our biggest disagreements ever actually happened inside Paper Source because we seriously disagreed on paper combinations for a non-wedding related decoupage art project. That's right, we nearly had a public brawl over color and pattern because he's as firm in his design principles as I am in mine. So, it should come as no surprise that the moment Jason mentioned the term "save the date" I was ready with fifteen examples over which we could bicker, ranging from maps, to music posters, photobooth mick-ups, vintage postcards and colorful modern designs. Lord help us both.
Having said all that, we're probably going with emailed save the dates, and invitations are so far down on my list of wedding priorities that I'm tempted to just phone everyone to let them know about the wedding. (Don't sound so shocked. You know we're going to be phoning them anyhow for addresses and you-didn't-rsvp-but-are-you-coming follow-ups anyhow.) After months of examples underscoring the relative unimportance of exquisitely designed invitations, it was the invitations from this past weekend's very elegantly high-end wedding that finally convinced me to eff it and focus our particular project efforts and major expenses elswhere.
Example #1: An Invitation Does Not a Wedding Make
When my Jewish tomboy friend decided to get married in a private ceremony and invite everyone to a Moroccan blow out reception the next day, I wasn't expecting to recieve a invitation decorated with gold angels and bows. Well, I recieved an ivory decoration covered with gold angels and bows. Saying that their invitation was neither a reflection upon her, her husband nor the look-and-feel of their wedding is, um, putting it mildly. However, it was an inadvertant reflection upon her wedding priorities overall, since the DIY invitation kits were the result of such a quick shopping trip at Michaels that she didn't notice the angels. (Or the bows.) She just saw a basic gold leaf design and was too busy/didn't care enough to take them back for an exchange. While there may have been some good natured teasing from her peers because the invitations were so extremely out of character, in the end it was a funny moment that didn't intrude on the reception at all. Promise.
Example #2: USPS Doesn't Care About Your Fancy Invitation
On the other hand, I have a feeling that a recent Bat Mitzvah invitation we recieved meant a lot to the girl who picked it, giant pink hearts, matching pink envelope and all. Along with her entire Bat Mitzvah, this invitation mattered to her and she was invested in it. Unfortunately, USPS wasn't nearly as invested and the invitation arrived as a crumpled mess. It was so battered that we had to press the RSVP card in order to send our reply. It was so damaged I wouldn't be surprised if you told me a postal worker had purposely balled it up and basketball tossed it in his delivery bag. At least it reminded me of the ultimate transience of our wedding design efforts, even if I wasn't quite ready to let go of my invitation design schemes yet.
Example #3: Eff It Already
After all my excitement about crafting highly personalized invitations, I actually had to pause upon recieving the invitation for this past weekend's high class wedding. Although it ranks well up there with the classiest wedding I may ever attend, the invitations didn't leap off the page in the way I've become accustomed to here in etsy and designer-heavy weddingland. Instead, we received cream (or perhaps ecru) high quality heavy paper invitations, printed with black embossed lettering in a cursive font, slipped in with a velum cover, an envelope liner, and a response card. Simple, understated, elegant and done. No registry information, no website information, no design elements or playful colors, just the basic expected information for a wedding. My first thought upon receiving the invitation was finally understanding the sort of simple elegance that Ms Manners extols and realizing that so much of the vintage inspired design that's been inspiring me lately is, while lovely, besides the point. But the biggest ah-ha moment came with the envelope because, despite having my head stuck up the bum of wedding planning for the last several months, I didn't notice the stamps AT ALL. In fact, I had actually recycled the envelope before Jason wondered aloud about the stamps. If I recall properly (which I probably don't) I think they were the LOVE stamps.
And that was the moment I decided to let the invitations go. We'll put some effort into designing a single page invitation, sure, but I'm going to try and keep it all in perspective: it doesn't reflect a bit on the wedding, it may well get crumpled in the post, and no one's going to pay one iota of attention to the stamps (including other recently married/engaged women). Also, please remind me of this post when I'm making myself hysterical about fonts six months from now. Please.
Having said all that, if you haven't seen if already, you should absolutely check out Rachel's (from Heart of Light) 100 Layer Cake DIY guests posts right now. If invitations are a priority for you, and DIY was part of your plan, yesterday's invitation post is a great starting point.