Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Invitations - Lessons Learned

Our invitations are here! It has been a stressful couple of weeks as we didn't know when our invitations would arrive. We decided to get them from Peculiar Pear Press and worked with Dandelion Patch in Vienna in picking them out and ordering. If possible, I definitely recommend going there on an "off" day, which I would consider only the week days. Stationery stores are super packed on the weekends. I checked out Paper Source in Georgeotown, Papyrus in Pentagon City, Rock Paper Scissors in Charlottesville, and The Paper Store in Clarendon, as well as Smashing Cards (we didn't really think any of their semi-custom made were "us"), and finally D*Lish Design based in California. The invitations we eventually picked out my mother and I had initially seen in Charlottesville at Rock Paper Scissors, but it was a little early in early March and I hadn't seen enough invites yet. We would have gone with them, but Signor Keswick needed to see them and we certainly couldn't drive back to Charlottesville just to see the invitations. Luckily, I found them again at Dandelion Patch, which was my last hope (mainly because they're in Vienna and we're in Arlington, but I'd heard wonderful things about them). We were initially in love with invitations by D*Lish Design, but when we received the samples, we were a little underwhelmed. They looked great in the magazine and beautiful online, but they didn't really cut it in person. Lesson #1: see invitations first hand!

I did like working with Dandelion Patch, Wendy and Debbie there were wonderful. It was Peculiar Pear Press that was a little difficult - as far as I could tell, as they wouldn't return Dandelion Patch's phone calls as to what ink colors were available or when they expected to ship the invitations. This resulted in a much longer process than we had anticipated in the proofing process. Lesson #2: Research in advance what you want your wording to be. It was difficult for us to find wording we were happy with because it's a Catholic ceremony, requiring us to use the terms "holy sacrament" and because it's a sacrament that we administer to ourselves, we can't say "to" (as in at the "marriage of their daughter X to Y").

Then, once we saw it in print, it didn't look right the way the words were spaced out, so we had to enlarge our parents' names and separate them with an "and", etc., etc. Be sure to pay attention to ink colors AND have several people look at the proofs. My mother caught different ink colors being used when I didn't. Lesson #3: Allow for plenty of time for the proofing process. Ours took THREE WEEKS. Part of it was because I didn't know Dandelion Patch still needed information from us in the very beginning of the process (I had actually already discussed this when we were there in person, but they may have misplaced the notes from the meeting), resulting in a delay of a week and a half.

Finally, now that we have the invitations in hand, the ink is still a little different from the colors we saw in the proofs, but it's a digital proof, and you have to expect that. I thought ours were going to be a little more pinkish-berryish, but they turned out more purple/grape. In the end, I'm okay with it because they look less girly and I haven't emasculated my fiance with our invitations, but still not what I expected. Lesson #4: Digital proofs are not the same as printed proofs.
On the positive side, we sent our final approval to Dandelion Patch on May 14 (sooo late according to my timeline) and they shipped the invitations One-Day via UPS on June 8. So we basically received our order of 100 LETTERPRESS invitations in THREE WEEKS instead of the usual five to six weeks. Perhaps it was because there were fewer (they actually gave us 115 instead of 100), so that's awesome. So, even though the proofing process took a bit, their production time was awesome. Maybe because I was a pest. Who knows, but I'm super grateful. Lesson #5: Miracles can happen.

I'll share pictures of the invitations in the next week or so once we have them calligraphed, assembled, and stamped. PS - I looooove the new wedding stamps! Way better than the Celtic looking hearts. No offense, they just didn't do it for me.

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Blogger Wedding Postage said...

Great tips on the process of choosing the wedding invitations. That is so true about fancy stiationery stores being so busy on weekends. A good time to visit them is a Monday or Tuesday afternoon.

If you like the king and queen of hearts postage stamp, you'll love one that can be customized with the bride's and groom's names.

Personalizable King & Queen of Hearts Postage

Monday, June 15, 2009 7:01:00 PM  

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