Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Down With OPI?

OPI: (n) meaning other people's invites.

I've always loved paper and stationary, and wedding planning has severly amplified that love. Last night, while making up our bed MamaP called to tell me about a wedding invite she'd just received in the mail. In the year and some change we've been engaged, I've gotten quite knowledgeable about invites and paper goods in general. So naturally, MamaP was calling to give me a walk thru of the invite and then discuss the aspects that...um, lets just say there were some parts where they dropped the ball.

Instead of trying to tell you about the invite (which I will) I want you to be properly equipped to evaluate it first. Enter one of my favorite wedding planning/invitaitons/advice resources. Mrs. Cupcake over at WeddingBee wrote a 12 Steps to Creating DIY Invitations post that I am sure was as helpful to other brides as it was to me. Its not that she said anything that was terribly profound. Its that all of this advice was in the same place, making it one easy resource for those who are making their own invites, or having to consult on the process while someone else makes them :)

She has 12 steps in total, but I'm only including my faves here.
2. Think carefully about your “reply by” date.
If your venue needs a final count a week before your wedding, set your response date for 2.5-3 weeks before your big day. This gives you a few days to let the procrastinators get their response cards to you (taking into account the fact that the USPS may take a few days), and then have at least a week or so to round up responses from the rest of the stragglers (still also allowing you enough time to put together your seating arrangement if you’re having assigned seating). If your invitees are notorious for being hard to track down, maybe push that date up one more week to give yourself extra time to get answers from everyone. Our reply date was September 1 and we started calling people who didn’t respond on September 6, as we had to let our venue know our final count on September 17th (and we also needed a few days to get our seating arrangement and place cards together).

5. It’s “Two thousand nine”, not “Two thousand AND nine”.
This is a constant battle with some invitation clients who insist that the year should read “Two thousand and nine”, but grammatically, the proper way of writing the year is “Two thousand nine” — no “and”. This is a pretty common mistake, thus most of your guests think it is written with an “and” too, so ultimately it’s not a big deal if you already included it on your invitations. But, being the crazy OCD designer/typesetter that I am, I am a little crazy about making sure my invitations are grammatically correct and I always notice this now on other people’s invitations. (It’s a curse.)

7. Don’t include registry information.
Please don’t beat me up for this one! Although I have heard the argument that some people need to know this information and it’s more convenient for guests to have it all right there, the truth of the matter is it is just not polite. 80% of your guests may appreciate the information, but are you willing to accept that you’ll offend the other 20% enough that they won’t show up to your wedding, OR give you a gift? Proper etiquette can sometimes be stuffy, but this is one etiquette rule that I think should be followed because there are bound to be some traditionalists on your guest list. Stick to passing registry information along by word-of-mouth (tell your parents and bridal party, and they are free to include it on a shower invitation since THEY are hosting the shower for the purpose of showering you with gifts). If you or your parents are close enough to people to invite them to your wedding, it shouldn’t be difficult for them to pick up the phone to call you or a family member to inquire about your registries. Perhaps also include it discreetly on your wedding website, which you’ll likely direct your guests to via an insert in your wedding invitations. But just don’t include your registry information in your invitations.

{you can check out the other 9 steps here}.
Sadly, the invite MamaP received seemingly missed all three of those steps. MamaP got the invite in the mail yesterday, and the wedding is on July 4th. She has exactly one week to respond. I guess since they sent STDs, they figure people pretty much know already. Our own theory is that because the wedding is was planned in 7 months, they ordered the invites as soon as the details were finalized and they mailed them out as soon as they could. Either way, I think they're setting themselves up to get a large number of late RSVPs. They also included their registry information AND the fact that cash and gift cards are welcome.

Hold up.

I am actually in the camp that believes that including your registry information in the invite is tacky. MamaP and I went back and forth about it several times (she wanted to do it, I didn't) and ultimately I told her no. That's what our wedding website is for. But I can understand why a couple would want to. Its hard to say that you didn't know when you've seen the info several times. However, I do draw the line at saying I want cash. People know you want cash. They know you'd love a gift card. Imma need you to leave that part out. Or put it on your website.

And the last one, the date issue, I cant even deal with. Granted, most people wont notice, but it only takes one. Like my Granma. That woman is 85 years old and still sharp as a tack. She would notice and call you out. Its right up there with people saying June 9th, 2009 like this couple did. I shudder a bit when I see that one (most recently on a college commencement program). The thing about the date situation is that once you know the rule, you will always know the rule. Its almost as if its written in red ink and is calling your name. You will see it. And you will cringe. And then you'll probably show it to someone else (who you'll probably have to tell about the rule so they'll see the problem too).

The moral of the story today is two-fold. First, don't let that be you. I could take it back to giving yourself ample time to plan a wedding, but I've spent enough time on my soapbox, so I wont go there. If you're making your own invites do your research and have several people look them over. Hell, I'll even look over them for you if you'd like. Get lots of feedback from people who will actually read it and process the information and not just look at it. If you're having them made professionally, still have several people look them over. The worst possible thing is to have them produced or mailed out, and see something that you should have caught ages ago.

Second, if you send an invitation to me or MamaP were going to discuss it. We are also most likely to be one of the few guests that keeps the paper-goods after the event. So you better make it fab, 'cause we'll have the evidence.

::putting my soapbox away for the day::


  1. oh geez. does this mean when stace gets engaged i'm going to have to listen to her talk abt her invites for 9 years? greeeeeat. you know she's a fiend for the stationary. i'm torn on the registry thing b/c i really really want to know and hate having to just go peeking around places and yet i know it's tacky. but the wedding website idea? perfect. put the site on the STDs (which I was totally against until you made it so cost effective). dead @ "if you send an invitation to me or MamaP were going to discuss it." US TOO!! def. the week for RSVP and "give us money" is the worst. i had a cousin and a friend who didn't register at all and just asked for money. ugh so tacky. i'm giving you less than i would've spent on your gift just b/c you're so tacky.

  2. Why is Jameil putting all my biz in the street??

    Yeah. I have it BAAAAAD for stationary.

    so how bout this? you don't put the registry ON the invite... but you add an insert. Remember how highschool graduation announcements have a little card with your name on it? Have a little card with the places? yes? no??

    oh man. discussing invites is a GIVEN!

    and "we prefer cash" will get you a gift card from kiosk at CVS. $25 at Blockbuster, holla.


  3. like that's not well-documented, stace. & no you didn't say blockbuster!!


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