I don’t know about the rest of the USA, but in Kansas, engagement parties are relatively uncommon. I’ve heard that they’re a growing trend, but my area’s philosophy seems to be: “Why bother? Wait for the wedding!” In Australia, however, engagement parties are a huge deal. As my Aussie friends inform me, their philosophy is: “Any excuse to celebrate!” And you know what? I think that’s pretty awesome and have jumped right on board.
How could I not be won-over to Aussie ways? They have kangaroos!
Daniel and I are super stoked for our engagement party, which will sort of double as a going-away party for him. The sentiment is a little bittersweet, but we’re very thankful we have so many great friends and family members to wish us well in our future in the United States. We’ve finally begun making plans for the party, which for me, as a writer, always begins with stationery.
We found one, count it, ONE engagement party invitation we liked on the entire Internet. Okay, on the dozen or so sites we scoured. It is “Bubble Blowout” from Wedding Paper Divas, and it just felt perfect for us. The colors are sophisticated, the drawing of the Champagne bottle has a slight vintage feel (and conveys that celebratory spirit!), and the font mixture is really cute.
However, I’m super cautious about buying stationary online – I’ve seen too many bad cards – so I wanted samples. Of course, I’m too cheap to pay even the minimal shipping fees to acquire samples. Luckily for me, I got an email from Wedding Wire (which I had entirely forgot signing up for) advertising FREE samples from Wedding Paper Divas. Naturally, I ordered every combination of both available colors (gun metal and umber) and each paper type!
My sample package, courtesy of Wedding Paper Divas.
Above is the sample tri-fold I received in the mail. Inside were my requested samples, a complete guide to customizing stationary on Wedding Paper Divas, a sample of every paper type and color they offer, and a coupon! I was incredibly impressed. For someone as organized (read: anal) as me, the presentation alone was enough to secure my purchase!
Our chosen invitation style looked just as good in person as it did online, and eventually, we narrowed the field down to two options. The colors are difficult to distinguish in the pictures, but the paper type is pretty clear, I think:
Option A: Umber on “pearl white shimmer” paper.
I love this version of the design. I thought the golden colors showed a good tone variety, where the grey tones in the other design lacked distinction. I also really like the shimmer paper, because, you know, shiny. Alas, I was outvoted by everyone!
Option B: Gun metal on “signature white textured” paper.
My mom likes the grey, because it looks a little purple, her favorite color.
My future mother-in-law likes the grey slightly better than the umber, and she thought the shimmer paper was too “wedding” (which I can concede). Plus, the super-adorable thank-you notes she bought are grey, and I’m all for matching. (They seriously are adorable … they are little cardstock picture frames with room to write notes inside!)
Daniel does not care about the paper type, but he insists on the grey, because his wedding suit, our wedding bands, and every other piece of jewelry we own is grey/white gold/silver.
I’ve decided to let myself be outvoted and save my “bridal veto” power for something else down the track. Plus, there are bound to be hundreds of wedding details that I care about more than Daniel, so I’ll give him a win since he was surprisingly passionate about having the grey invitations. After all, you’ve got to pick your battles, right?
With the stationery selected, the rest of the details are falling into place. We have a location (Daniel’s parents’ house) and a tentative date and guest list. The only tricky detail has been how to ask for only monetary gifts, as Daniel is moving to the USA, so any housewares we received would be too bulky to move or ship (for a reasonable price) and anything electronic could not work without a converter. However, my uber-creative future MILL saved the day by writing a fantastic poem that explains our predicament and politely conveys our request. I won’t spoil the surprise by posting it here, but trust me: it is lovely and oh-so perfect.
Needless to say, I am one happy bride-to-be! I love having plans set in stone, and once we nail down the final date and guest list, I will be over-the-moon with joy! (You know, until I have to deal with the stress of starting the real wedding planning…for both weddings!)
Until next time,