Posts in the 'Invitations' Category

Real Bride Jubilance: Finding the Right Invitations Is Harder Than I Thought

Back when we first got engaged, I had a specific plan in mind for our Save the Dates and wedding invitations. I initially wanted our Save the Dates to look like a tweet (because we met on Twitter) and for our invitations to have a nerd theme. In those first exciting days of our engagement, I started Googling, looking for possible ideas that matched what was in my head. And I didn’t find much, which was surprising (I touched on this a bit here).

Nerd invitations were pretty easy to find, but the type of nerd invitations I was looking for was scarce. My fiancé is a mathematician and I’m a chemist, and I wanted invitations that reflected both. I found some chemistry invitations, and some math invitations, but no general “nerd” invitations. There were also lots of video game nerd invites, and while my fiancé and I forged our bond over animated games of Super Mario on my Wii, I couldn’t call us gamers by any stretch of the imagination.

While I was lamenting the lack of cute nerdy invitations, I also realized a crucial point – custom invitations can be expensive, and expensive invitations are not a part of our budget wedding plan. We also realized that we didn’t have to share our wedding theme before the wedding – we could save it for the wedding and wow our guests on our wedding day. Once we decided to do invitations that weren’t custom, I started visiting invitation vendors and checking out both selection and prices.

I figured the best way to decide on an invitation suite is to get our hands on some actual samples, right? I love getting wedding-related things, so discovering that lots of online companies provide free samples gave me great joy. I wound up ordering samples from a variety of companies, including Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, MagnetStreet, and Invitations by Dawn. As I expected, designs that I originally loved online didn’t wow me once I had a physical invitation in my hand. But this wasn’t just my decision – my fiancé had a vote as well. I kinda expected him to defer to me, but surprisingly he has very strong opinions on what our invitations should look and feel like.

My BFF got married this past July, and his new wife raved about Wedding Paper Divas. I liked a lot of their designs online and also that you could receive 8 samples free! I’m all about the free stuff.

Real Bride Jubilance's Wedding Paper Divas Samples

Some of the Wedding Paper Diva invitation samples we received

Real Bride Jubilance's MagnetStreet Samples

Our samples from MagnetStreet

Once we received all the samples, we laid them all out and started comparing. First we whittled down all the ones we liked, and then we compared prices, paper options, and the ability to customize. For us it really came down to 2 companies – MagnetStreet and Wedding Paper Divas. Both are comparable in price, and both had options that we liked, both in designs and paper options.

So what broke the tie? We considered what we’d already chosen. In August we got these awesome Save the Dates from MagnetStreet, which featured a chalkboard theme in green. We thought “why mess with a good thing? The chalkboard theme totally fits into our nerd wedding so let’s carry it through to the wedding invitations”. We adore our Save the Date magnets and our guests have all raved about them and the quality. The great products and fast service have made us big MagnetStreet fans.

Real Bride Jubilance's Save the Date

Our chalkboard Save the Dates from MagnetStreet — ain’t we cute???

And that’s how we ended up choosing the Chalkboard Sweetheart Invitations from MagnetStreet. But the best part is the 25% off coupon we’re using to order them! Initially my coupon was set to expire before we attended our food tasting, but they were more than willing to allow us to use our coupon after the expiration date. Now THAT is customer service! I’m super excited to order these and I can’t wait to get them – yay!

*checks “decide on invitations off the wedding to-do list*

Next up – figuring out wedding decor!

Real Bride Jess: The Invite Dilemma

Hi all!

First of all, let me apologize to my friend, Rachel. Rachel got married a few years ago and I was hurt that she didn’t invite me or any of her other friends from junior high through high school. Now, as a Broke-Ass Bride, I totally understand and apologize for being mad.

OK, let’s talk about one of the most difficult aspects of your wedding: the guests. Who do you invite? Who do you leave off? Do you listen to your parents?

Guest List.jpg

 

Made with PicMonkey

I think I mentioned before that I split our list and told Michael that his family was his responsibility (a decision that I still stand by). The difficulty of this is in people asking, “why didn’t cousin X get invited?” I dutifully respond, “Michael was in charge of his side of the family, take it up with him.” I love being able to this because I HATE confrontation and I like deferring the blame.

What I ended up doing, since I have a large family who live locally, is inviting my whole family and a few close friends. We each had 75 invites and 56 of those (on my side) are people I am directly related to.

What Michael did, since most of his relatives live in other states/countries, is invite his grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but no cousins. He said that most of his cousins he has never met or met once when he was little and he wanted to save his invites for the people closest to him. While I totally respect and understand this choice, it did rub some people the wrong way. Luckily while I tend to be more of a people pleaser and would have bent if people complained, Michael stood strong – which I really admire.

The other rough subject of invites is plus-ones. We have had a few people that were shocked that everyone did not get a plus one. Even if I could afford for everyone to bring a guest, I wouldn’t want them to! My wedding is about celebrating with the people I love –I don’t want random people there. I don’t want my sister to invite a guy she met that morning at Starbucks to the most important day of my life (this won’t happen because my sister is 13). The question then becomes: How do we keep  our guests from inviting unwelcome guests (and how do we categorize “unwelcome”)? What we decided was that we would allow people to invite their boyfriends/girlfriends as long as they had been dating for at least a year. To minimize our risk further we didn’t send our invites to “Johnny Smith + 1” but rather, “Johnny Smith and Andrea Biltmore.” Then, the thought is, even if Johnny and Andrea break up, he can’t bring a stranger.

How did you deal with the guest list? Did you get any major pushback?

Real Bride Kate: Engagement Stationery and Choosing My Battles

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!

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.

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.

Engagement Invitation Gold

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.

Sample from Wedding Paper Divas

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,

Win This: Score A $125 Gift Card To FineStationery.com!

finestationeryYour wedding stationery is the first impression anyone will get about your wedding: it will give them cues about what to expect from the evening (or morning, or afternoon) and how to dress appropriately. No matter what your style, from traditional to modern, rustic to preppy, black and white to bold color, you’re certain to find an invitation that suits your event and your budget at FineStationery.com.

At FineStationery.com, they’ve got designs from the most sought-after brands, like Kleinfeld Paper, Crane & Co, and Vera Wang, as well as up-and-comers like Jasmine & Woo; you’ll see designs you’ve never seen before, and won’t find anywhere else! Not ready to shop for wedding invitations yet? FineStationery.com also offers a huge selection of save the dates (including magnets!), party invitations, and couples stationery so flipping cute that I’d feel hard-pressed to actually mail it to anyone else. No matter your stationery needs, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to FineStationery.com first! Plus, this week, everyone wins: BABs can save 10% on save the dates with FineStationery.com with the code LOVE10 from now through March 31st!

This week, one lucky BAB reader will win a $125 gift card to FineStationery.com! Want it bad? You can get an easy entry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter! It’s packed with BAB-exclusive deals, contests, and the best the wedding web has to offer, and we’ll never spam ya!

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Win This: Send Out 100 Amazing Save The Dates From The Memory Trunk!

People are so darn busy lately that save the dates are becoming necessary to remind them that yes, they do have plans the third week of August, and not only do they have plans, but they have GREAT plans. A beautiful, vibrant save the date makes people excited about your wedding every time they see it, and there’s no better place to get custom save the dates than The Memory Trunk. The Memory Trunk will work side by side with you, creating the perfect save the date from scratch–working with your style and your colors to make a cohesive whole that will make everyone excited to get their mail. Smiles all around, courtesy The Memory Trunk! This week everyone wins: The Memory Trunk is offering all Broke-Ass Bride readers a 5% discount on their orders from now until August 1st with the code BROKEASS2014! That’s on save the dates, full invitation suites, your entire order!

This week, one lucky BAB will win 100 save the dates from The Memory Trunk (white or off-white matte paper with matching envelopes)! Want it bad? Get an easy entry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter! It’s packed full of the best deals, steals, and giveaways from across the web (plus some BAB exclusive deals) and we’ll never spam ya!
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{Win This + Weekend Wrap Up} Submit Your Photo & Win 100 Letterpress Invitations From InviteSite!

Your photo here!

InviteSite, creators and purveyors of beautiful, sophisticated, and eco-friendly invitations has a conundrum: They’ve got a brand-spanking new letterpress & photograph design, but in order to showcase it on their site, they need to print it first. But why print it with a photo of their employees (attractive though they may be) or models when they could use a photo that showcases actual, real, love? This is where you come in, BABs! InviteSite wants to use one of your engagement/couple photos on their invitation design, to be showcased on their website forevermore, and in exchange, you’ll receive 100 FREE stunning letterpress invites! This isn’t a popularity or beauty contest: the winner will be, as always, chosen at random…but in order to win, you MUST post your photograph/a link to your photograph in the comments. Want an extra entry? Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter!

Also – we wanted to let our fab BABs know that we’re hosting another live Twitter chat with our resident wedding planning guru Liz Coopersmith (of Silver Charm Events and “Ask Liz” fame) NEXT Wednesday, April 17th, at 1 pm EST/10 am PDT on Twitter! You can tweet your pressing wedding questions to @brokeassbride or @silvercharmevnt in advance, or just tune in next Wednesday to watch the action happen! SO many inspirational ideas get tossed around during our #livewithliz chat seshes, you guys, don’t miss it!

NYC bridal designer Pantora is extending an exclusive offer to our BABs – get $125 off any wedding dress order with coupon code “BAB13″, and get 20% off of flower girl dresses, headpieces, and sashes with coupon code “BROKEASS13″! You can check out their gorgeous bridal selections here!

Want to be featured on TLC’s “Something Borrowed, Something New”? Send your name, contact info, and a few pictures of the dress that’s been passed down to you to: somethingborrowedcasting@gmail.com

Lastly, here’s a few fab deals for brides, provided by our pals at ShopAtHome.com:

DSW: 70% off Clearance (Pick up a hot pair of bridal pumps and get 6% Cash Back!_

Joann: 40% off Regular Priced Item (Got any DIY wedding projects to tackle this weekend?)

Best Bridal Prices: $25 off select wedding shoes

The Body Shop: 25% off entire order (They have great stuff for an at-home spa day- a fun, low-key hang idea for you and your bridesmaids!)

Sephora: Free Mystery Gift with $25+ purchase (Lest you need a few fantastic make-up and skincare products for your wedding day!)

My Wedding Favors: 20% off site wide deal (This place is full of unique wedding favor ideas!)

FTD: several great deals and coupons (If you like the idea of mail-ordering your bouquets and/or arrangements – plus, they’re offering 16% Cash Back!)

 

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{Partner Love} Invite Your Peeps In Rustic-Chic Style With Wedding Stationery From InvitationStyles.com

country wedding invitations

OK, newbie BABs, by now you’ve probably looked through hundreds of pages of websites for those perfect wedding invitations that exemplify your fun, yet chic and colorful wedding theme. And you’ve probably ogled over countless letterpress, cardstock, fonts, and color options…all to be heartbroken by the uber costly price tag at the end.

Well, rest easy, darlings. InvitationStyles.com has the easy-on-the-wallet wedding stationery respite you need. With super pretty designs at prices that will leave you feeling flush with happiness, InvitationStyles.com has exactly what the budget-minded bride is pining for. From the right-this-season green invitation designs, to themes that fit right in with your cowgirl-boot wearing rustic shindig, there are a myriad of options available.

Wedding invitation orders include free response cards, printed outer envelopes and response envelopes, which help ease the strain on those purse strings. With prices starting as low as $0.94, with free envelopes and RSVP cards thrown in, your broke-ass saving senses will be tingling! As an added bonus, if you throw down for more than 40 wedding invites, you snag free shipping! And with e-proofs, you can rest easy knowing you spelled the name of your venue correctly. What are you waiting for? Check out all the pretty invite goodness InvitationStyles.com has to offer!

That’s not all, BABs! When you enter coupon code thebrokeassbride at checkout, you can score 12% off your order. Now get to inviting!

{Partner Love + A Contest!} Invitations By Dawn Has Some Baller Invites On The Cheap, & A Pinterest Contest to Boot!

YOU GUYS. (Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, but this is important.) Invitations by Dawn. Let’s chat, shall we?

I must admit, I’m a pretty serious mom-and-pop-store lovin’ kinda gal. And when it came to my wedding invitations, I wanted so hard to keep it small, but with my 200 invites, it proved a difficult task. So, being the resourceful Interwebz maven I am, I searched high and low for something that would be uber unique to our small Hawaiian fete. I stumbled upon some super rad, and super cheap ones that had the Hawaiian islands and were made to look like an old-school treasure map. Slap some of our faves The Beatles lyrics on there? That’s a match made in stationery heaven!

Our invites were not only something I love so hard it hurts, but they were really affordable and we had so many customizable options, as well as amazing customer service. (Our proofs had a whopping error I missed the first time around and there were no problems fixing them.) They were printed on high-quality paper and were a cinch to fold up and make purdy for those mailboxes.

Thus, I was stoked to find out that Invitations by Dawn was doing a Pinterest contest. Yessssssss!!!!

Here’s the deal:

- Head on over to Pinterest.

-Follow Invitations by Dawn. Http://pinterest.com/dawninvites

- Go ahead. Create a wedding board. Already got one? You’re a step ahead.

- Hit up that hashtag and tag each pin with #dawninvitescontest

- Send it up! Email your completed board to mediarelations@invitationsbydawn.com

Onward, ye brides-to-be! Go forth into the great battle for amazeballz wedding invitations! May the best bride win!

{Ask Liz} Wedding Resetting and THOSE Guests

It’s his wedding, too. Let him know EXACTLY what that means.

Dear Liz,

My fiance and I have been engaged for about four months. We set a small budget right away and agreed that this is the most important criteria. But we’ve changed our idea for the “big day” too many times already, and now he wants to change it again.

The first wedding idea we had was twenty people at our favorite restaurant having good food and wine and laughs and hugs with our families. $2500 could buy one heck of a good time for our loved ones. Well, NO ONE liked that idea, especially his mother. She and I don’t have the best relationship, and so in an effort to gain her approval, we agreed that a bigger-small wedding would be best – 100 people.

So we booked a park lodge and decided on a date. My mom is making the cake, one aunt is making the dress, another is our photographer, items are purchased, deposits are paid.  Last weekend my groom-to-be announced (in a temper tantrum) that he doesn’t want to do the big wedding anymore, and that we should go back to the restaurant idea. I don’t want his mom to be angry, and I don’t want to throw out the planning that’s already been done, but I don’t feel THAT committed to either idea – one is a lot of money, the other is a lot of work. But both weddings would be fun and nice in their own way. I don’t want to be a bridezilla about it, but I feel a little like a doormat in the whole thing. One idea is his mom’s and one idea is his. And either way I am the one who has to execute the “perfect” day. How can I make myself feel better about this happy but not-so-dreamy situation?

Signed,

Switched and Screwed

Dear Switched,

Yup, you are in a tough spot, and there is obviously a lot more emotion than there is logic in your fiance’s new (old?) stance. So, throw in some logic. Figure out exactly what it would take and exactly how much you would lose, money-wise, if you went back to the restaurant idea. The deposit, which someone had to pay for, would be gone. Find out if the restaurant is even available on that day too. Have Save the Dates gone out to the 100 people on the guest list? That means that you’ve got to let some of them know that they’re not coming. Are any of the items you’ve purchased location specific? Get all this information and present it to him. Tell him if he wants to switch, then you’re behind him, but this is what it’s going to entail. And then be quiet and see what he says.

The thing of it is, he’s your husband, and this is going to be his wedding, too. If he’s truly not comfortable with it, for whatever reason, and you don’t care either way, then there’s your answer. People ask you why, you say that this is what he wants, and you’re okay with it.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about your relationship with your FMIL right now. You’re supporting your husband, who is her son. That’s your bottom line. Oh, and once the final decision is made, don’t be afraid to ask him to help you execute it.

Dear Liz,

I work in a small private medical office of about 25 young-middle aged women. Because of the nature of our work, we aren’t in separate cubes working alone, we are all constantly working together and chit-chatting all day long. There are about five women I feel I absolutely want at my wedding, but because of our work environment, it’s more of an “invite none-or all” situation. The wedding is three hours away from work/home so most people will likely decline, and even if they didn’t, I would be happy if more people could make it. The problem is two young women I used to be extremely close to, who I’ve had a falling out with. They are constantly planning and scheming against me and being sneaky. I know for sure, if I invited them out of courtesy to include the whole office, they absolutely would show up. I do not want to spend my day with such negative, mean people. However, I still can’t lower myself to their level and leave them out and invite everyone else. How do I enjoy my day with those that are important to me, without letting Dumb and Dumber ruin the fun, AND avoid stepping on toes?!

They’re back there somewhere. Keep your focus elsewhere. (Photo by Sara Kate)

I’m stumped!

Signed,

Ticked at Office Politics

 

Dear Ticked,

My first instinct is to not invite them, but I understand that since you’re going to be working there before and after your wedding, then that’s probably not plausible, unless you’re willing to take the heat. Odds are, everyone in your office knows the situation, including those two, so no one should be surprised.

However, if you’re not willing to take whatever gets dished out, then you need to continue being the better person. Invite them, accept their RSVPs, and be gracious to them at your wedding. The key to enjoying your wedding while the two of them are present is to focus on everything else at your wedding that rocks. There are people you love that are going be there. There is the food you picked, the fun you want to have, the music you want played, and you’re going to wearing a beautiful dress and married to the love of your life. They are only two people who you don’t have to hang out with, who you can interact with as briefly as you want, and you’ve got the rest of the day to enjoy. Go for it.

So, have you had to switch your wedding plans? How did you pull it off? Is office politics gumming up your guest list? Commiserate in the comments below!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz