Broke-Ass Category: Guest List

7/5

Wedding planning definitely teaches you a lot of lessons about yourself and you as a couple that you might not have previously known. It has brought my little sister and I much closer together. We are five years apart and were never really close until maybe a year or two ago. I wish I had asked her to be my maid of honor. The idea never crossed my mind because I am not used to having a sister I can talk to or rely on.

My sibs and dad before my sister’s graduation

Our wedding has brought to light some superstitions I never knew I had, like not wanting something old or borrowed from couples that had failed marriages. It has brought Michael and I up close with not being able to afford many of the things we would like to have and learning to deal with the disappointment. Sometimes we realize what is actually the most important to us and shift our plans so that we can afford those things instead of something else less important.

The most reason lesson I have learned about myself (or perhaps just had reinforced), is my utter lack of patience. Summer is most definitely wedding season. I was invited to two different weddings only a week apart. One was the friend’s I mentioned missing in my last post and another of my girlfriends was getting married July 4th weekend. One of the things their weddings made me appreciate is sending my RSVP in a timely fashion.

Wedding RSVP

I have sent out the shower and wedding invitations already and the RSVP deadline for the shower was last week. My sister let me know that 14 of the people invited had not yet RSVP, so I called, texted and emailed each of them to see if they were coming. For the majority of them the response was pretty much immediate and I knocked out 10 in one day. Now I’m just glaring at my phone and email waiting to hear from the last four stragglers. Yes, I realize that my wedding and shower are not the most important things that you ladies have going on in your lives. I understand you probably got the invitation and immediately lost it. But for the love of all that is holy, could you please just RSVP as soon as you get it so I have one less wedding thing to stress about?

I think I will set up a laptop or my iPad at the shower so that I can capture a few wedding RSVPs while I have a captive audience. Tacky? Possibly. Do I care? NOPE!

What about you, what have you learned about yourself?

  • 6/14

    Bride to be cellphone case from Etsy seller Guestbookery

    Originally, we had planned to do evites but I got so much pushback from the “elders” about using that technology that I gave up the fight and went the traditional route of paper invitations. While they are gorgeous and I’m happy with how they turned out, the price tag didn’t bring me much happiness, nor did having to print out addresses (we had the option to pay to have them printed, but I’m wayyy too cheap for that route since I knew I could do it myself).

    I did take a stand on the RSVP front though. After seeing the price of RSVP cards and hearing stories about all the confusion and suggestions to mark them with UV markers to know who is who when they come back with no name, I just wasn’t interested in the runaround. It sounded way too complicated when I knew there had to be a way to utilize technology to do all the work for me.  One of the first things I did to start wedding planning was to download some wedding planning spreadsheets. These were Google spreadsheets which was convenient in many ways: 1) They are electronic soI’m not lugging around a huge binder (think Ted and Lily from How I Met Your Mother); 2) Multiple people could access the spreadsheets if I give them access and; 3) Google Forms integration.

    Because I knew I wanted an online RSVP setup, I looked into Google Forms. I didn’t really know much about them other than the fact that they existed. What I didn’t realize is that some wedding websites actually offer RSVP services. Since I had already created our wedding website, I didn’t really want to go this route, so the Google Forms option looked better and better. When I discovered that you can link a Google Form to a Google Spreadsheet, I knew I had hit the jackpot.

    I could create all my own questions and all the answers would automatically push to the spreadsheet.

    I mainly did a trial-by-error method of learning how to use Google Forms. It’s pretty self-explanatory if you’re moderately tech-savvy. I also adjusted the settings a bit to better suit my needs. For the purposes of being a good blogger, I set up an example form in a few minutes.

    It’s that easy, just a few minutes!

    From a Google spreadsheet, click on Tools, then select Create a form.


    You will be taken to this screen where you can fill in your information and create questions.


    Google Forms is awesome because you can mark certain questions as required and you can have different types of questions (multiple choice, short answer, long answer, dropdown options, etc).  My favorite thing about Forms is that you can create a “password.” This was a little tricky and I had to do some research but I really didn’t want our form to be open to just anyone.


    To set a “password,” select Short answer as your question type, then click on the three dots icon at the bottom right, then select Data validation. This will generate a line that gives you the option to set an answer. You can select Text (seen in the example) or you can select Number. If you select Number, ensure that you change the second dropdown menu to “equal to.” I put this question in the first section (important) and marked it required so anyone that found the form had to put in the password before seeing any of the questions. I also changed some of the settings (the gear icon in the top right) to collect email addresses for people that RSVP, so  if we had any information we needed to disseminate before the wedding, we had a contact option for each guest that was coming.

    I started our questions in section 2. By creating sections, people using the form will only see one section at a time. To put a password on the first section means they are unable to see the rest of the form without answering the password question correctly. Rather than sending out an RSVP card, the first thing our guests will see when they flip over their invitation (please let these people flip the invitation over to see what all that text is!) is:

    Please RSVP at our wedding website:  www.address.com
    Password: Password

    (other wedding info)

    (even more wedding info)

    I made sure to put the website and password in larger font than the rest of the text.  I tried to make it as obvious as possible.

    Our questions are:

    • Who are you?
    • Are you coming?
    • Great! Who is coming with you?
    • Total number of people in your party (including yourself)?
    • Will you be attending the Post-Wedding Brunch on November 2nd?
    • Does anyone have any dietary concerns we should be aware of?
    • Where will you be staying while you are in Charleston?
    • What are the dates of your trip to Charleston?
    • What is 1 song that will make your night if you hear it?
    • Are you excited?
    • What are you most excited for?
    • Do you have anything else you’d like Megan and Timo to know about your visit, their wedding, or in general?

    Now that we’ve sent out invites, some reflections on the online RSVP:

    I think most people are afraid of the online RSVP. They think it will be difficult. I’ve had to encourage friends who “only use their phones” by explaining that the site is mobile friendly, (yes, I did that for you, friends). In fact, I had to bully my parents into RSVPing to their first child’s wedding. SERIOUSLY? I’ve found out through the grapevine/talking to invitees that they will be coming, but they haven’t RSVPed yet, even though they have purchased plane tickets! WHAT? (This also leads to a bit of self-reflection where I have to acknowledge that I’m not like most people and for me, I would have RSVPed yes, then bought my plane ticket.)

    I was hoping we’d get a majority of RSVPs from the invites we sent out within the first month or so (haahahahahahahahahahahahah, our RSVP by date is Sept 15th) so I could send out round two, with a grasp on how many people I knew were coming, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the case. Oh well.

    Did you do something unconventional in the planning process?  How did it go?

     

  • 4/18

    Print available from Etsy seller WishfulPrinting The biggest expense at any wedding are the guests. They are the consumers, so the more guests you have, the more expensive your reception will be (in theory, I'm sure someone can prove me wrong about that). We are opting to have a buffet dinner at our reception and we figured to keep costs down, we need less mouths…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    12/19

    Credit: Juniper Photography I’m sure many people have ideas about how they want their weddings to be even before they start planning them. Maybe they know for sure they want to get married on the beach, or they’ve always known they would wear a family heirloom that has been passed down for generations. I had ideas like that too -- my matrimonial must-haves, if you will.…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    9/12

    RSVP Cards available from Etsy seller PucciPrintables We are in the home stretch with just a few weeks to go before our big day. There are a lot of last minute details to worry about and loose ends to tie. We're also trying to wrap up our RSVPs. I find it such a nerve-wracking process. Each time I see a response card in the mail,…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    12/11

    World's Best Coffee Mug, $13.75 by Etsy seller MagicCityDesigns Hiya BABs! Today's advice question comes from a reader who wants to know about the etiquette of inviting coworkers to her wedding. (Hence, the mugs. Because coffee. And Dunder Mifflin. #pamandjimforever)  Hello and happy holidays!! I am writing to request etiquette guidance: I had a very strong relationship with my former coworkers, which has not carried over to…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    10/20

    In this day and age, a wedding website is nearly mandatory. It is so much easier than relying on word of mouth for your registry, or having an additional card printed with travel and accommodations information tucked into your invites. There are so many beautiful and user-friendly free websites available out there from places like Wedding Wire and The Knot, that paying for one seems…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!