Friday, November 13, 2015

Save the date

I'm quickly learning that nothing in wedding planning will be simple. Or fast. Case in point: our Save the Dates.

When we picked our date and venue in August, I knew the next major item on my to-do list was to send out save the dates to our guest list. While we're not having a destination wedding in the traditional sense (i.e, a beach wedding in Mexico), our guests who don't already live in the Chicagoland area will be coming from both coasts and all over the Midwest - 10 different states in all. So in the interest of giving people as much time as possible to get their flights and hotel rooms booked, I figured it would be best to send some simple info cards as quickly as possible.

Little did I know that a "simple info card" would take nearly two months to organize. First, we had to pick the cards themselves. A quick internet search told me that there are approximately 500 different stationary companies that each offer dozens, if not hundreds, of different styles and designs for you own personal, customizable, save the dates. There are also apps like Makr that allow you to design your card online but print at home. You could also just design and print the whole thing yourself using downloadable designs. Or you could hire your own private calligrapher to handwrite each save the date and then have them all dipped in gold leaf and unicorn tears. The possibilities are literally endless.

So there I was, plunging deeper and deeper into my privately curated Pinterest hell, when finally J couldn't take it (or me) any longer and grabbed a friend's save the date off our fridge. "Just use Vistaprint! It worked for Eric & Alexis, it'll work for us!"

Fantastic. Vistaprint would be our papetier of choice. Cheap, easy, discount codes galore, provider of the 983 business cards holding court in my desk drawer. And I was even able to fairly quickly pare down their options to my top three, one of which J liked best. So we're done, right?

Noooo. Even after I spent three hours messing around with fonts, colors, and font sizes, I still needed to send a proof to my mother (at her request), teach her how to download a PDF to her desktop, increase a few more font sizes, remove a few embellishments, send three more proofs to my mother, argue with my father about the difference between "elegant" and "whimsical," print out a proof for myself, and then discuss with J which of our seven credit cards we should use for this purchase to maximize spending points. And then I ordered our save the dates.

BUT. I also needed to finish compiling guests' names and addresses, create and order an address stamp (a Herculean task I was able to accomplish only after using all those graphic design skills I never bothered to learn), buy a stamp pad for said address stamp, create an independent wedding website to house all the information we didn't have room for on our save the dates, make an adorable infographic for the "about us" page of the website, buy postage stamps, address labels, and one of those envelope sealing spongy things, attempt to learn the finer points of mail merge, curse the existence of mail merge, give up and type the damn addresses in myself, and finally create a stuffing-stamping-sealing assembly line set to the tune of Sunday night football. Then, and only then, were we able to mail out 78 save the dates. Most of which will end up in the trash the second people bookmark the website.

And to add (a small) insult to (a small) injury, I stupidly ordered WAY too many save the dates when my normally dependable brain thought "150 guests means 150 save the dates, so we should probably order 200 just to be on the safe side." Any sane person would have immediately realized that all but three of those 150 guests are either already-formed couples or simply a +1. Even if I included the handful of envelopes I ruined with a bad stamp-job, I would have been more than fine with just 100 save the dates.

(In an unrelated note - does anyone need any very specific, non-customizable save the dates? Kidding. Sort of.)

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