Finally, finally, we’ve sent out almost all the wedding invitations.

minted invitations in box

A few are left to send. Some are sitting behind me: A friend of Mr. Kim’s whose partner’s name we didn’t know; his groomsman to whom we had to resend an invitation after learning he had moved since we first got his address; our officiant, who due to our move we hadn’t confirmed when we made the guestlist several months ago and whom we therefore nearly forgot; second cousins of mine whose envelope came back without a postmark for some reason. A few others I haven’t addressed yet for various reasons, in spite of the 64 days (Bed Bath & Beyond informs me) until our wedding.

But anyway, it’s basically behind me, and I’ve learned a few things:

1. Think very, very carefully before deciding to address invitations yourself.
finished invitesI have good handwriting and some brush pens, and since our wedding isn’t fancy enough to require serious calligraphy, but at the same time, I wanted the invitations to look nice and personal, I decided to address the invitations myself, by hand. They looked pretty good–certainly not super fancy black-tie, but nice. For the return address, which we wrote on the back flap, I wrote the address in the middle, with the Chinese character for Kim on one side, and a large Mc, with the c inside the M, on the other–my name is Scotch-Irish. (You can see this below on the “dirty” ones.) It looked pretty cool, especially with the brush pens. I also measured and drew lines with pencil, and have an okay eye for symmetry, so all the names and addresses looked pretty good.

That said, I’m being conservative when I say it took 30 hours to address the hundred-ish invitations we sent out. It was just me–I don’t really have close friends in the area yet, and both Mr. Kim’s handwriting and his understanding address-writing conventions are among his weaker qualities. It was fun at first, but it became frustrating by the 20th hour or so, and I felt resentful against Mr. Kim because I was doing so much work while he was doing his own thing (studying, not playing, but still, it was his and not ours!). Definitely try to have friends to help you if you decide to do this.

2. The envelopes will get dirty.

dirty wedding invitations return to sender

I’m still glad I did the addresses myself, in the end–typing is just so impersonal–but actually, I’m pretty sure all the envelopes got super dirty in the mail anyway and probably didn’t arrive looking great. I suspect this because two were returned to us–one had  a missing digit in the address, the other wasn’t even postmarked and the address is right, so I have no idea. But they had gross skid marks of I guess postage processing machines all over them and one was a bit crinkled in places. Boo. So, don’t expect your beautiful stacks of snowy envelopes to arrive in the condition they left in.

3. It can cost money.
empty postage stampsOur invitations were “normal”–they didn’t have anything sticking out, weren’t heavy, no weird shapes–so we could use standard Forever and Forever Global stamps. But we still spent about $100 on postage. About half our invitations had standard RSVP cards and needed postage on those envelopes. (The other half had cards with our wedding website and an RSVP e-mail address, for “younger” and faraway guests.) Global stamps are more than a dollar each. The post office manager had to get a new pack out, and I was shocked to see that the whole tiny pack that he brought out from the safe was worth $1000. Invitations were also more than we expected–well, design and paper quality are kind of important to me. We bought them from Minted.com, which supports independent artists apparently, and we were really happy with everything about them. All told, though, I guess we (well, my parents, thanks guys) spent more than $500 on invitations.

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