In this article we get the experience of one bride facing the struggles of trying to make stationery decisions. I’m pleased to introduce one of my good friends (and bride-to-be) whose writing talent is evident below. Take it away Shannon!
Bridal Journey by Shannon C.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with paper. A locally-inspired menu of food, yes. A charming, unique venue, yes. A sparkling white dress, yes. These were things I expected to swoon over when I started wedding planning. But stationery? I hardly gave it a first thought, let alone a second. I figured in the grand scheme of things, our guests would appreciate a divine spread of food more than they’d ogle over the thickness of invitation paper stock or fancy cursive words.
So, when I realized that I’d be properly and utterly wooed into the world of wedding stationery, I had stop, take a deep breath and retrace my steps.
Next Stop: Stationery Land
How could this have happened? Or, more accurately, how could I have let this happen?
I’d promised myself from the outset of the planning journey, that I’d remain practical and budget-focussed. I was confident that at 37 years of age, I was well beyond fawning over what seemed to be wedding minutiae. But I was wrong. It turns out going ga-ga over the details of one’s wedding is not an age-related condition, but one that all brides (and some grooms) can succumb to.
Still, I wanted to figure out how I’d ended up in this predicament so that I could justify the new line I was penciling into our carefully-crafted budget – more for myself than my fiance (Luke).
Tracing back my planning steps, I noted that I’d started off strong. Having previously received invitations through Paperless Post from friends, I opted to send our Save the Dates through this site. I was pleased as punch with myself at spending zero dollars on this part of the wedding, and immediately after hitting ‘send’, I started contemplating my options for the actual invitations.
What’s a Bride to do?
I honed in on three options:
- Send invitations via Paperless Post – ‘splurge’ on a few upgrades to make them more akin to a real invitation than my Save the Dates had been (read: pony up some $ for virtual envelopes)
- Use Canva – create the invitation design for free, then get them printed at a local print shop for a minimal cost
- Get Fiance to design the invitations – then send them via email or get them printed at a local shop
Yes, that’s right, my fiance is a graphic designer, which you would think would make my decision a no-brainer, but it didn’t. I had to take into consideration his interest in actually doing the design, just like how I decided early on that despite my love of baking and talent for making hundreds of cupcakes at a time, I didn’t actually want to bake my own wedding cake.
I also had to factor in how many times I’d have to pester Luke to meet my deadline. In short, I’d become his ‘client’ and I decided that just wouldn’t be conducive to the minimal stress plan. So that left options 1 and 2.
Paperless Post Option
Using Paperless Post seemed like a good way forward and I was reassured that people would receive the invitation thanks to the tracking data on my Save the Dates that most of the invitees had opened their e-card, including my tech-challenged father. But there were a handful of guests that I’d had to call in lieu of an e-invite, including my grandmother and that made the idea of going completely paperless a little challenging.
Wedding Website to the Rescue
It was at about this time that I realized that regardless of which option I went with, the wedding website was going to be the main purveyor of important information. There were several options for pre-made wedding website templates that were free or had a very minimal price tag.
I suddenly found myself swept up in choosing the ‘perfect’ wedding website design. I found a couple that I loved, but Luke nixed them. Then I found one we could both live with and started building the site. I started to not love the site layout and design, and decided to start searching for another site.
I do not recommend window-shopping after you’ve already made a purchase (e.g. your wedding dress), but I rationalized that I hadn’t spent any actual cash on the site build, only precious hours of my time.
Scalloped Edge Siren Call
My search for a new website design led me to Minted.com. And that is where things got a little dicey for freebie-loving me. You see, almost immediately I found the absolute perfect website design and Luke loved it just as much as me. Its bright colours, fun fonts and nod to nature were the perfect match our barn-brewery wedding in the countryside. I was hooked and immediately started building pages on the website, which was free or a mere $20 for an upgrade that allowed more bells and whistles.
(Editor’s Note: Check out our Minted wedding website review here)
And it was while being wooed by this gorgeous website that I found myself in an unexpected predicament. At the bottom of the screen, below my website selection, was a whole suite of matching stationery complete with the cutest illustrations of two foxes, which just happen to be one of my favourite animals.
The scalloped edges on the invitations were too much for me to bear. I just HAD to have these invitations. I mean, after all, I didn’t want anyone to miss an errant email invitation and ordering them online would be so much less hassle than my other print options.
Here I am, smitten with fox-inspired invitations and looking for ways to cut $200 from other parts of my carefully-constructed budget.
- Ceremony chairs – do we really need one for each guest?
- Would anyone really care if there were a few less desserts on the menu?
- Can I just wear my regular flats instead of buying wedding day shoes?
Only time will tell whether my infatuation with the Woodland invitation will run its course or stick around for the long term. One thing I’ve learned for certain though: paper never goes out of style.