Thursday, October 16, 2008

Making The Cut

So my future-cousin-in-law just got engaged. She and her guy are wonderful people - seemingly a perfect match. They are low key and laid back, and now they're riding the same bridal bullet-train we are. My FH's family isn't huge, but it isn't small either. My family is pretty big too. It's easy to let the guest list spiral out of control, and before you know it, you feel like curling up in a corner in the fetal position.

Many people have varying approaches to creating their invite list. Some think the brutal "slasher" approach is best. Slash anyone for any quasi-decent reason: They probably won't come anyways - gone! They were once rude to your mother - nuh uh! They give really crappy gifts - out! You hate their taste in wine - beat it! They always seem to have food stuck in their teeth - get lost! They're sure to bust out "The Moves" on the dance floor - no way! List-slashers will come up with any type of reason as to why a potential guest doesn't make the cut, and it keeps the list small and contained. It also ensures they'll come out on the other side with little to no friends. Don't expect many gifts, cards or congrats if you take this approach. In fact, don't expect many people other than your parents to show up if you have such an elitist attitude. But maybe they didn't even make the cut. Ok, then you'd better pray at least the officiant shows up.

Another way of creating an invite list is the "Six Degrees of Separation" approach. Now, you've heard that everyone on the planet can be connected to someone else by no more than six degrees of separation. (Some also call this phenomenon "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" - because you know we're all somehow connected to that dancing maniac from Footloose.) Since you're connected to everyone on the planet through six or fewer other people, anyone who abides by this approach basically invites, well... everyone on the planet. This method of inviting guests is for those who can't bear to leave out 2nd cousin Matilda, thrice removed. Or the girl that bags their groceries. The guy who sold them their funeral plot. Their father's boss's nephew. The lady who was so nice when she helped them book their honeymoon cruise. And the list goes on. And on. And on. This approach will land you in need of an airplane hangar to host your reception. Good luck with it. Better invite your future bankruptcy lawyer while you're at it.

The middle-ground approach is the "Take a little, give a little" method. This means you and your honey meet in the middle and compromise on the list. "Fringe-friends" become entirely negotiable. You want to invite your 4th grade teacher? Fine. He gets to invite his hockey buddy from 4th grade. His parents must invite their nosy neighbor to keep the peace? Ok, then your parents get to invite the weird cousin guaranteed to show up in the powder blue polyester suit. In order to take, you must also be willing to give. Some deals fall through, and it allows the list to get whittled down naturally. There's a balance between the odd and the normal guests, and each side wins and each side loses. Just remember, because you got to invite your Paris Hilton-wannabe sorority sister, he got to invite his keg-standing pig of a frat brother... and that might just be a match made in heaven. The universe is a mystical place, isn't it?

I don't know what type of list-maker my future-cousin-in-law will turn out to be. She seems to be the sensible middle-ground type, like myself. I gifted her with a copy of Wedding Planning For Dummies, and wished her the best of luck. If we don't get an invite by the end of 2009, I guess I assumed incorrectly. Till next time....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stick A Fork In Me... I'm Done!

This week, I sent out over 300 boarding pass invitations. It's such a relief to have them out of my hair, and to have all of the supplies put away. I promised I'd post pics of my "little project," so here they are:

This is the boarding pass with its little jacket...
The passes are made of three cards: 1) invitation, 2) location info, 3) booking info
The pass tucked inside its little jacket...
What the cards looked like before we cut all 975 of them apart.
This was a do-it-yourself project that took on a life of its own, but in the end, it feels like it was worth it. My guests seem to enjoy them, and many of them thought they were professionally made. Doing it this way saved us money, while allowing us to share a lot of information about the DW with the guests that we wouldn't have been able to fit onto a standard formal invitation. Till next time...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Going Underground and Coming Back Out

It's been forever since I posted, and that's because I've been up to my eyeballs in wedding lists and invitation creation. Notice I didn't say invitation selection... I said invitation creation. You see, I had a Martha Stewart moment and decided like many destination wedding brides, I would do a less formal cutesy invitation. I found my idea on my favorite wedding forum ever: The Best Destination Wedding Forum. It has every idea, suggestion or crtitique you could ever ask for if you are a DW bride. It also has a ton of useful information if you are looking for ideas for a traditional wedding or honeymoon. All the DW brides on the forum are all about boarding pass invitations for DW weddings. I saw them and thought they were super-cute. I read that they were easy to make, (liars!) and so I started playing around with templates.

Fast forward a full month... and here I am. We have now created 325 triple-card boarding pass invitations. That's 975 boarding pass shapes that had to be cut out. That's about 15 hours of design, re-design and fretting over the final design. That's 2 runs to Staples for color cardstock printing. That's hours of discussion about whether said BP invites needed to have a little BP jacket to rest within. That's 3 runs to Archivers to buy little paper flowers for spicing up the boarding pass jackets. That's spray-painting those little flowers because they weren't the right color. That's backtracking and wondering if spending more money to order something not as cute online would be worth it. That's worrying over the letter that has to be enclosed with the BP invites that reads like a short novel. That's a few knotted necks, carpal tunnel attacks and foul-language fits. That's countless hours of cutting, pasting, folding, and fussing over these invitations, and... it was worth 100% of the blood, sweat and tears. My mom and one of my good friends were key in getting them done, and now all I have to do is print the envelopes, stuff them, stamp them, and send them off.

I promise to post a photo of them once they go out in the mail, but I do have to say I'm pretty proud of the way they turned out. It's a good sign when the professional printers at Staples think that they're better than anything their company offers. Or when other people having things printed gather around you to ooh and ahh. I've had a few people tell me I should start designing these as a small side business. So I feel pretty confident that my guests will like them... and if not, then they can use them to line their kitty's litter box - no hard feelings. Ok. That's a lie. That would cause some hard feelings, and a lot of bitterness. Yet, what I truly feel bad about is that my mother did so much paper cutting that she no longer has the use of her right hand. But a gnarled claw in a bedazzled sling will look awesome with her mother of the bride dress, don't ya think? Till next time...