Category Archives: Invitations

The Problem With Do-It-Together

…is that sometimes within an hour of getting his hands on the paper cutter, your fiancé will break it.

Collin, I still love you.

A Stream-of-Consciousness Recap of My Day in Invitation Land

[…I’m very tired and I’ve had a generous glass of wine. So when I say “stream of consciousness” I mean “stream of nonsense.”]

Today was invitation printing day.  “Wait,” stalkers of my personal calendar of to-dos shout, “Wasn’t that last week?” “WAIT!” stalkers of my brainwaves that tell myself to do things before I break down and schedule them on my personal calendar of to-dos add, “wasn’t that LAST last week?”

YES. OK. ALL RIGHT. I have put this off a little bit.

Why? Probably because I knew I was going to have the micro-stroke I had this afternoon before heading over to Staples to print our invitations.

I reviewed the proofreading my wedding planner had sent back to me. I sent the corrected version to a trusted friend. Then I looked over it again myself, because like Mulder, I trust no one. I misspelled Chicken Piccata. I had the old exit number listed for the directions from the Turnpike. I figured if I found those two, there must be dozens of other errors lurking. I stared at my proofs until the surface of my eyes crystallized. Ok. Time to take measurements so I know the dimensions the cardstock backings need to be cut.

Where is my ruler? I know I have a ruler. Where is my box of stuff I put in the old desk that came with my last apartment? Collin just bought me a desk, so I really should move that box into these fancy new varnish-smelling drawers. NO, THERE’S NO TIME, WOMAN!

Ok, fine. I’ll combine the powers of the two pink drafting triangles that are in our filing cabinet for some godly reason to sort out how big these inserts are. Should my borders be 1/8″ or 1/4″? Why don’t we use the metric system? WHAT AM I SAYING? We killed Osama bin Laden! So use our nonsense measures and learn to love eight as a denominator, OK, rest of the world?

Ok I have my measurements. I have my proofread documents. What file formats does Staples accept? Only .jpg and .pdf?  WHAT? Where’s my .eps option? Or at least .tiff, AMIRITE, dorks?

Collin, I need your help. I have to save these files as a .pdf. Let me use your evil Mac! (Any port in a storm!)  What? I can do that with Word? Microsoft Word? Just come home and help me. HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME.

Take two vistaril. Breathe deeply. Let Collin take the helm for a minute. Ok, we’ve got our .pdfs.

WHERE DID MY 1/8″ OF BUFFER GO? I need that or my custom cutting will be a disaster!!! EXCLAMATION! I have to re-scale my main invitation? Oy. Vey.

Is that a freaking hyphen in that phone number? I WILL CUT YOU. I mean, yes, I literally will cut you, specialty document, but I am really saying I will figuratively cut you for containing, at my own fault, my #1 typographical enemy from my law review days.  I will not shame Volume 71 this way. You’re getting en dashed!

Ok. Phew. Taken care of. What’s this, I didn’t put the website on the info insert? Oh, well, that’s an easy fix. Except that additional line of text brings me over-size.  Maybe I should put the URL in the directions as a first-letter cipher?  Or just adjust the between-line spacing until I’m back in my box. If I must be so dry.

Ok. Ok. Crises solved. Let’s go to Staples!

What what what! They’ve raised the price of custom cutting to $2 a cut? Well clearly I should just buy a hinge paper cutter for $30, right? That will save me like $10 whole bucks! That’s like a large pizza, at least on pick-up special.

Fast forward 5 hours. 1 hour spent doing “soothing” yoga. 4 hours spent cutting. And watching Veronica Mars. And cutting. And cutting.  Homegirl can solve an entire b-plot case while I cut just one small stack of cardstock. And I still have oh so many papers to cut.

Thus far, my invitations are my definitely the most “D-I-WHY?” experience I’ve had in wedding planning.  If only I’d ordered the cheapest of the cheap invitations and washed my hands of it.   But I’ve come this far, and dammit, I’m going to finish these invitations that no one but me and Viki will hold on to.

So do you have any podcasts or dialogue-heavy movies to recommend while I continue my paper-cutting mission over the next few days?


POLL: Address Etiquette

Because it is not 1846, I refuse to address my invitations to “Mr. and Mrs. George Guestenbaum.”

But I do not know which of these alternatives is “more correct”


“Mr. and Mrs. George and Louise Guestenbaum” sounds more reasonable to me, but is also bugs me with its redundant “and”s.  For what it is worth, it’s the APW-approved style of addressing a married couple with the same last name.

But I disagree with the second bit of advice in that piece, which is to put people with different last names on different lines. It is my understanding that it is proper to put married couples on the same line and unmarried couples on different lines (The only time I break this rule is for gay couples that hold themselves out as a married couple to the community even if their state won’t recognize their marriage).  What do you think?


Regardless of how we set up that line break, when we address couples with different last names, who goes first?


And finally there is the issue of children.  I realize that children over the age of 18 should get their own invitation, but that means that my little brother’s best friend gets his own invitation separate from his parents, which makes me feel OLD.  But them’s the breaks.

For minor children, proper etiquette demands their names only go on the inner envelope, but we don’t have one of those. So what do we do?


Also, I really, really want to address a couple as “The Doctors Guestenbaum.” But the only married couple of two doctors we know has different last names. Feminism ruins my fun once again.

Thanks for voting and helping me sort out this mess. If you have any more rules I should know or tips for how to tweak them to make me not want to barf, please comment!

In Which My Feminism Is Revealed to Be Quite Flimsy

Ordering a return address stamp for our invitations has had an unexpected side effect: it is making me reconsider taking Collin’s last name.

Robin Hitchcock and Collin Diedrich
1234 Welivehere Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Something about the aesthetics of our names written out next to each other bugs me. It’s too wide, I guess.  Once I realized I should be writing out the state instead of using the two-letter abbreviation I felt better about it, but our names are STILL the widest line. It’s a little awkward.

And I have to think about the future. We might move to a place with a much shorter name! This could be our ridiculously top-heavy address:

Robin Hitchcock and Collin Diedrich
7 Oak Lane
Ai, Ohio

What a nightmare! How much simpler if I could just make that top line read “The Diedrichs” ? But, no. Changing my name just doesn’t feel right, and I’m not going to do it, even with this first of many headaches punishing me for my stubbornness.

Wedding Work Whirlwind Wrapup

I’m happy to report that Viki and I successfully tackled more than half of our extremely ambitious to-do list for this trip!

  • After a shape/style breakthrough, I finally made serious headway on the bridesmaids’ brooch bouquets.  Look for the tutorial this Sunday on The Broke-Ass Bride!
  • We got the rest of the supplies needed for the DIY invitations.  Wait, except for the custom stamp I keep forgetting to order. Well, most of the rest, then!
  • I successfully convinced Viki that I do not care about escort cards or table number signs and she can do whatever she wants for those as long as it gets people to sit in the right places and does not involve glitter.  Yay delegation!
  • We found a non-custom ring that will probably satisfy Collin’s tremendously picky tastes and unusual preferences for his wedding band.  It is too expensive (the jeweler wouldn’t even tell me how much, just that the designer’s “at cost” quote was higher than my price range), so the jeweler is hunting down similar styles for me. Progress.
  • We acquired the pieces for fabulous mixed metal necklaces for the women in the bridal party and the bridal hootenanny, and laid out the designs for all twelve necklaces. I don’t really care for jewelry and don’t ever wear any other than my engagement ring, but nevertheless this was a really fun project for me. I love the different styles we came up with and can’t wait to see the finished necklaces!
  • We kinda sorta came up with a plan for the chuppah. There was a lot of disagreement about how to properly attach the fabric to the poles. At least we’re working on it?
  • I… um… opened the invitation mail merge in front of Viki? We almost made it to the step where we went through and made sure I know who is a doctor and who is a Mrs., but we scuttled the plan after realizing we were so wiped out from the day’s work that we didn’t even have the energy to eat dinner (not make, EAT).

On the homefront, Collin wasn’t exactly slacking either:

  • He ordered a “super sexy” tux! With details strange enough to prompt the tailor to question, “Are you suuuure you want that?” I don’t get to know what it looks like. Which is only fair I guess, because I’m trying to keep my dress a secret.
  • He asked his cousin Scott to preside over our wedding. We’re self-officiating, but Scott will be our master of ceremonies, so to speak. He talks at large groups of people for a living, so the role suits him.

When I write it out like this with a pesky word counter pointing out my brevity, I feel a little less accomplished. But I’m better off than I was on Tuesday for damn sure, and that will have to do for now.

Invitation Wording: YOU DECIDE

I spent far too much time today working on our invitation layout. I think I have landed on two fonts I am happy with, even though I would have told you sixth months ago that of course our names would be in script, because that is just What Is Done. The fonts are Testarossa NF and Fontleroy Brown.

But we’re still stuck on how to write the rest of the invitation. The first draft I showed Collin said something like “…share their joy at their wedding.” He said, “Can we get the word ‘awesome’ in there?” And I agree the invitations will feel more “us” if we use that word. Even if it will, in ten years, read like if my parents had put “far out” on their wedding invitation. Sometimes being dated is worth it.

So we turn to you, blog friends, to sort out this dilemma. Please vote for your favorite way to end the main sentence of our wedding invitation:

Invitation Wording

I cannot put off this atrocious task any longer, I need to decide what wording to use for our invitations.

I am a stickler for etiquette rules, and there are a lot of rules about the wording on wedding invitations.  The way you list the names indicates who is paying, which is obviously super important so people know who to thank judge.

If our invitation were following etiquette rules and trying to be honest, it would end up saying something along the lines of

This invitation wording obviously won’t do. I mean, for one thing it is too wordy! And while wedding invitations are supposed to tell you who is paying for the thing, but only after use of the Etiquette Decoder Ring that comes in boxes of Emily Post Cereal. This is far too straightforward.

So I think we’re gonna blow past that whole issue and use the “together with their families” wording. Which leaves open the question of how to END that sentence: “Together with their families Robin Hitchcock and Collin Diedrich…” do what now? Should we go with the staid “request the pleasure of your company” even though we’re already breaking from traditional invitation language? Do we try to “invite you to share in the joy and celebration” of our wedding, or something googedy like that?

I asked Collin for his input on how to end the sentence, and here’s the invitation he drafted:

Which frankly, I like a lot better. A few pushes in the direction of the English language and some additional details and that could be the perfect invitation.  Except for the ghost of my grandmother terrifying me into believing that if I put the word “awesome” on my wedding invitation the even will lose all hope of grace and my marriage will be subsequently doomed.

ALSO: this entire post was a ruse to get you to comment on those fonts. And/or suggest excellent free fonts we can use for our invitations.

The Postal Service is Weird

My in-laws got their card days before Collins aunt and uncle or grandparents did.  This wouldn’t be so weird if they all didn’t live NEXT DOOR to each other. [Yes, that Collin’s family all lives on the same street says volumes about that clan.]

A friend in California got our Save the Date card three days after I put the postcards in the mail.  A friend in Pittsburgh (where I live, and where the cards were mailed) got hers over a week after that.

What is going on with the postal service? Can I blame my terrible handwriting?

Polar Bears in the Boys Room

While putting that stamp  on one hundred or so save the dates, I could not stop thinking about this “funny” video I saw around this time last year:

It’s a dramatic reading of wedding message board posts regarding polar bear post card stamps, part of a series by comedian Giulia Rozzi.  It relies heavily on that comedic golden goose of an abbreviation, STD.

But even more so on the general principle of “bitches be crazy.”  Especially engaged bitches.

And I sigh deeply.  Because I want more women in comedy. I want more women who are creative and brave enough to film themselves doing bits, and to share them to try to make strangers laugh. I want my kids to never hear people have serious conversations about how “women just aren’t funny.”  And it appears Giulia herself agrees!

But I don’t like when women in comedy get all their material from reasons other women are lame.  Because I hate casual misogyny in general, but especially when perpetrated by women.  And I hate it even more when perpetrated by women in a dudely field of dudeitude.  Because that helps no one.  Plus, it doesn’t make me laugh.

And honestly, it just hurts my feelings, as a woman.  In this case, a woman who cares about her wedding, and really likes communicating with other people about wedding planning. A woman who dedicated more than a passing thought to the strangeness of polar bear stamps on a fall-colored save the date for a summer wedding.

Maybe I’m being over-sensitive. Must be getting my period. Chicks are the worst, right, man?

Showering in Sexism

My mother-in-law Viki called me earlier today and asked what I thought about having a co-ed wedding shower. “Awesome!” I told her. Dividing the attention with Collin? Still getting presents? Sounds like I’m making out like a bandit.

She checked in with Collin, he approved, and plans started hatching for a super-chill BBQ shower.  And then she headed out to a stationary store with a friend and fellow shower-host and looked at invitation options.

And then she called me.  “Robin… some of these invitations they are selling… you’re probably not going to like them very much.  Maybe we could send them as a joke, but I think you would be too upset by them to laugh.”

“What could be so upsetting about shower invitations?” I asked.

Stupid question.  Whenever the wedding world has the opportunity to bewilder, irritate, and outrage, it finds a way.

Here, it is with the assumption that the theme of a couple’s shower must be Fundamental Gender Differences. Observe:

[Source: Invitation Consultants]

Men like:

  • Hammers. MEN SMASH!
  • Fishing.
  • Golf.
  • Malt liquor.
  • Belts and/or microplanes (probably not a microplane because you can use that in a kitchen, which is where girls go!)
  • Items that can be used to cook meat outside. (Inside cooking or non-meat cooking is GIRL STUFF.)
  • Cigars.
  • Champagne and champagne flutes. (Probably the most progressively gender-neutral item pictured! I thought men only drank red wine. Or, preferably, beer!)
  • Tickets to public events (presumably to use with his buds, because womenfolk should stay in the homestead).
  • Power tools.
  • Other hardware, but most importantly: HAMMERS!

Women like:

  • Wisks.
  • Spatulas.
  • Spoons.  Anything that lets us stir!
  • Standing mixers. For motorized stirring!
  • Chopsticks! Cheese Graters! Other things that will make us feel less alone in the kitchen.
  • Recipe books for party food so we can be great hostesses.
  • Napkins. Ladies are neat, and love things made of fabric!
  • Flowers.
  • Necklaces.
  • Piiiiiiiiiiiiiink!
  • Picture frames. (We’re sentimentalists.)
  • Martini glasses. GIRLS’ NIGHT! WOO!

Men’s gifts and women’s gifts are so different that they should be physically segregated, preferably by buckets.  Otherwise those flighty ladies might start stirring something with a hammer!  Can’t have that.

I assume what is going on here is that a wedding shower is considered a girly event, so invitation designers are trying to restore the included groom’s masculinity. What better way to do this than by reminding the guests how even though this groom is going beyond his traditional role of “just showing up” on the wedding day, he still has a Y-chromosome, one that constantly yearns to hammer something.

Fortunately, Viki tells me she found a couple’s shower invitation that doesn’t involve creepy gender policing.  Which is great, because we really don’t need another hammer, and I don’t want people buying Collin one just because they think it’s the secret to saving his masculinity.