Monday, April 4, 2011


Invitations are hard. Well, they aren't hard if you feel no remorse spending thousands of dollars on a piece of paper 90% of your guests are going to toss the day after the wedding.

Invitations haven't been my main concern in the wedding process. For me, the dress and venue are my chosen battlegrounds, and the rest I can just get by with as it comes. Or so I thought. Once you begin devoting so much time to planning a wedding, you really don't want even one little aspect of it to be below standards. In reality, how my invitation looks isn't nearly as important as how my dress looks, but do I really want to have a beautiful wedding with just an okay invitation? Probably not. Even if more effort is put into some aspects, everything has to be cohesive and complimentary to one another. You can't have a Victorian ballroom with huge chandeliers and gilded candelabra centerpieces, and then opt for a rustic invitation. Since the invitations are sent earlier, guests may not notice this, but the theme-clashing doesn't sit well with me.

From a little blog-surfing, I found a really nice, small stationary company (via a photography blog) early on in the process. The designer was and has been incredibly helpful thus far. She created a custom suite based off which invitations from her online catalog I liked best. I was very set on my choice and style, even moreso when I received the digital proof. Fabulous. Too easy.

The physical proof arrived in the mail today. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the invitation. It looks exactly like the digital proof. I have zero complaints against the designer who has so kindly been responding to my mad-woman emails. But the invitation is so very un-exciting. I can't believe how off my mark I was with this one. To be fair, I've never ordered wedding invitations, but I can't believe how sold and satisfied with my choice I was up until the hard copy arrived! It's very disheartening. I'm always very sure of my choices and styles, even when no one else agrees. Big fat FAIL for invitations.

Then on top of my own miscalculation, there's my mom's little random quirks. "Why does it say 'You are invited to the Mendhi of SARA' so big? Your name shouldn't be centered, how will everyone know it's a mendhi??"


Yes, our poor guests who have to actually read an invitation instead of just skimming for the big, bold, centered word. This wasn't really a big deal, but I found the hangup hilarious. Then there's what I call simple and she calls boring. I know Pakistani and Indian weddings are extremely festive and colorful, but I'm not really a fan of the overly-cultural invitations. I like traditions and some eastern designs, but for the most part, the theme of our wedding is not "Hey everybody, WE'RE PAKISTANI and don't you forget it!" (Disclaimer: I am not avoiding or showing shame for my heritage. I'm glad cultural elements will be employed in the wedding. The dress, food, clothes, program, everything is Pakistani and Muslim, so I don't think something so small as the invitation needs to be designed as overkill. I'm a fan of subtly, if you haven't noticed.) Like I was saying, I like traditional designs, but a lot of invitations I've come across look like the Bride's lengha threw up all over the card. Superfluous colors and rhinestones doesn't go with my style. Luckily my mom has good taste, so she isn't trying to push the rainbow sherbet invitations on me, but I can tell she won't be pleased unless there's something "Pakistani" about the invitations. I know what she means by that, but the difficulty of finding Pakistani without tacky for a reasonable price is going to take a lot of work. And just like that, we're at the 6 month mark. I believe the protocol for invitations is 6-8 weeks in advance. I would give my people an extra 2-3 week window, just to play it safe, which means I should mail mine out early July, which means I should have my order placed by the end of April.

So I'm starting over today. Colors? Not sure, probably some kind of dull yet luxe gold and ivory. I also like browns, but I think they might be too dark for my mom. Pocketfold? Square? 4"x9"? 8"x8"? I have no freaking clue. I'm really over the online invitation method. What I need right now is a big mall of invitation stores, each stocked to the brim with samples. Has anyone seen that frozen pizza commercial (yes, I watch too much tv) where the mom is in the frozen foods aisle and steps back and starts saying "I need a pizza with real cheese" and all the fridges with fake cheese pizzas drop into the ground. Then she says she needs one with
x crust and x sauce and all the bad pizzas continue to drop into the floor. Someone needs to invent a method like this for future brides to sift through all crappy invitations, wedding dresses, flowers, etc. I realize Here Comes The Guide has a filter that works similarly to this, but I need an actual hands-on, physical filter. Maybe in another lifetime.

Weddings must be easier (and more fun!) when they are smaller and you have less people to please. If this blog is still around in 30 years and my future children somehow manage to find it: Kids, I promise not to invite 400 of my nearest and dearest friends to your weddings.

Oh, and to avoid future rant posts like this one, I might add that my dress was supposed to be ready this month, but looks like it's getting pushed back to mid-June. The things you can get away with when you're the only up to par Pakistani boutique in town...

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