Love Is In The Air Mail

A little over two years ago, I picked a random wedding date. April, because we like Spring and Southern summers make me melt into a pool of frizzy, cranky Ugly Soup. 2012, because, quite frankly, it seemed so far away that I’d just about never have to worry about it. All the blog posts, the reader votes, the girl talk, and, most entertaining, the  waging of bets on which one of my relatives would throw the first punch in an open-bar brawl, until last week seemed like a lot of fun centered around a somewhat mythical thing. Yes, this wedding was a tulle-covered Chupacabra in my mind. It’s been something quite thrilling to speculate on without any real belief that it would ever come to fruition. Sealed with the kiss of my poor, paper-shredded tongue, I slipped my first and probably last successful craft project in a cold, metal mail slot. As parcels passed inspections and couriers shuffled papers into the mailboxes of a few family and friends, it hit me. I just invited people to a wedding. A real, date-time-&-place kind of wedding. We are, in the really realest real way, less than two months away from a bonafied Big Day.

You might expect that this revelation was the most important discovery of the day, and for a normal, heart-and-feelings type of bride, you’d be correct. We all know I’m not normal and the last emotions I expressed were for a heavenly box of Pop Tarts. The real light bulb moment was, of course, that I’d successfully conquered my fear of crafts and assembled my very own invitations with minimal bloodshed. Today, I’m excited to give you a Very Bloggy sneak peek of the very cordial Cordially Invited’s that you, my very favorite wedding planners, helped make.

One of the first votes rambling‘s readers rocked on this blog-planned wedding adventure was selecting the perfect invitation. Given several brilliant designs by the spectacularly artsy Amy Adams of <strong>{a} Printables and Amy Adams art & design, you made my day by picking my secret favorite, the modern and playful Fabric Stencil design.

But there was a problem. My name isn’t Anna and I’d bet a dollar my son does not take after Eamon.  Paternity foul! This problem turned out to be no problem at all as Amy customizes every design, incorporating a fabric of our choosing and, as luck would have it, even our names. Yet another bloggy poll was taken, and the final fabric background selected was a funky paisley number perfect for a Spring wedding in the South.

We selected some off-beat wedding jargon to slap on those pretty invites, and Amy got to work turning Anna & Eamon’s lovely print into an invite fit for a budget-weilding queen. I approved the last proof, thanked Amy a million-and-one times for her creativity and kindness and overall coolness, and considered that wedding task complete.

The Bell Controversy

But you know I can’t help but bring some hot mess to every perfectly simple scenario. Amy’s gorgeous designs are created and e-mailed as PDF files. The customer, like say me for instance, can print the file at home. This hand-printed/ professionally made situation allows the designer to offer her product at a ridiculously affordable price, and lets a bride on a budget (like say me for instance) cut costs without compromising quality. It should be a win/win. But as my ill-spirited gym coach always reminded me “There’s always a loser. Today it’s you”.

My master plan for the invites was to let Amy do all the artistic stuff. My role was as extensive as “lick envelope here”.  Not ever one to read the fine print or even the very large, extra, super duper BOLD! print, I e-mailed a local Print & Copy shop to get a quote for printing the file. Last time I was left alone in a room with an ink printer, carpets and a few walls had to be replaced, and the thought of then cutting said printed materials to size with scissors, well, I just knew I couldn’t risk losing an ear. I was overjoyed when the company owner responded with an insanely low price. I didn’t stop to wonder why his quote was roughly 80% cheaper than his competitors. I didn’t stop at all. Two hours later I was skipping into his office to pick up my fabulous prize.

I returned home with a handful of tiny, flimsy wedding invites. While Amy’s design looked truly spectacular, the thin and shrunken prints looked better suited for a little squirrel’s tea party. Disappointed, I checked the mail. I pull out two massive packages, and remembered I’d ordered a ton of brown bag envelopes for the invites just days before. This was the wrong time for remembering, I decided, as I pulled a few of the giant, oversized Kraft paper monstrosities from the box. Apparently envelopes come in different sizes. Apparently, I chose the largest size. Apparently the company does not accept returns on account of my being bad at thinking.

I was bummed and worried that all of Amy’s colorful genius was about to go to waste. I would have to send infant-sized mutations of her work in hulk-sized envelopes. Unless….

I could  undo twenty-something years of total craft destruction and, just this once, turn my hot mess into a happy accident. I purchased all necessary supplies for the mission: paper-cutter,glue, a King Size Snickers bar (arts & crafts make a sister snacky),  a bajillion yards of burlap string (thin, rough-edged twine), glue, more glue, and a giant stack of ice blue/ linen texture cardstock, lots of glue, a rubber return address stamp, and a rosary (best to start praying before disaster strikes, right?).

Hide yo wife. Hide yo kids. She cuttin' errbody up in here.

Tom asked if he and the baby would be safer staying in a hotel for a few days while I “crafted” with sharp and otherwise toxic things. I didn’t respond. I was too busy staring at the pile of DIY tools in front of me and panicking at the thought of having to actually use them.

I complete the first two invitations with only two paper cuts, one chopped off nail, and fourteen ounces of tears. I trimmed the cardstock to make a thick border around the eensy weensy invite. Then I wrapped the whole shebang  in a few strands of twine, adhered the twine to the back of the invite to keep it sturdy, and slid the RSVP card inside. I used a picture of the same fabric from the invites to create custom stamps on Zazzle.com, and when added to the RSVP card and the outer, gigantor envelope, the colorful stamps added just the right amount of color and tied the whole thing together.

Tom, shocked at the lack of blood and ugly scattered about the coffee table, praised this victory in Not Ruining Everything. With pla-enty of room to work with, I used metallic ink to hand-address the huge brown bag envelopes, rubber stamped a return address, finished them off (ha! This one time I do not mean I killed crafts) with a sassy postage stamp, and voila! I fixed a mess I created without causing a much bigger mess and managed to end up with some pretty stinkin’ cute wedding invitations.

With guests already reserving their spots at this not-so-swanky affair, I count myself lucky to have survived a round of Crafts For Dummies, two-times-the-lucky to have gotten the chance to work with such interesting artists like Amy Adams,  and luckier still that all of your hard, bloggy wedding work will lead to a not-so-distant, really real day of love.

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30 thoughts on “Love Is In The Air Mail

  1. Hurray for not managing to burn the house down whilst crafting! In other news, you guys have to move now ’cause you just posted your address online. Lock your windows and sleep in the bathtub, serial killers won’t think to look there. Just sayin’.

  2. Those are possibly the greatest wedding invitations I’ve ever seen! I love the custom postage stamp and return address rubber stamp. Seriously– my heart is melting into DEEP, SWEET LOVE for these invites! Fabulous job!

  3. I love them and I can vouch that they look even better in person! I’m totally excited oh and good bathtub idea Abby… let’s just hope the serial killers don’t read the comments section LOL!

  4. I like what you did with your invites. (And I couldn’t help but laugh at Abby’s comment about sleeping in the bathtub to escape serial killers.)

    You just may become a crafter yet :)

  5. You have been holding out, Miss Tori. It is obvious that you are a crafty goddess! Love your invites, especially the address stamp. Congratulations on the realness of it all.

  6. Okay… once I got to the part about scissors, I dropped everything immediately and started running around. Because that’s what you are supposed to do when scissors are involved, right?! Anyway, now I’m a bit more winded than I’d care to admit after only one lap around a coffee table, but… awesome work, Ms. N! These turned out really, really well! You did a wonderful job! :)

  7. I LOVE the rsvp options! That’s adorable. The entire thing is adorable. And the one you took a picture of doesn’t have any blood-spatters on it, which proves that you got at least one done without loss of blood (and also that you aren’t living in the midst of a texan zombie-apocalypse) – yay :D
    I once cut a disturbingly deep snip through the pad of my thumb (like a small creepy beak)… with safety scissors of the kind that is 99.9% plastic, with a tiny dull piece of metal at the appropriate cutting piece. Scissors are dangerous.

  8. WOOOT!!! Go, Tori! Those invites look AMAZING! And Pop Tarts are totally worthy of tearfulness and the swelling of joy in one’s chest. I haven’t had any in far too long… Pop Tarts, that is.

  9. Verrrrry cute. So, wait. Now I’ve seen the invitation, and your date and location and time, and your address. So does that mean I’m actually invited? Or…? (kidding. I’m totally not crashing your wedding. Probably.)

  10. Oh, gosh, this makes it totally clear to me that were I to ever get married, I’d need someone I could hand absolutely everything over to with instructions to not let me touch it.

    In the end, though, your invites are BEAUTIFUL. And I’ll bet no one will ever know the difference. (Probably going to have to steal that “with bells on” stuff for my own nonexistent future wedding, too.)

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