Well, we did it. We addressed all of the invitations this weekend, and let me tell you there are some things we definitely would do differently!
So we put my parents return address on the outer envelope back. We were quite conflicted when we learned that Wedding Paper Divas could add the address to the reply envelopes. We kind of felt like that was lazy and unfair to all of the traditionalists, who want a hand-written something so when I ordered the stationary suite we did not add that in.
I am on the fence looking back. I think my Mom and I spent about 12 hours this weekend, one day doing all of the reply cards in long-hand and then all of the invitations Saturday evening and yesterday. And then stuffing them all. I most certainly came back to M and my house this weekend tired, and had no problem falling asleep ASAP. (No Closing Ceremony watching here!)
Here are a few things we would do differently:
Catering tasting: We had some shifts in our wedding plans - a catering manager quit abruptly, and until a new one was hired I did not even think that duh, we need a tasting soon, just meet with someone else who is there! So we had our tasting on July 6, and if we had done it earlier the invitations could have been ordered sooner. Whoops.
Proofs: Well, I love Wedding Paper Divas because they do online proofs. However, that does not really help if you are doing your invitations yourself and you are unsure if one ink color will show up or not. Anyway, a paper proof might help for situations like this one, and just save yourself the rushing around and go for it. We did not have time for that (even though I had ordered 11 paper proofs of OTHER invitations that we did not end up picking out).
Ink: We used an awesome Sharpie fine-point gold metallic pen (permanent, not water-based). It looks rich and elegant, not flashy at all, almost burnished. It is perfect and coordinates with our stationary suite. However, the tip is not as fine as we wanted after you use it on about 15 envelopes. That was kind of annoying, but my main ink go-to, Caspari, no longer sells the pens that they used to sell so I had to find something the week-of.
All of these things said, even though sometimes my Mom and my OCD got the best of us, I think we found a gorgeous stationary suite and had a lot of fun doing something ourselves. My handwriting is horrible compared to hers, but I really hope that people like that it came directly from us and not done by other people. We are true old-school Southerners, we do not like unnecessary expenses and feel like we should do many things on our own. We would rather spend our money on things other people can enjoy ...like food, booze, music, etc! We have a number of pre-Baby Boomers attending our wedding and I did not like the idea of something too modern. M and I are traditionalists in a lot of ways, and something like an invitation is one of them. I hope people love it! (I'll do another post showing the suite later, when they have been delivered)
Lastly, this stamp first came out in 2009, but just this 2012 they reissued it, and I am in love with it! We are using it on our invitations and I am thrilled as I was so tired of the older USPS ones. We considered a custom stamp but had a hard time deciding what we would use on it so this option was perfect.