Hitched in a Hurry: Paper Trail

by Ryan Conner

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The save the dates are ready. This is really happening.

Karley Osborn is a bride-to-be living in Plano. Her fiancé proposed in March. They’re getting married in July. No, she’s not crazy, and yes, she’s confident she will be able to order a dress and have it triple-fitted in plenty of time — no matter what the experts have to say about it. Karley also happened to intern for D Magazine and work as a social reporter with People Newspapers. Every Wednesday, she’ll be documenting her planning process. From flowers to fittings, she will use her first-hand experience to help other brides in the event of a last-minute love affair.

This week, I am proud to announce the following official accomplishments: Fiancé and I will officially have a cake to cut at our wedding. We will officially both be clothed at our wedding. We will (ahem…still unofficially) have flowers strewn here, there, and everywhere at our wedding.

But until this week, you know what we weren’t going to officially have at our wedding? Guests. Which I hear is kind of important.

The reason? Because our guest list has had more ups-and-downs than Tierra’s eyebrow on The Bachelor. We added. We considered subtracting. Instead, we added again. Meaning our wedding papers—i.e., our save the dates and formal wedding invitations—could probably (read: definitely) have been ordered a bit sooner. So, for any of you other track stars who have found yourselves in the middle of a dead sprint toward the altar, let’s break down today’s paper-focused column with a few Glamour Mag-esque Do’s and Don’ts, shall we? Follow me after the jump.

DO…

Decide how many people you want at your wedding, plan on about 70 percent of those people showing up, and commence with list-making, like, the day after you get engaged. Seriously. So many things stem from your guest list. Namely, more lists (think engagement parties, bridal showers, invitation orders, catering estimates, chair rentals…the list goes on).

Order your save the dates as soon as humanly possible after assembling said guest list. Even if you’re getting hitched in a hurry, etiquette (apparently) dictates that formal invitations be sent out six weeks in advance. Or, if you’re extra complicated like me and determined to have a destination wedding, more like eight weeks. Which means an order for save the date cards should be placed on approximately the second day of your engagement (rather than on day 42, like yours truly).

Utilize websites such as Minted or Wedding Paper Divas to order something cute, custom, and affordable with quick order turn-around options. FYI, we went with a postcard design by Minted, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with how they turned out. Quality paper, beautiful print job, and so easy to send out (just a few sheets of stamps and they were on their way!). Plus, they came packaged with a handwritten note from the card’s designer. And I am so a sucker for that kind of thing.

Create a wedding website. For brides on the fly, I’m convinced there is no greater way to keep your guests informed. Yes, you (and I) still have to send formal invitations. But until they go out, your website will act as a convenient gathering place for all of the pertinent information regarding your big day (think location, accommodations, travel information, 99 percent of your engagement photos, and a romanticized retelling of how your love affair began).

Look for one-stop shopping locales when it’s time to order your invites. I was lucky enough to stumble upon Simply Mox at the Plano Bridal Show in March, and for so many reasons, I’m so glad I did. Although I had already created my own save the date cards, owner Yvette Audrain assured me that we could match the style to my (fully customizable) formal invitation order. Then she gave me the really good news: Simply Mox can also take care of my ceremony programs, reception signage, bridal party itineraries, guest welcome bags…even wedding favors! Plus, her studio is housed right in the super-artsy Dallas Design District. For obvious reasons, I almost fainted.

End the trend of the “Faceless Fiancé” and choose a picture for your save the date, website, invitation, guest book, etc. where your future spouse doesn’t look like an anonymous prop at your personal photo shoot. Come on, girls. You know what I mean. And if you don’t, see below for a few examples of our could-have-been save the date cards.

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The legend of the faceless fiance.

DON’T…

Let your guest list get away from you. If you said you want a small, intimate wedding, then come to terms with the fact that you probably won’t be able to invite your entire sorority or your parents’ entire Sunday School class. And that’s okay.

Wait until the last minute to order your formal invitations. According to Yvette, there’s a ton that goes into creating the invites—post-color/material selection, you still have to nail down the verbiage, approve design proofs, re-approve design proofs, stuff each envelope, and more.

Obsess over things that don’t matter. Personal example: My save the dates were postcards. Postcards equate a laid-back vibe. Meaning the fact that the addresses were written in my/my mom’s cursive handwriting rather than a calligrapher’s steady script is just plain okay. *Note to self: None of your guests are going to look at your handwriting and judge it. Except maybe if they’ve been following this blog, in which case I just drew their attention to it, meaning they might now say, “As a matter of fact, that ‘F’ does look a bit off…”

But can you tell? I’m moving on.

One Response to “Hitched in a Hurry: Paper Trail”

  • Shelli Bates | April 17, 2013 | Reply

    Karley – YOU ARE AWESOME! I love this article and will refer to it frequently when Faith’s beau finally gets around to giving her the ring! We will be on short time line as well.

    LOVE YOU!
    Shelli Bates