They Say You Were Something In Those Formative Years

I know I posted a few pictures from the wedding in my last Wedding Wednesday post, but I’m going to have to backtrack for at least a little while.  Since I didn’t finish my “getting everything ready for the wedding” posts, I’m going to try to get through those before I fully delve into the recaps.

I discussed our decision to order and send out Save the Dates in this post: Memory Tells Me That These Times Are Worth Working For.  As I said in that post, we opted to go with something cute and fun.

When we were selecting our invitations, though, we didn’t want to be cutesy or playful.

I read in numerous places online that your wedding invitations should ideally reflect the type of atmosphere and level of formality you want for your wedding.  While we weren’t going all out for a black tie affair (which would probably have cost us at least another $15,000-$20,000 with all of the “extras” required), we definitely wanted a more formal wedding.

Apparently it’s a huge faux pas to print something like “black tie optional,” “semi-formal dress,” etc. on an invitation.  (Who knew?  I didn’t before I got sucked into the crazy world of wedding planning.)  I think that’s why your invitations are supposed to just sort of “show” what you want.

As I mentioned in the post about the Save the Dates, I had a really positive experience with Minted (  Unfortunately, when Eric and I were trying to find invitations, we just couldn’t find exactly what we wanted.

I started doing some research, and found that Wedding Paper Divas ( also seemed to have a lot of good reviews.  They also run specials pretty regularly, so that was definitely a plus.  (Hey, we like to save money!)

One of those specials included the ability to order up to 8 free proofs.  Eric and I decided to take advantage of this … After all, seeing something online and seeing it in person are two very different things!

Although all of the invitations were nice, we immediately decided that we should narrow it down to our top 3 favorites and choose from those.

Our top 3 (we surprisingly both chose the same 3 favorites!):

Romantic Regency


Rustic Garden


Tree Tale


We both almost immediately decided that the Tree Tale invitations were the right ones.  They fit perfectly with our “enchanted forest” theme (a theme that wasn’t overpowering in the decor, but was noticeable in some of the details), looked formal enough without appearing pretentious, and were just nice overall.

In the beginning, we said we weren’t going to spend tons of money on invitations.  After seeing these, though, we decided to just go for it.  They weren’t the most expensive invitations out there, but they definitely weren’t cheap.

Here’s what we got:

  • Tree Tale invitations with rounded edges (extra charge)
  • Tree Tale RSVP cards with rounded edges (extra charge)
  • Tree Tale insert cards for directions/accommodations information
  • Outer envelopes with our return address stamped on the back (extra charge)
  • RSVP envelopes with our return address stamped on them (extra charge)
  • Extra outer envelopes (extra charge)

When adding together all of the above, along with a few rolls of ribbon from Michael’s (I’ll show you how I incorporated that momentarily), the invitations cost approximately $420.  As I said, it was a little more than we initially wanted to spend, but we were so happy with the results (and the many compliments we received on the invitations!) that we decided it was money well spent.

photo copy

I blacked out some of my personal information, but you can at least see how it came together.  I tried to keep it simple yet classy.  Personal photo.

Although I spent an entire evening putting together invitations and tying ribbons (not to mention the multiple evenings I spent handwriting all of the recipient’s names and addresses on the envelopes!), it was what I would call a “labor of love.”

The one tip I would really like to share with anyone reading this is to number your RSVP cards.  It might sound crazy, but there are an alarming number of people who do not realize they need to write their names (or any other identifying information, for that matter) on an RSVP card.  Sorry, but telling us 2 of 2 will attend and both guests would like the braised pork isn’t helpful if we don’t know which 2 guests you are!

I wrote a tiny number on the back of each RSVP card in the right corner.  In order to make sure I didn’t forget which number was assigned to which guest, I added that number next to each guest/couple/family name on our guest list.

Here’s an example (using fake names, of course):

I’m writing out an invitation to Mr. Chuck Bass and Ms. Blair Waldorf (yeah, I’m totally using Gossip Girl characters … What of it?).  My guest list would read as follows:

11.) Mr. Chuck Bass and Ms. Blair Waldorf

455 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022

The back of the RSVP card would then have a tiny “11” written in the right corner.

If Chuck and Blair didn’t follow the rules of etiquette (though they totally would because they’re Chuck and Blair), and sent back an RSVP card with no names, I’d simply scroll through my guest list until I found the corresponding number.

(I realize I probably didn’t have to explain it in so much detail, but whatever.  At least there will be no confusion!)

Another word of advice: Sending out RSVPs with a “kindly respond by” date doesn’t mean everyone will respond by that date.  Additionally, add postage to all of your RSVP envelopes!  Will everyone send one back?  Well … No.  But people are more likely to respond if they don’t have to dig for (or pay for!) a stamp, and it’s just a nice gesture.


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