Paper and ink were my first loves. One of my favorite haunts when I was growing up was the local stationery store. I even worked for a commercial printer for some time as an adult, and I pored over the latest wedding invitation catalogs whenever I had the chance. I guess it figures that when it came time to choose my own invitations, nothing seemed right—even though I had 5 catalogs at my disposal!
As a lover of all things professionally printed, imagine my delight when my husband and I had a chance to visit the Hyegraph showroom in San Francisco. They have over 250 catalogs with literally thousands of styles. Proprietor Jacques Oskanian showed us samples of some of the designs, with prices ranging from less than one dollar to as much as $250 per invitation! I had to see this $250 invite in person: a humidor with 12 quality cigars, with the invitation and RSVP card fastened to the inside of the lid with a gold ribbon. Other unique options included bottles of wine or water with the invitation inscribed on the label.
Once you’ve chosen what goes in the envelope, don’t forget what goes on the outside: the addresses! Hyegraph’s digital calligraphy service is a cost-effective alternative to hiring a calligrapher. The digitally produced addresses have a much more “hand drawn” feel than those done by a typical laser printer—better than addressing 300 invitations in your usual chicken scratch handwriting, right?
As a former wedding coordinator, when I’m asked about the greatest wedding I’ve ever witnessed, I talk about Suzie and Bob.
Suzie and Bob’s wedding day just happened to coincide with one of the worst floods in Orange, California’s history. Only 30 of their 130 guests could even get to the church, and closed roads meant the caterer, photographer, and DJ were stranded as well. Nevertheless, the bride and groom decided to go on with the ceremony.
Suzie’s limo arrived two hours after it was expected—a miracle in itself, considering where she began her journey! As I helped Suzie exit the car, a bicyclist rode by and sprayed mud all over her wedding dress. I started to lead her to the bathroom so she could freshen up, but Suzie just took my hands and smiled. “I’ve waited three years to marry this man,” she said. “I’m not waiting a minute longer.”
Bold as brass, Suzie walked up to the double doors and yelled, “Dad, come and get me.” The guests all relaxed when they heard her voice and the bridesmaids, groomsmen, minister and groom quickly took their positions. Escorted by her father, Suzie proceeded silently towards the altar, muddy dress and all. When she arrived at the first pew with guests, the bride beamed and sincerely thanked her guests for coming.
Suzie just got it. She knew that a wedding isn’t about the right dress or photographer; it’s about friends and family celebrating the joining of two people who were meant to be together. Bring this bit of wisdom to your wedding day, and you will truly have an unforgettable event.
P.S. Now, many years later, Suzie and Bob have three kids. When they talk about their wedding, they describe it as the most beautiful day of their lives.
We think we’re on the same page, so to speak, as Real Simple magazine…especially when it comes to Real Simple Weddings. We’re both pretty to look at, easy to read and full of useful, no-nonsense advice for planning your wedding or special event.
The 2009 edition of this luscious glossy (actually, the pages of Real Simple Weddings have a soft matte finish) is the kind of mag you want to read while soaking in a bubble bath…breakfasting in your sun-dappled garden…or curled up in bed next to that special someone. It has the effect of unraveling pre-wedding stress by breaking down the planning elements into manageable components: Location, Flowers, Food, etc.
Their “Wedding Budget Worksheet” is particularly useful. They’ve offered it up to our Guide Brides to print out here:
And after Real Simple Weddings has you armed with overall strategies for organizing your wedding, come back to us for the specifics—which California wedding location, what Questions to Ask your vendors, where to buy the dress.