As with most of our wedding plans, we knew we didn't want to do anything particularly traditional for our invitations. I've always been a fan of the long, thin business-sized #10 format, and Austin had a vision for a stacked tag-shaped invite that was held together at the top and fanned out. I knew the basic information that needed to be communicated, but was really struggling with the wording. I tried a thousand different versions of "Together with their families..." and it was never exactly what I wanted.
Then one night in February I woke straight up and had the entire copy for the invite written out in my brain. I got out of bed, wrote it all down, and went back to sleep.
It went like this:
Dearest Family and Friends
After six charmed years
Delaney Mae Gill
& William Austin Gray
have determined that
this has worked out.
We would be honored
if you would join us for our
in downtown Nashville
on May 22, 2010
Here's the deal
at 6:30 pm
on the stage of the amphitheatre of the
Bicentennial Mall Capitol Hill State Park
We will be wed.
After the ceremony
we'll all gather on the adjacent lawn to visit
with lemonade and refreshments in hand.
because at 8 pm we'll all walk across the street together to
the Market House of the Nashville Farmers' Market
We'll feast on barbecue
a bounty of libations and homemade sweets
and then we'll dance
until we can dance no more.
On the RSVP (page three), we referenced our website for travel and event information, and then gave folks the option of telling us they "Wouldn't miss it for the wide, wide world" or "sending our sorrowful regrets." For the fourth page, Austin did a gorgeous map of the Bicentennial Mall, with helpful indications for where to park, where there is a giant map of Tennessee and where you might find some fountains.
Austin designed them (beautifully, of course), as well as a sticker label for the envelopes. We found the envelopes at Paper Presentation, which was both fast and reasonably priced (two thumbs up!). We had originally talked about getting envelopes with a string-and-button closure, but holy cow those are expensive! Totally ended up not mattering. We had the invites printed at Advocate Printing in Cummins Station, and they also get our enthusiastic positive review. Austin printed the labels on crack-and-peel paper.
I was hoping to mail them 10 weeks before the wedding, and we got pretty close. We picked the printed & trimmed invites up on Friday, March 12th, and Casey, Agnes, Ali, Anna & Brad came over that night to help us assemble everything. Austin and Brad set up shop cutting and trimming the labels in the living room. All the ladies gathered around the kitchen table to attach brass brads to each invite stack, fan the pages out so that the back of page 3 (the RSVP card) was exposed, rubber stamp our return address on the back of that page and apply a postage stamp to the corner. Then we hand-addressed every label, and then labeled, stuffed and applied postage to each envelope.
Monday morning, we were told by a very chipper fellow at our neighborhood post office that a single first-class stamp was not sufficient for our invites. Apparently a brad, a simple office supply, counts as an "object" to the USPS, so we were charged extra for that, as well as the whole thing being just slightly over one ounce in weight. So I doubled our postage investment and sat down on the floor of my office with some other girls (who will remain nameless because I'm sure they had other things they were supposed to be doing...) to get those suckers ready to MAIL.
I've got pics of the invite-stuffing party here, and am hoping, hoping, hoping that Jonathan took some shots of the finished invite when he was capturing the details of our wedding pre-ceremony. If not, we'll take some shots soon and share them, because they came out simply gorgeous!