“You are cordially invited to…” (A Groom With A View)

lea foto

Last week Evin started looking for our wedding invitations. I have no visual sense whatsoever so it was left it to her. Almost daily she would send me links to websites that sell invitations and I would offer my opinion such as it was. When we narrowed down some possibilities, she requested samples from the companies. We have a lot of wedding invitation samples around.

Then the other day Evin and I received a shallow, blue-striped, all official-ly looking 10 inch x 10 inch box in the mail. The return address was vague so I assumed it was yet another sample wedding invitation. I tossed it on the dining room table and went about my business before taking a second look at it a few hours later. The label was addressed to both of us, something Evin probably wouldn’t have done were it just samples. Inside was the most beautiful, over-the-top, must’ve-cost-a-fortune-invitation-for-any-event-ever since the invention of invitations. Four or five multi-colored cards from heavy stock with various addresses for the festivities, more cards with driving directions, and a plexiglass invite for the party on Saturday night. The invitation was for my oldest, closet friend Lea’s son’s Bar Mitzvah in Los Angeles in December. I wondered how much these must’ve cost. So I called Lea and asked her how much they cost. Then I reassembled the invitation and put it back in its box.

But I started to think: When I was a kid, getting invited to something was exciting. Usually it was the Bar Mitzvah of a cousin or a friend or the wedding of an aunt or uncle but the invite came, good card stock, raised/embossed black letters, and maybe even a little bow. But my name was nowhere to be found. The envelope was addressed to, “…and family” which meant me. This said to me, we want you, but not so much that we need to send you your own invitation.

Then I got a little older and invitations came addressed directly to me — the wedding of a cousin or older friend. This said to me, hey, you’re wanted somewhere! It was flattering to know that a list was put together and somewhere on it was my name. I was an adult going to adult things.

Then when I was post-divorce, virtually every friend I had who was single at that time had decided to get married. And the invitations came. To me, this said, we want you even though you’re currently so self-loathing you don’t even want yourself right about now.

I keep all of this in mind as Evin and I are searching for our wedding invitations.  And I wonder; what people would be thinking when theirs arrived in the mail?

Evin came home from work and made a beeline for that invitation.

“Your text message picture didn’t do it justice.”

Naturally, she flipped over it. After a long conversation about our own invitations, Evin went back to the internet to keep looking. But we have a rule about it now:  no elaborately boxed invitations.

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  • David
    10/26/12 at 05:22

    Forgetting the sheer ostenation — what is the environmental impact of these elaborate schemes, unless they’re made out of recycled material (and can be recycled)?

    Do people expect the invitees to save them because they’re so amazing? I am one of those people who (used to, at least) sends out Christmas cards with photos of my kids, but I didn’t ever think they would end up on other people’s refrigerators.

    People would be so much more impressed with a simple card that said “We saved $X on invitations which we’re donating to homeless families.” or something. (If you actually did, of course.)

  • Molly the cat
    10/26/12 at 07:37

    I have always believed that an invite is your first introduction to the party–I disagree with the environmental impact–it’s a party-get over your self righteous attitude–here is the Webster definition of your comments above—
    “confident of one’s own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.”
    As I said it is a party and clearly these people are proud of the occasion-and their child–and it is CLEARLY your opinion of what “people” would like, so to make such a sweeping, global comment is incredibly arrogant and judgmental. and ps–I dont have kids and I keep my friends Xmas cards OF their kids on my fridge–so wrong again.

  • jessica
    10/26/12 at 07:46

    when we were choosing ours, we each did our own looking and got A LOT of samples. But we also decided not to order one that the other didn’t like. i chose one he thought was too uptight. he chose one i thought looked like something i could make on microsoft word. after about 50 invitations and 10 samples, we finally chose one that we could both agree one. while what the invitations look like aren’t a crucial part of the wedding, they do give people a feel for what the event will be like and give an impression of the two of you as a couple.

  • David
    10/26/12 at 11:32

    I can’t really argue with a cat.

  • 10/27/12 at 10:48

    Those big boxy things always rubbed me the wrong way. You’re getting married, I get it, but does that mean you have to spend on an invitation what it would cost to feed babies in the Congo for a year?

  • 10/29/12 at 02:58

    I haven’t gotten around to choosing ours yet. But your always wanted for a event like a wedding. Even as a kid “and family” meant me too. My family would always make sure I’m included! Good Luck picking the invitations!

  • Laura
    10/30/12 at 10:34

    I’m so torn. On the one hand, do what you want. Have the wedding of your dreams, you only get married on… uh, anyway. But then I think; All those dead trees, all that waste, oh those poor landfills! And If your friends/family are anything like me they won’t be able to part with the piece of sentimental art and will add it to their collection.
    The best invitation I ever got was from our friends who are both in the music business. They made a ‘mixed CD ‘ with songs they loved, songs that related to the theme of the wedding and some of the #1 songs of that year– as a sort of time capsule. The Label was an adorable picture of them recreating one of their favorite album covers( an excuse to go to London and walk Abbey Road anyone and CD cover which they designed and printed themselves was the actual invitation info. I didn’t feel bad about keeping the clutter because I needed it for the disc and every time I listen to CD I think of them, their killer wedding and how personal and creative the invitation was.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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