Invitation Issues

Problem #1: Some of our Gocco screens didn't burn too well towards the edges. So when we printed our invitations and RSVP cards all the way to the edge, some of the little flower petals were less-than-stellar.

Solution: We ended up trimming all our cardstock post-printing. Luckily, Ryan's work has a laser cutter, which made the trimming process super quick and easy.


Problem #2: This is the doozy. We had a screen where too much carbon stuck to it during the burning process. The prints were coming out awful. I was going to power through (because the thought of throwing out an expensive screen makes me cringe), but as soon as I started squeezing a brand new tube of navy blue ink onto the screen, it squirted oil everywhere! There was oil all over the screen, all over my clothes, all over my face. It was horrible.

So that screen went into the trash, and after attempting to fix the oily ink situation, we gave up on that too. I burned one more screen, which, again, turned out badly. Then I covered it with my own homemade navy blue ink (blue mixed with black), and printed... but it was blotchy, and not at all the right color.

Solution: We totally gave up on the Gocco-ing. We were out of usable navy blue ink, and I couldn't bear to waste another screen. Ryan sent our design to a local printer, and a few days later, we received this...

We were originally going to Gocco a Reception card, then have the map professionally printed on a different card with our information Gocco-ed on the back, but in order to save money, we squeezed it all on one card.


Problem #3:
After I had already stamped our return address on the back of over half our envelopes, I realized that the ink wasn't drying right. When you rubbed your finger over the address, it smeared pretty bad, and left silver all over your finger.

Solution: We went to Michael's and bought some fixative spray. We had to take every single envelope out on the front porch and spray them to set the ink. Now, if you hold the envelopes at an angle, you can kind of see where they were sprayed... but we figure none of our guests would notice.


Other Problems:
  • I didn't want the ring stamps. I wanted the King and Queen of Hearts. When I went to the post office and asked for 44-cent stamps, the guy handed me a roll of flag stamps. "Uhh... do you have anything else?" I stammered. He groaned and pulled out all his 44-cent stamps. "Do you have the King and Queen of Hearts?" I asked. "No," he responded. Then the lady at the next register asked what the stamps were for. I told her they were for my wedding invitations, and the guy went into the back room, and presented a stack of ring stamps. At the point, he was annoyed and I was frustrated, so I just went with it. Lesson learned: I should have just bought the stamps I wanted online. It only costs $1.00.
  • Our invitation assembly process was a bit of a mess. We didn't have any friends or family to help us. So we sealed at least 3 envelopes with un-stamped RSVP cards. I hope the guests who receive those notice there is no stamp and remember to attach one before they drop it in the mail!
  • We also forgot to stamp 4 invitations! I dropped them off at the Post Office in a big stack, so I didn't notice. But a couple days later, we got 4 returned invitations with a post-it on them that said they needed postage. Woops!
Overall, the whole process was a giant pain. When we were done with it, and I had calculated out how much it had cost, I told Ryan he was right... we should have just had the entire thing professionally printed. Lesson learned.

But I'm just totally thrilled to be done done done with them. And the RSVP cards are pouring in! 24 Yeses and 5 Nos so far!


WW Week 12

I forgot to post these photos last Thursday when I hit my 3 month mark at Weight Watchers.

I'm officially 18.6 pounds down... which is 1.6 pounds past my 10% mark!

That side photo is my favorite :)

This past weekend, when Ryan and I went home for my bridal shower, I had my first track-less days since I started 3 months ago. I ate some junk, drank some wine (and mimosas!), and didn't worry about any of it. As of this morning, I haven't gained a single pound... but we'll see if it catches up with me before Thursday's weigh-in.

Next up... all the things that went into our invitation suite (and all the things that went wrong!)...



I have SO much to talk about, but I envision a super busy week ahead, and I promised an invitation reveal, so here we go! I'll do a full cost breakdown at the bottom.

Here's what our guests see when they open their mailbox...

The front of the envelopes have a Gocco-ed design in the left corner, and some faux-lligraphy for the names and addresses. We used the rings stamp, which wasn't my first choice, but that's a story for another day.

The back of the envelopes have our return address which came from a rubber stamp I ordered off Etsy.

When our guests open the envelope, they'll pull out the invitation suite...

The suites are wrapped in blue and white bakers twine and tied with a tag that says the guests' names. We went with first names to keep it a little more casual.

Our invitation was the thing that started it all. We used the font Pea Olsen, which I love...

On top of the invitation, our guests will find a card with reception information, directions, and our website...

On the back of that card is the map I designed...

Those were supposed to be two separate cards, but time, money, and Gocco issue prevented that. This card ended up being the only one we had professionally printed.

Next is the RSVP card...

We kept the wording pretty standard, but mixed it up with the food icons (which all our guests loved).

The back has some Gocco-ing, our stamped return address, and the polar bear stamp (of course). We chose to do a postcard to save on postage.

Here is the invitation suite all together...

Cost Breakdown
Gocco PG-10: $150.00
10 Screens and 30 Bulbs: $141.62
Cardstock: $30.96
Envelopes: $71.04
Black Light Pen: $6.62
Gocco Ink: $33.70
Return Address Stamp: $16.50
Stamp Pads: $5.98
Bakers Twine (250 Yards): $9.00
Blank Tags (150): $13.00
Professional Printing: $108.00
Postage: $72.00

Total: $658.32

I plan on selling the Gocco and extra supplies for $150, which would bring the grand total to $3.39 per invitation for 104 invitations.

Yesterday, when we got back from our weekend in Illinois, we had our first response...

I was so happy. We finally have some guests!


3 Months to Go

(Well... technically not until Friday, but I'm ahead of my game!)

Each month seems to pass more and more quickly. I can't believe we only have 3 months until the wedding! Let's get right to the update...

Past Month Goals:

1) Have our invitations completely designed and printed. Begin assembly. Check! Check! Check! Not only did we begin assembly, but we completely finished it as of Tuesday night, and our invitations are arriving in our guests' mailboxes as we speak!

2) Hire a sound engineer for our wedding ceremony. A big fat X for this one... but mostly because we decided we don't really need him. The audio for our ceremony should be pretty basic, and we'll have a videographer to catch it all on film (whereas the sound engineer would provide us with an audio CD).

3) Ask our ushers to be ushers. Check! Ryan asked his cousin, and I asked my brother. I heard through the grapevine that my brother's girlfriend's response was, "your sister asked you to be in her wedding via email?! You guys have a weird relationship." Yes. Yes, we do.

4) Notify the people we would like to give toasts during the reception. Hmm... not really. I think they already know, but I should probably give them all a formal heads-up.

5) Schedule my wedding dress fitting. Woops! No, again. We decided to wait off on this since I'm losing weight at such a rapid pace.

6) Book a limo. Check! Just did this one last weekend. We'll be riding in style in a 14 passenger Escalade from American Coach Limo.

7) Choose what Ryan and his groomsmen will wear. We sort of did this. Details to come after this weekend.

That list makes me feel like a slacker. I guess the amount of time we put into the Invitations overshadowed all the other wedding projects.

Other Accomplishments:
  • I purchased / DIYed some shower hostess gifts.
  • We booked a hotel for the Sunday night after our wedding (we need to be near the airport for our 8am flight to Cancun!).
  • We chose our first dance song.
  • We bought and designed placecards.
  • I made a card box.
  • I purchased earrings.
  • We bought wine to go in our wine box.
  • I bought three (very different) dresses to wear to my bridal shower.

See! We're not that big of slackers! I'm pretty proud of all the stuff we got done in the past month. It took a pretty major chunk off our To Do list.

Goals for the Upcoming Month:
  • Purchase and create table numbers.
  • Schedule dance lessons.
  • Schedule dress fittings. (Seriously!)
  • Plan our ceremony.
  • Decide on aisle decor.
  • Print family wedding photos and frame them.
I just breathed a huge sigh of relief because that list right there is totally doable. I'm just so thrilled to be done with our invitations (A few coworkers received theirs today, and gushed about how cute they were!).

Ryan and I will be heading to Illinois this weekend. Ryan's mom, aunt, sister, and niece are all coming into town, and will be staying with us at my parents' house. It should be fun... and busy!

Friday: Ryan meets my maternal grandparents and dinner at our rehearsal dinner location.
Saturday: Marriage counseling in the morning and bridal shower in the afternoon.
Sunday: Meeting with our reception venue to discuss details.



Dance, Dance

Back in December, I listed some of my ideas for first dance songs.

This was before Ryan and I had even discussed it.

So after my post went live, I sat down with him, and we went through them, song by song, and made cuts and additions.

We decided we both really liked "You and Me" by Dave Matthews...

It's slow, has cute lyrics, and has a slightly more up-tempo chorus, which would be perfect for dancing.

Months went by, and we continued to ignore the first dance decision. Until I heard "Rhythm of Love" by the Plain White T's...

It's fun, playful, and a great dancing speed.

So which did we decide on? "You and Me". I told Ryan that both would be great... but I fear that "Rhythm of Love" will be overplayed by June, and when I hear "You and Me"... and I can practically picture our wedding video.


But our dance skills? Not so much.

So I purchased a Groupon for 2 private dance lessons at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio here in town. It's a $210 value, and I paid only $30.

We don't expect to become pros with only two lessons... but every little bit helps!


I've been a hooorrrrrible blogger.

But this morning, Ryan took our first round of invitations to the post office. So now that they're almost completely over and done with, I promise to find more time to post about what's been going on recently (a lot!).

While I can't quite show you our invites (next week, I promise!), I can tell you that we've been rocking the To Do list.

So here’s a run-down of what I’ll cover over the next week or so…

  • Weight Loss: how I managed to lose 18 pounds in 11 weeks.
  • Bridal Shower: this Saturday, and sure to be awesome.
  • 3 Month Mark: how far we’ve come, and how much we still have to do.
  • Shower Hostess Gifts: one part DIY, one part local goodies.
  • Invitations: why I want to simultaneously kiss them and rip them up.
  • First Dance Song: how we finally came to a decision.
  • Tux Shopping: why it’s stupid.
  • Card Box: a quick and simple DIY.

So I hope you’ll stick around for all the wedding goodness!


Printing, Emailing, and Burning Calories

Oh, so much happening!


First... invitation printing has officially begun... and it's exhausting! I thought all those other brides who complained about it were just being wusses.

I can't show specifics yet on which design we chose, but here are some action shots...

I kid you not... I broke our coffee table on the first day of printing because I pressed down too hard on my Gocco! We both heard a loud "crack" sound, but didn't know what it was. Then, a couple hours later, I noticed it: a giant crack on the side of our coffee table! Oh well... thank goodness it's a cheap table.

There are cards everywhere in our house. Every inch of every surface has cards drying on it. And that's just the RSVP cards!

Bridal Shower

Shower planning is in full swing (or so I hear). My aunts put a Google Doc online with all the RSVP responses so everyone could see.

But I'm totally baffled.

It must be a generational thing... because only one of my friends has RSVPed to the shower! And it's not like it's hard... they can do it via email! All my relatives and moms' friends were very prompt... and I just had to send a reminder email to 10 of my besties.


Weight Loss

I hit 15 pounds lost today at my Weight Watchers meeting. I'm halfway to my goal, and only 2 pounds away from the coveted 10% mark! Here are some before-and-after photos...

I've been taking photos in a bathing suit too... but I'm saving those until the very end.

Happy Thursday, everyone. It's almost the weekend! (And half marathon training starts Saturday).
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