The Thank You Note

March 20, 2017

Hardly anyone knows it but a gentleman's stationary is different from a lady's and from businesses stationary.

These days just sending a note is impressive enough but if you really want to do it up right, get some good stuff.

A woman is a person too, not merely a wife and mother, and the outside of the envelope should be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Novak", "James and Mary Novak", "Mrs. Mary and Mr. James Novak" or "The Novaks".

And only that if you know she prefers "Mrs".

Her social title is her name, not "James' wife".

If you were to address an invitation just to Jane, it would be to "Mrs. Novak", or "Mrs. Jane Novak", which is her name.

The fact that her husband John is also a Novak is irrelevant if she has chosen to be one. It would not be appropriate to address her personally as "Mrs. James Novak", any more than it would be appropriate to introduce her as "this is Jameswife".

If you did address something to "Mrs. John Smith", you're clearly addressing "that woman John married", not Jane herself.

Formality does not require erasure.

And to do it differently would be to address only one person, the husband, and treat their counterpart only as an add-on. That's not an interpretation, that's what is literally involved. "The mrs of john smith" applies to whomever he marries. It's not an invitation to Jane Smith nee Jones as her actual own person. If you respect Jane, you can respect her as her husband's equal, and equally deserving of being addressed by her first name. If you address her merely as John's wife, she's right to assume that's all you see her as. It wouldn't be appropriate to introduce a couple as "this is John Smith and his wife", and it's not appropriate to address them that way.

If you respect two people as each persons, you address something to both of them, not merely to the man plus his appendage.

That was only appropriate in a world in which only men were persons, and wives were just possessions brought along with them. Most of us don't live in that world anymore, and etiquette specific to that world is void.

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How To Print Envelopes

February 10, 2017

Addressing a large number of envelopes can be a real hassel. So why not just print them?

This can also be more work than you might expect. But I have some things that can make it easy and cheap,

You can do all of this on you home printer. I did this for our save the dates and it looked way nicer than handwriting them since my penmanship is not the best. To start select a few fonts, one should be a standard font, the other a script.

You shouldn't have any issues printing directly onto the envelopes at home.

Steps:

  • Create a blank Word document
  • Change the paper size to 5x7 (File --> Page Set Up -->Paper Size)
  • Change the orientation to landscape
  • Type the address on the Word doc (play around with font, font size and placement)
  • Feed a single envelop (flap down) into the printer
  • Repeat this process for each envelop

I had to play with the envelop orientation when feeding it into the printer so make sure you have some extra envelops to work with. For my printer, I needed to rotate the envelop 90 degrees to the left.

Just remember that as long as the postman can read it, I don't care. It's just going to be thrown away and the guests likely don't care.

When we sent out our birth announcements I bought a pre-inked customized stamp, to put our address in everything.

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How To Address A Couples Baby Shower

February 2, 2017

Writing the names of both people on the invitation should be fine.

I'm not sure if this is an Midwest thing or not but we would say something along the lines of "cake and coffee will be provided" every invitation for birthday parties, engagements and work get togethers has just had that written on it but then there is also always cake and coffee.

But I don't think you ned to mention food.

I think most people will assume there will be food at the shower and even if they do eat beforehand, they'll eat again. Ever been to a Costco on a Saturday? People don't say "no" to free food. I think the mention of men and women does need to be explicit, since most people won't even really notice how the invite is addressed.

And I'd still expect a few wrapped gifts: it's a concept most people won't be familiar with.

As for the presents you could say something along the lines of: "in an effort to be more ecofriendly we ask gifts be left unwrapped. We will be accepting gifts at the door to leave more time to party!"

Naming both people should suffice, but you could also ask people to rsvp with the number of guests who will be attending to drive the point home.

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Plus One

December 18, 2016

THe question of how to invite a guest with a partner is often asked. But is it really that hard?

Say you have a friend who has been a in relationship, she has a boyfriend and now you want to invite her to celebration.

Since she is in a relationship, this is not considered a "plus one". They are a social unit! Definitely invite him by name.

You can do it two ways. You can put their names on different lines (a little older school and makes it clear that they are not married) or put their names on the same line (used to ONLY be used for married couples who had different last names but people sometimes use it for cohabiting couples now).

So it would be:

Ms. Sally Smith Mr. John Doe 123 Main Street Anytown, USA

Or

Ms. Sally Smith and Mr. Richard Brown 123 Main Street Anytown, USA

I put "Sally Smith and John Doe" on all our invitations where the people are dating someone but not married.

If someone is completely single, you would just say "Sarah Smith and guest" or just "Sarah Smith" if you don't want her to bring a 1. But if she's in a relationship, invite the boyfriend by name.

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The Announcement Experience

December 15, 2016

Having custom announcements and invitations made can be easy if you know how to do it.

I made things a little easy on myself for my last big order.

Vistaprint

  • I designed my own using Microsoft publisher. To be fair, I modified a design that comes with the program. I used some photographs we had made.
  • I ordered 120 invites, 200 address labels, 10 rsvp cards for older folks, 150 thank you cards, and one yard /driveway sign for $160. It's unlikely you would be impressed with my cardstock ;-p.
  • Had to have them reprinted because they couldn't properly trim a border. But they very nicely reprinted it with a modified design for free. Exactly what this sub led me to expect! Fair quality, but a good price with good customer service.
  • Edited to add pictures of the design. Pictures of the printed invite will be added later. Save the Date included to show you why I needed the border dang it!

As far as the sizes of the invitations, I think Vistaprint's are a little non-standard: a bit smaller than 5" wide, and a little more than 7" long.

I found the exact dimensions on their website once the first design I uploaded was the wrong proportions. I really wish I had found that sooner.

In Microsoft Publisher I just created a blank document of exactly the dimensions I needed.

At first I was just exporting my design as a really high resolution image, but then I discovered that they can read the native file formats of several design tools, including Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Photoshop. Either way, you still have to expand your image into their little design window, which drove me slightly crazy but was similar to the other online vendors.

Their customer service is fantastic. I forgot to put the RSVP date on mine, called them up just to see if they could do anything, and they reprinted them for free.

These were the steps for Vistaprint.

Minted

I have tried something simialr on Minted.

For minited the process liooked like this:

  • It was a square card, floral design. Not sure of the design name right now.
  • Total cost was around $450. We ordered 125 (I think), upgraded paper, and had a floral design printed on the back. This also included RSVP cards.
  • We adore them and everyone loved them. Since we did add a personal touch.

Everything was excellent. Our cards didn't go into printing the day we were told they would, so I contacted customer service. They apologized, worked to fix the problem, and then upgraded us to overnight shipping for free.

Wedding Paper Divas

For another celebration we went with Wedding Paper Divas:

  • Picked a pre-made design, heavy card stock, matte
  • Ordered 45 of each invitation, accomodations insert, rsvp card, and matching thank you cards. They cost $300.
  • Loved the cards, customer service was awesome with a design change I wanted, and they were printed quickly.

Excellent service. They do send by fed Ex with signature required so I had to go up there and pick them up because we arent home during the day, but thats barely a complaint.

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