3.16.2010

You're Invited - the first mistake.

The first thing I made in our invitation suite was the RSVP cards. Their postcard design was one of my favorite elements of the whole suite, and I was so excited by them. It was important that I liked these little guys - after all, they're they only part of the invitation that I would ever see again, and I was planning on keeping the returned RSVPs forever.

When I first printed the RSVP cards, they looked like this:


Does anything look different to you? Let's take a closer look.


"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that return label / address area looked different when you showed your invitations to us, Laura." You're right, they did.

You see, as soon as I finished printing each and every card, making each permanent (and with absolutely no willingness to waste two more precious gocco screens and four bulbs just to re-do everything), people started to worry that my babies would not make it home with this method of addressing. I fought it. The address part was my absolute favorite design aspect of the whole suite - in fact, it made me giddy. Well, my dad decided that he absolutely could not read the zip code and declared them un-mailable. He even went so far as to take one to the post office for me for a second opinion. And the post office had very low hopes for my beautiful babies. They told us that they foresaw a less than 1% chance that the cards would ever get back to my house.

So what was wrong with them? Well, everything, apparently. According to the guy at the post office (and the helpful slash aggravating handout he gave us), the zip code must be on the same line as the city and state in order to be recognized by the electronic reader that decides where the mail should go. Also, red ink is not easily recognized by the machine, so the USPS suggests black for all addressing. And finally, everything on the last two lines (street address / city, state, zip) must be in an easily recognizable font or print handwriting (no calligraphy or froufy fonts apparently). The name section (top line), however, can look however you want it to - the post office doesn't even look at it... it's simply for the reference of the sender/receiver.

This advice made me angry. I've seen so many examples where people get paid to create calligraphy that breaks every single one of these rules. When people pay for these services, their mail still gets sent, doesn't it? Besides, I've mailed plenty a letter where the zip didin't fit and I wrote it on the next line or my handwriting was barely legible. Those letters made it through the mail. Plus, our save the date labels were in burgundy ink, and they made it. I wanted to fight. I wanted to send my RSVP cards as-is. However, faced with an apparent 1% arrival rate, and the urging from my family, I gave in.


I created labels and followed every single rule. Black ink? Check. Last two lines non-froufy? Check. Zip on third line? Check. I printed these new labels out on a paper in the same color and texture as our cardstock, ran them through the Zyron adhesive machine, and placed a band-aid on each and every one of my beautiful babies. Don't they look like band-aids? I think so. I think they're an obvious "oops, let me cover my mistake", but others have assured me they look fine. Oh well, the cards are definitely coming back to us (we've gotten four back so far), so I guess it was worth the peace of mind.

You'll notice, though, that the actual labels on the invitations were still in Burgundy ink. I figured that since the save the dates did indeed arrive with no problems, I could afford to bend the rules in at least one area.

Have you run into "advice" that had made you re-do something for the wedding? Did you like the re-do better, or worse? Was it worth the change?

4 comments:

  1. ughh how frustrating. they don't look bad at all with the sticker. i would have probably ignored the "rules" and sent them anyway, but better safe than sorry I guess!

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  2. That totally sucks! I'm sorry!

    I literally just had my co-workers proof the wording on my invitation, reception and RSVP cards. And although I am grateful for a second and third pair of eyes, I did not like EVERYTHING they had to suggest. I ignored the one suggestion and kept the rest. I'm overall happy but was nervous to say "no" to the one suggestion.

    Love your RSVP card regardless!

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  3. Glad you were able to resolve the problem. I know it must have been totally frustrating. I agree that they probably would have made it fine with the zip on another line though it was pretty difficult to read. And I don't agree with the red ink thing either. However, I think with them being your RSVP cards (which is pretty darned important), I would heed their unfortunate advice and do as you did to be sure you get them back :)

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