How To DIY: Invitations

Invitations can be a stressful topic for some party hosts. Whether you’re a bride, a birthday girl, or a new graduate, there are a lot of logistics to think about, and sending out hundreds of envelopes can feel daunting!  But with these few steps, you are sure to feel like a pro at sending out your own invitations for your special day.
Our first piece of advice is to start early!  Time goes by FAST so we recommend you start around 6 months prior to your event. This is the fun part: find the perfect invitation that you love.  You’ll need to allow time for customization, revisions to the design, approvals in order to make your invitation special and perfect your event and of course printing!
Your invitation design should be set and ready to order 5 months before the event. Remember to order extras!! This is important for many reasons. Not only do calligraphers make mistakes (human error is real after all), but you may end up adding some additional guests to your list as your event nears. It’s always nice to have a few extra invitations on hand to save as memories too!
Mailing of your envelopes usually occurs between 6 to 8 weeks before the event, so take this time between ordering and printing to get organized! Many people don’t know that the mailing of the invitations can be a little tricky. For weddings, there can be a variety of invitations that each guest may receive. For example, some may only get the invitation, reception card and RSVP card…but others may get information about a rehearsal dinner or after ceremony brunch.
As soon as your invitations arrive,  create “mock-up” invitation packages of each invitation variety and bring these to the post office to be weighed.  Keep in mind that shape and the direction the envelope is calligraphed can increase postage amounts, which can be a hidden expense if you don’t expect it!  Be sure to weigh you response set as well since you will include a stamp for the convenience of your guests.
Speaking of postage, customized stamps can be a great personalized, finishing touch.  There are some great online resources for the customization of stamps. We love Stamps.com because they are a bit more discrete with their company name on the stamps. It’s so simple. You upload your custom design, order the required stamp amounts and they arrive to your doorstep in around 1-2 weeks.  You’ll also want to order extra stamps to account for the possibility of an increased guest count and of course don’t forget to order stamps for your RSVP cards!
The assembly of each element might be the most tedious task, but it can be manageable… just follow this checklist!
It is extremely helpful to assemble invitations when you have a quiet time to really focus. This will eliminate any silly mistakes!
Step 1: Create a numbered guest list.
Step 2: Number your RSVP cards in accordance to with your guest list. A small number written in pencil in the back corner is all you’ll need.  This will help to quickly identify who has a missing RSVP card!  Just cross reference the number and you’ll be all set.  However, this will only work if you are putting the correctly numbered RSVP card into the correct envelope… so keep your numbered guest list on hand!
Step 3: Make sure you add those customized stamps onto your RSVP envelope.
Step 4: When it comes to stuffing, it can be helpful to lay everything out on a flat surface to create an assembly line. Starting from the bottom, you will layer on top of the invitation the reception card then the response set on top (the RSVP card should be tucked under the response envelop flap).  All cards are facing up, please!
Step 5: Don’t seal any envelopes until you’re completely done! In case you make a mistake, you’ll be able to go back and correct it.
Step 6: Seal the envelope. It is a lifesaver to purchase a glue stick to speed up the process. Hundreds of envelopes makes for a very tired tongue! Plus, it’s a clean and simple way to get the perfect seal to your envelope!
Step 7: Head to the post office and send your beautiful invitations to your excited guests.  And don’t be shy about asking your local PO clerk to hand cancel your invitations so they are delivered beautiful and intact!
And now… sit back and wait for those RSVP’s to roll in!
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Adrina + Shaz – The Four Seasons Boston

The Day Of was lucky to work closely with Adrina and Shaz throughout the entire process as the bride and groom decided on partial service planning. The festive wedding weekend began on Thursday night, with guests taking Old Town Trolleys to the rehearsal dinner held at the chic and modern Catalyst in Cambridge. Family and friends enjoyed a night of delicious food while hearing fun and heartfelt toasts.

As the wedding day rolled around, the bridal suite was filled with laugher, pampering, and nervous jitters.  Shaz was set to marry Adrina, however there was one problem….tying his bowtie!  In our modern day, he turned to YouTube as he quickly followed a tutorial before heading out of the Four Seasons into the Boston Public Gardens for his first look at his future wife.   The two met in the Gardens for a sweet reunion and took photos amongst the summer flowers. The smiles continued as the couple playfully posed and danced with their other family members.

As the ceremony began, in an modern day processional, Shaz and his groomsmen and 2 ring bearers walked down the aisle, followed by the 5 flowers girls and bridesmaids. Each bridesmaid wore a champagne colored gown in a unique and different style.   Adrina met Shaz at the end of the aisle, amongst a beautiful floral backdrop set on a contemporary and unique circular riser.

The romantic feeling of the ceremony transferred beautifully into the reception, with pale colors and soft lighting.  Adrina decided to add a little sparkle to her gown with the addition of a crystal belt. One of the main focal points was the large sparkling elephant statue, an ode to the traditional Indian symbol of good luck and prosperity.  But the animal trend did not end with the elephants; dinner was filled with heartfelt speeches and the maid of honor kindly referred to Adrina and Shaz as “the little duck and the British lion” in reference to a story that Adrina once wrote.

After a delicious dinner, guests were entertained with great music, a fun photo booth, dancing, and cake! Guests left with delicious favors, which also happened to be Adrina’s favorite treat… gourmet marshmallows!

The following day guests gathered to close out the wedding weekend at Adrina’s family home in Cohasset for a whimsical and floral garden party.

We wish Adrina and Shaz all the best in their future together as Mr. and Mrs. Shaefi!

 

Rehearsal at Catalyst in Cambridge:

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Wedding at Four Seasons Hotel Boston:

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Event Coordinator: The Day Of

Venue: Four Season Hotel Boston

Officiant: Armen Shahinian, Uncle of the Bride

Cake: Cakes to Remember 

Ceremony Music: Music Management 

Reception Music: Beat Train Productions

Photographer: Grazier Photography

Videographer: Waves Media

Florist, rentals, lighting: Marc Hall Design

Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier

Photo booth: Creative Event Services

Transportation: Old Town Trolley

Hair: Salon Marc Harris

Makeup: Beauty Muse Bridal

Favor: Whimsy & Spice Brooklyn Confectioners

Gilly+Bryan- Boston Public Library

Last August, Gilly and Bryan took full advantage of a wedding in downtown Boston.  The bridal party got ready at the Fairmont Copley Hotel, the ceremony was down the road at St. Cecelia’s Parish (guests took wedding white trolleys to and from the church) and their reception was at the historic Boston Public Library.  The trolley did bring the bridal party to the church, but Bryan was surprised by Gilly with an Aston Martin for the day, so that was his mode of transportation! How fun and thoughtful!

Once guests were seated for the ceremony, the bridal party made their way down the aisle to graceful melodies played by an organist, violinist, trumpeter, and vocalists.  After the ceremony a bagpiper played outside, as guests rang bells and the new couple exited the church!  A perfect way to celebrate the newly married couple!

Following the ceremony, the bridal party took photos in the Boston Public Gardens before heading to the Boston Public Library.  Luckily the rain held out long enough to enjoy cocktail hour in the gorgeous courtyard, lush with plants and elaborate marble sculptures.  A white marble table, in front of the fountain, was set with stationary hors d’oeuvres and the trio played.

Guests were then escorted to dinner, on the first floor, while Gilly and Bryan snuck away for a quick picture amongst the library books. We were able to help them create a great shot!  As Gilly and Bryan stood below, we tossed textbook pages from above. With a dramatic dip over the knee and a quick kiss, the photographers captured the perfect photo, one that Gilly admitted they’d been practicing for a while!

Next, the couple made their grand entrance into the reception space through a hidden door above the dinner room. From the guests point of view, it looked as if Gilly and Bryan were entering from the ceiling!  The path was encompassed by bookshelves and the couple walked down a candlelit staircase to the reception space.

After dinner, guests were invited upstairs for dancing and dessert. With great music and fun lighting, everyone hit the dance floor immediately.  There were sandals placed outside of the front door so women could kick off their heels and dance comfortably for the rest of the night.  With a quick break for a first dance to “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen, and parent dances, guests were back on the floor.  The night ended with a fun dessert, an ice cream sundae bar and an array of tasty desserts.

Congratulations to Gilly and Bryan as they approach their one year wedding anniversary!

 

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Event Coordinator: The Day Of 

Hair: Barbara McCabe

Makeup:  Elizabeth Moon

Transportation: A Formal Affair and Trolleys by Tes

Church:  St. Cecilia’s Church

Officiant: Father John J. Unni

Caterer: The Catered Affair

Cocktail and Reception Music:  Clockwork 

Photographer: Coshi Productions

Florist: Michael O’Brien of Winston Flowers

Lighting: C-Zone Entertainment

Written Materials: Lynn Graham Designs