Invitation to a Recycling

October 27, 2009

I’m not going to dwell, but I apologize for already not sticking to my Thursday schedule.  I’ll do my best this week.

But I realized I promised in a post awhile ago to write about our invitations.  We kept things pretty simple; we wanted the invites to be fairly cheap, made of recycled paper with as high a post-consumer percentage as possible, and without all the many inserts called for by tradition and paper companies.

First, my dream invites: Earthly Affair Fresh.  I actually love all of the Earthly Affair creations, and their commitment to making the entire process (from production to shipping) as eco-friendly as possible.  Beautiful and thoughtful!  And founder Jennifer Stambolsky runs my absolute favorite wedding blog, full of gorgeous pictures and ideas and products that are often useful no matter where you are in life .  Unfortunately, while they are by no means expensive in the world of wedding invitations, they were outside our budget for the number we needed to buy.  But I’m definitely keeping them in the back of my mind!

What we decided to go with: Invitations by Dawn Delicate Beauty.  These invitations are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and fit the budget and our color scheme.  And we could order exactly what we wanted: invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards, response envelopes, and thank yous, sent in recycled packaging in a well-packed box.  We got exactly what we wanted as far as requirements go (a girl can still dream of soy-based ink and carbon-offset shipping!).  I also did an online coupon search (can’t stress how often you save quite a bit of money doing this!), making it even cheaper.

So I suggest, as you attempt to find the invitations were meant for you, to just keep your eyes out.  Almost all of the large invitation sellers we looked at had some recycled paper options.  Consumer demand is a powerful thing!  And you can always do a little homework, looking at reviews (you’d probably do that any way) and “about” pages to make sure everything, as in company policies and philosophies, matches with what you want.  And if it doesn’t, keep looking!   There’s an awful lot of options out there.

And you’ve probably already heard the advice that’s in every green wedding planner book/blog/whatever to keep the paper to an absolute minimum; don’t bother with all the inserts.  Use e-mail and websites (and phone calls to grandparents) to send out directions, no need to print those.  We also let people know that RSVPing by e-mail or phone was completely acceptable (just be sure to recycle the cards!), in a tiny effort to reduce stamp waste (both stamps and the paper backing) and transportation.

Bonus link: my friend Alison’s save the dates, which were absolutely stunning (so much so that I just spent 45 minutes trying to find them again because IT’S WORTH IT).

p.s. today’s post title (perhaps obviously) comes from Nabokov’s “Invitation to a Beheading.”  Which I read right before my wedding.  Whoo, happy thoughts?  I never did find an appropriate wedding reading in Nabokov’s work…

Long Distance Communication

November 17, 2008

For the past 2 months, I’ve kind of been ignoring the whole wedding planning thing.  I’ve just been basking in the realization that I’ll be married in 10 months.  Which I suddenly realized is less than a year.  After being engaged for 3 years, I suddenly realized that running out of time could happen if I don’t start doing something.

Well, I still haven’t done much, but I’ve written down some questions for our venue owners.  It’s a start, right?

My excuse for putting it off is that Jason and I are far apart, and it feels kind of wrong to do stuff without him.  And while I’m guessing he’s too busy anyway with important stuff like grad school applications and Mother 3, I know I wouldn’t like it if he was making decisions without me.  Fortunately, in this day and age, there are lots of different ways a couple with 3,000 miles between them can communicate without using a scrap of paper (love letters don’t count; that’s not wedding planning).  🙂

  1. Skype.  Skype is awesome.  Jason and I videochat pretty much everyday.  You can use it for calling landlines, too, all over the world.  I suppose there isn’t that much eco-friendliness to it, but if you’ve got an iSight mac, you don’t have to buy any extra equipment.  And actually, if all you need is voice anyway, you can use an internet connection and not get a separate phone that you’d need to plug in.  It’s a stretch, I know.  But I did find my webcam (no iSight for me) for $5 on craigslist, saving money and reusing!
  2. Google Docs.  This really is paper saving, and is ridiculously useful as a collaboration tool.  Jason and I are currently working on our (much too long but we love everyone) guest list.  Instead of making lots of paper lists and crossing things out and losing track, we’ve got one place we can both edit (and approve each others’ edits), and where we can eventually organize addresses and RSVP’s and so on.  In the future, I may use it to help us organize/plan our invitation layout and the things we want on our registry.
  3. Our Credo Mobile cell phones.  We were in the middle of a contract with Verizon when we just got fed up with their billing and their customer service.  We contemplated iPhones, but it was going to be really expensive, and we happened to be saving for a, um, wedding.  But I know I feel better with this decision.  Not only did we save money (and they bought out our Verizon contract), but 1% of our charges go to various social and environmental causes, and they’re the only phone company to lobby AGAINST the FISA act.  And they still are.  But I don’t want to sound like a militant evangelicist for Credo (and their parent company, Working Assets) and really play up one choice over any other.  I just think doing a little research into the impacts our choices have and don’t have can make such a huge difference.  Yep, done now!

So, next up, I’ll be calling rental companies about tents and dance floors on my cell, tracking prices on Google Docs, and Skyping with Jason about options all at once…maybe not.

Also, anyone know of a good officiant on the Eastern Shore who would work with us and understand the green philosophy?  Well, ’till next time, but here’s a picture of our caterer/friend Mark and his wonderful bread oven:

making a pizza!

making a pizza!