Monday, March 2, 2009

My Bridal Blunder

Like many a bee before me, I have hit a few bumps in the road in wedding planning. About a month ago we hit a serious snag that made me seriously over wedding planning. While I obviously haven't called off our wedding, it has taken me this long to get perspective and realize I should share my blunder with the hive.

Let's rewind to September 2008, Mr. PT and I started one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning- INVITATIONS!! Like Miss Piglet I had compiled a ton of inspirational wedding invites; unlike Miss Piglet, I knew that I didn't have the design aesthetic or the patience to DIY our invites. So I showed Mr. Peep the invites I liked unsure who and where we'd get our invites done. The good news was- we were on the same page on what we liked design wise and we both knew we wanted eco-friendly invites. The bad news- Mr. Peep really really wanted letter pressed invites. I nearly laughed in his face. Letter pressed invites were SO NOT in our budget. Once again, our Champagne tastes creeping through on our bud light budget (isn't this trend getting annoying??).

Mr. PT was a bit persistent, so I told him I'd humor him by spending a day looking for an affordable letter pressed invites, and then move on to invites that we could actually afford.

I sent out at least a dozen emails to both Etsy and Professional Designers alike. Most of the responses were exactly what I expected- WAY over budget. Then I got an email from an Etsy designer who seemed open to helping me design invites as she was just expanding her invitation business and she had a great deal with a letter pressed printer. It seemed too good to be true.

We traded a bunch of emails; a few of which I reconfirmed the prices she was offering. She was even offering eco-friendly invites- Crane Lettra made of cotton- totally tree free!! I finally told Mr. PT that I had done the impossible- I had found some letter pressed invites we could afford!! She even mailed us a beautiful sample. We were sold and put down a small deposit.

Come January, we were finally ready to design our invites. Again, our Etsy designer was fantastic to work with. In order to avoid a blunder and stay on the same page- I asked her for an invoice before we got to far ahead of ourselves. Her response- I'll get you one soon.

Finally, we had approved a final proof!! We were both super excited.

This is where the blunder comes in. She finally sent an invoice- it was well over double what we thought the price would be. I was irrational and irate and sent an email (that could have been nicer) confronting her on the discrepancy. There was a huge discrepancy in both the design cost and the printing cost. The good news for me- I still had all of our emails discussing price, so I forwarded them to her. I'd love to say that was the end of it, but for a few days I seriously thought that we'd have to leave our beautifully designed invites on the table and forgo the small deposit. It took almost a dozen emails (most of which were under the watchful and rational eye of Mr. PT), but we finally came to a consensus on the price.

While the invites were being printed I still felt like the transaction had left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but last week we received this in the mail:

They are beautiful and we couldn't be happier.*

BUT I'll always know that these invites caused a few days of drama and tears. So here's my long way of saying to everyone out there- it's not just enough to confirm the price. Make sure that you have a signed contract before you even begin work. We had waited a few months from our first email to when we started designing, so the price of printing the invites had increased. Plus, I was unaware of all the design costs. These were the hidden costs that I tried so hard to figure out (her bad), yet I got so wrapped up into designing the invites I forgot to finalize the cost (my bad).

And just in case you are nervous that you are going to run into my Etsy designer- I've never seen her name mentioned on Weddingbee and I think she learned a lesson too on this project.

Anyone else have a bridal blunder that you felt like you could have avoided? What's your biggest blunder to date?

*I am such a tease- I won't show you them until they are in the mail next month!!

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