Monday, March 10, 2008

Paying Postage

The stickers have arrived and look wonderful on the fourteen or so invitations I brought with me on my spring break, but I'll post pictures of those later. Today I tackled the task of finding out from the Post Office how much it'll cost to mail out my beautiful invitations.

And the magic number is?

97 cents apiece.

Ouch. I'm thinking large square invitations should become less popular...because I would have been just as happy with a rectangle with a bow on top as a square with a bow on top...and I would be paying a hell of a lot less on postage.

But this is where we are now: what to do about stamps?

The United States Postal Service is less than helpful on this count: they produce absolutely no stamps in this denomination. Here are my conventional options from USPS:

This would be the only stamp needed, with three cents to spare...but it's not doing great on the pretty scale. The figure is supposed to be Wisdom, but...again....not much with the pretty though probably more convenient.

Now on to the combination candidates: I would use the pink stamp that I honestly don't like with either the Hershey Kiss stamp or the Louis Comfort Tiffany stamp that I like much better. Hershey Kiss has the advantage of making the postage exactly what it needs to be, but the LCT stamp is the prettiest one currently offered by USPS.

Now on to the other possible option: custom stamps. Several companies now provide the opportunity to create photo postage considered legal by the USPS without the overwhelming ugliness of the USPS stamp offerings.

Zazzle: doesn't make a 97 cent denomination. 92 cents yes, 97 cents no. And if I'm doing custom stamps I don't want to have to make more than necessary or use ugly stamps I don't like at all to make up the difference. same denomination problem as Zazzle.

As in love as I was with the idea of custom postage, right now it seems like a lot of hassle and expense compared with the idea of going with stamps I can live with even if I don't love them. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Silly Inner Envelopes

Archie went to stay with his daddy for a couple of weeks since I intended to fly out for my spring break (since Andrew would be driving to Kentucky anyway a week later for his own break, it didn't make sense to drive). While he's been away, I've been trying to get the invitations put together.

Things I have learned:
1. Tying ribbon bows onto 125 folded invitation cards is extremely tedious.
2. I cannot tie a bow as nicely as Martha Stewart. After spending several hours trying to match her classy knot, I settled on the nicest bows I could tie, which involves the hangy part being on top of the bow part on one side and the entire bow lining up against the top of the card. Not exactly what I had in mind when I ordered the invitations, but I figured I could spend the next month on grad school or tying perfect bows.
3. Because the entirety of the bow is at the top of the card, the flaps on the inner envelopes will not stay closed.
4. The flaps not staying closed annoys the hell out of me.

So what to do about the flaps (not to mention putting 100 more of the 125 invitations and reception/info cards into envelopes)? Where there is a problem, I shall find an impulse-buy solution.

I've thought about using photo stamps for the invitations since square and ribbon=expensive postage the USPS doesn't actually make stamps in the denomination required. If we do that, I'm thinking about putting a bow tie on Archie after his next grooming visit and using that picture for the stamps to involve him in our day (more later on the complications of wanting to share wedding with puppy pseudo-child).

So what did I figure out to do? Keep the picture love going!

I ordered Kodak photo stickers, after cropping one of our engagement pictures to a square, and selected the "Sea Glass" border option for the 2" x 2" Martha Stewart stickers (30 on a sheet for $3.99 at I shipped them to Andrew's house in Fulton (where I'll be for the next week on Spring Break--so exciting, I know) via the FedEx 2-day option.

Hopefully they'll arrive early next week and we'll be able to deliver them to all our college friends (who hopefully won't mind that they're getting hand-delivered invitations). In addition to packing for my flight tomorrow and doing last-minute laundry I need to go over our guest list and figure out how many invitations I need to take with me in all-but-done format to hand out/get postage cost estimated for the rest of the batch.

Now back to the packing planning for the rest of my work time, since I have to finish up tomorrow morning early and have yet to determine if I'm going to check two or carry-on two (the definite carryon is my backpack). Since I'm taking three flights to get from Lexington to St. Louis, I don't want to have to haul excess baggage through my two layover airports. However, I also don't want my luggage to not make a plane transfer at some point in these journeys, so I'm still conflicted about what to do, especially since I'm flying Continental for 2 flights but American for the last leg. Too easy to see stuff going horribly wrong, but discomfort of constantly dragging stuff around is also not appealing.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Shoe Second Thoughts

I have shoes for my wedding. Technically. I bought a pair of simple ballet slippers months ago since there are very few absolutely flat shoes that come in a 9 Wide and going with normal width is simply not an option if I don't want my feet to hate me.

But now that it's spring (for fashion, at least, even if I still am freezing my tail off outside), more white shoes are available for me to choose from.

Also, since I've decided that I want to take pictures in exciting locations like Union Station before the ceremony starts, I'll need shoes that I can actually walk around in without worrying about stepping on pebbles. So I started my search again.

I paid about $25 for the above ballet slippers from, Capezio Cobra (Ballet) for $25.

I love these eyelet skimmers but worry that they're too casual for wedding shoes...though my dress is floor length so it's not like I absolutely can't wear them: Grasshoppers Demi Eyelet for $46.

These are the other option I'm seriously considering, since they look cute yet comfortable and seem to strike a good balance between formal and playful. And they give me a reason to get a cute pedicure for the wedding other than the fact that I love to run around barefoot. They are, however, the most expensive pair I've looked at by a good little bit. Naturalizer Verdum, $72.95 on Zappos.

Which do you think would be best? I'm looking for honest opinions here, or I might find myself ordering whichever I'm thinking is the cutest at the moment. And if I pick another shoe, should I return my ballet slippers? (I think I still have time.)