Invitations: A Gem of a Printer

In the wake of Nicole’s wedding, after seeing how much work these shenanigans really take, I resolved to get crackalackin’ on all the to-do list I’ve been avoiding. Well, I still can’t quite make time to sit down and do the first pre-cana lesson, but that time will come. Let’s not get too crazy.

Lately, everyone has been expecting me to know the answers to pesky questions like, “Where should I stay when I come in town?” and “When are you sending out save-the-dates so I can book my flight?” Jesus, people, you ask so much of me! Crawling into a fetal position and rocking back and forth in the corner didn’t seem to deter anyone, so Brian and I decided we should send out our save-the-dates soon. Those will list the date and the wedding Web site address (featuring hotel information and other useful tidbits), thus buying a little time before we have to send out the actual invitations.

Bri has been trying to stalk New Orleans printers for the last few weeks, but they apparently don’t respond well to this newfangled “e-mail” thing. I put it off for as long as possible, then grudgingly stopped by one business yesterday after work. It’s called Gem Printing and is located in Metairie, what I consider the armpit of the New Orleans metro area. I tried to overcome this by imagining the store staffed by the cast of Jem:

Sadly, this was not the case. The gentleman who waited on me has obviously been in the wedding invitation business a long time (which I’m sure will take a toll on a person), and he was dead set on telling me what I want and what I should and shouldn’t do. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: My fiance is designing our save-the-dates and invitations. Since he’s a graphic designer, he wants to have all the fonts consistent throughout all pieces. Would you be able to print addresses on the envelopes if we give you an Excel or Word doc with all of them?

Gem Guy: We print return addresses on all the envelopes.

Me: No, I mean if we wanted to print the addresses we’re sending invitations to in a certain typeface, would you be able to do that?

GG: Oh, you don’t want to do that. You never want to do that.

Me: See, but I do want to do that. Can you print addresses on the envelopes? How much would that cost? (trying to emphasize that it’s not that I don’t know the rules; I’m just choosing to ignore them)

GG: You should never print addresses. You should always handwrite them. Trust me, you don’t want to print them.

Me: Can you. Or. Can. You. Not. Print. Addresses.

GG: No, we can’t. It’s not possible the way our equipment is set up.

Me: OK. That was my question. Now about the paper sizes…

GG: And before you bring in your final design, you’re gonna want to bring in a draft so I can edit it.

Me: Exsqueeze me? (translation: “Don’t you know who I AM?”)

GG: So I can edit it. You guys will probably make a lot of little mistakes on how you word wedding invitations. It’s just a lot different than how you write other things. Trust me. I’ve been doing this a long time. I can fix it for you.

Me: That won’t be necessary. It will be correct and the way we want it when (IF) I bring it in. We’re not using traditional standards for a lot of our phrasing (translation: I think it’s freaking ridonkulous to write out “two thousand and nine” when I would never do that under any other circumstances), so I’ll just save you the time.

GG: Yeah, just bring it in and I’ll take a look at it.

Me: Anyway, can we get larger cards the same size as the save-the-dates for our maps and directions? Can you print double-sided?

GG: Oh no, you shouldn’t use something that big. You should use the 3×5 cards we use for RSVPs. You don’t have to include every little street on the map. If you use the big card for the directions, it’ll compete with your invitation. See, you want to build all the other pieces around the invitation…

Me: We want the larger card. Can. You. Print. On. Both. Sides.

GG: Yes.

Me: OK then. What kind of digital file do you want for the design? Illustrator? PDF? JPEG? TIFF?

GG: A JPEG or TIFF will work. But you need to make sure you bring in the text so I can edit it before you bring in the final file. (Speaking slowly now, so I can understand) You see, once it’s in JPEG or TIFF format, I can resize it, but I can’t edit the words.

Me: (blink blink)

And that’s around the time I wanted to do something like this:

Wonderella vs. Target

The problem is, this place comes recommended, it’s pretty cheap and most of the other NOLA printers specialize in commercial work. On the other hand, I probably don’t want to feel murderous rage every time I look at my wedding invitations. Advice? Words of wisdom? Sedatives?

11 comments

1 The Wedding Times » Blog Archive » Invitations: A Gem of a Printer { 08.22.08 at 6:59 am }

[…] In the wake of Nicole’s wedding, after seeing how much work these shenanigans really take, I resolved to get crackalackin’ on all the to-do list I’ve been avoiding. Well, I still can’t quite make time to sit down and do the first pre-cana lesson, but that time will come. Let’s not get too crazy. Lately, everyone has been expecting me to know the answers to pesky questions like, “Where should I stay when I come in town?” and “When are you sending out save-the-dates so I can book my flight?” Jes Source: http://no-dowry.com/?p=55 […]

2 Ide { 08.22.08 at 7:02 am }

Jesus. Is this place connected to the David’s Bridal on Veterans? Because he is most definitely related to the yat who “helped” me with my bridesmaid dress.

“But, if you bring it to me in that format, I can’t unnecessarily spell out the date, year and time of the ceremony. Somebody has to fix your mistakes…you OBVIOUSLY don’t know what you want, first-time bride.”

What, does he think he’s a copy editor or something? That’s a very specialized field, sir.

My guess is that he’s been burned in the past by pretty, pretty princesses who turned in their invites with major errors, then pitched a fit when they received the order. But my advice? We can go out for $3 mojitos when you come visit, and then we can call him and tell him EXACTLY what he can and can’t do with the invitations.

3 Frances Sedatives { 08.22.08 at 10:30 am }

Be sure to ask for a sample print of your invitations from the stationer or printer before approving to have them printed. Frances Sedatives

4 Kathleen { 08.22.08 at 1:02 pm }

That man made me angry just reading this. I don’t know how you held your composure. But I’m quite impressed you didn’t whip out a knife and cut him right there.

I’ll agree with Ide on the mojitos. Good sedative. But I’m a firm believer that Superior margaritas and queso will cure this ailment. If only I were in town to help administer the medication… or at least partake in said remedy.

5 Melia { 08.22.08 at 5:06 pm }

I’m surprised that you didn’t take that guy down in an impromptu dance off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYVlG–1vv0&feature=related

Or cage match:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9fw27EImLI&feature=related

Uhh, proper wording? You are in the presence of a Dicker woman, sir. Savor the power of the family name while you still can.

Dude, I was compelled to sing along to the Jem song, loudly. I remember the Misfits being a lot tougher than they are in the video. “We are the Misfits…our songs are better…” Really, Misfits? Is that the best you could come up with?

6 Ide { 08.22.08 at 8:03 pm }

P.S. That’s my favorite Wonderella strip…after the one where Ray calls her from the phone booth.
“DUDE! That’s just like when WE were dating and I wasn’t into YOU!”

Off-topic, maybe. But awesome for sure.

7 Darren { 08.22.08 at 9:00 pm }

The best printers I’ve worked with have been excited to work with me when I want to do something out of the ordinary of what they usually do. If they’re unable to adapt to that, I’d say that’s a red flag to not work with them.

When you’re talking to them, a key word to use might be to get the addresses *digitally* printed. It’s cost-prohibitive to burn a new plate for each name for offset or thermographed printing. If they’re printing digitally, however, there’s really no good reason they couldn’t do ’em.

Unfortunately I don’t know any smaller-scale printers in NOLA offhand, but I’ll ask around.

8 Gillian { 08.23.08 at 12:46 pm }

Ide- For serious. I think all these wedding industry yats come from the same clan. Crazy David’s Bridal lady who likes to tell us we’re obese calls me at least once a month. We’re tight. $3 Mojitos! You are on. And that is my favorite Wonderella strip EVER. Reminds me of you (so does the Ray one).

Frances- Getting a proof is darn good idea.

Kathleen- Why don’t you live here anymore? Come home and I’ll buy you Superior margaritas!

Darren- Yeah, I think they’re so used to doing the typical, standard stuff that they don’t really like anything outside the box. If you hear of anyone else who might be good, let me know. I’m gonna call a few others next week.

9 mimi { 08.27.08 at 11:51 pm }

My god chile. Can’t you find an online printer? What’s about calling an event planner and see who they use?
Also kates paperie is good, based outta new yalk, but they live in 2008 in any case ; )

Can I come out for mojitos too? I’ve been having a tough week with a certain state agency (read:dmv) that is drrrrriving me crrrrrazy and not in an awesome fine young cannibals kind of way : (

10 Nicole { 09.05.08 at 7:37 am }

Cripes. Even though it was a lot of work, I’m sorta glad now that I printed everything myself and didn’t have to deal with any New Jerseyans coming at me with this sort of attitude. I might have shot them.

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