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.
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:
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?