Blythe's Wedding Diary, Part III

Our own Blythe Copeland is getting married and she is keeping a diary of her experiences, right up until she walks down the aisle.

Anyone can have an extravagantly expensive wedding—or at least, anyone with family money, a generous credit limit, or a successful loan application. But once I started reading the wedding magazines (which I did within 12 hours of the proposal) it became clear: extravagantly expensive wouldn’t be enough.

[sidebar]Brides said the wedding had to be personal. It had to be unique, said Modern Bride. It had to be handcrafted, said Martha Stewart. It had to scream “Blythe and Mike” from every piece of stationery, every ribbon, every last touch. And if I had any respect for myself as a bride, I’d make that happen with my own two hands.

I tried to keep a some perspective—I couldn’t, and didn’t want to be a full-time bride—but I still found myself signed on to make invitations, programs, favors, and our guest book almost before I knew what was happening. (I saved myself some aggravation, though, by scrapping our already-designed, DIY save-the-dates when we couldn’t bring ourselves to trim the guest list.)

First up: the invites. We wanted to use red and black for a seasonal—but not Christmassy—feel, and my fiance was a huge fan of pocketfolds (from to keep the directions, hotel info, RSVP card, and reception details in one place. (He cared about so few of the preparations, I had to give into his one request.)

My roommate and bridesmaid, a graphic designer, helped us choose two coordinating fonts—a script for our names, and a small, all-caps form for the rest of the text—and we used a basic wording that included both sets of parents. I fell hard for a red and gold brocade print from Paper Source ( and spent a week trimming it into ½ inch bands that would edge each invitation card. My inner Martha was coming out full force.

Then it started falling apart. I stared at text design programs until my brain froze, trying to figure out how to make our four insert cards get increasingly—and equally—taller. This required math beyond my comprehension: I had to take into account the red paper border we planned to add after printing, the size of the titles, and the automatic margins. That was when I realized that probably even Martha gets her invitations professionally designed. (It was also when I started crying.)

But we were too far along to give up—plus, we were too close to the wedding to start from scratch and order them—so I called out my secret weapon: my fiancé, who also happens to be an engineer. He whipped up an AutoCad design, complete with red borders and margins, and we took the pieces to the printer—ProPrint on Boylston Street—the next day. (Oh, and we gave up on mounting each on a red backing when I realized that meant cutting 600 more pieces. Even Martha knows when to choose her battles.)

After that, the gluing, stuffing, and ribbon-tying was easy: it took one afternoon and two episodes of Friday Night Lights. The only problem? Those hand-tied red ribbons that held the invite closed made our picture perfect invites too wide, so we paid the large-envelope rate of $1 each.

In the end, I don’t think we saved any money or time, and we definitely didn’t save ourselves any stress. But we did find out how well we work together as a team—and we did get tons of compliments on the finished product. I think even Martha would be proud. And now: onto the programs.