Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Manvites: Prologue

Dear Penga-of-the-Alternate-Universe, who has not yet made any invitations:

Do not attempt to do them yourself. Get them sent out, buy them pre-made - anything but DIY. It's just not worth it. The time, the self-doubt, the months of agonizing creative limbo - don't torture yourself.

But, if you're as stubborn as I am, and insist on the DIY route - at least plan out everything beforehand. Do a full, honest mock-up of everything before you begin production. Don't turn to Sak while he is in the middle of YUDUing addresses to tell him you want to start over.

Love, Present-Day-Penga

I should probably begin by informing you that these are not really wedding invitations. No. These are manvitations. Manvites, because they were made almost completely by a man named Sak. In all my shame, I did only the design and the cutting of a few envelope liners.

You see, I made the mistake of planning-while-doing. I would think something up, and to keep Sak occupied while I photoshopped, I'd give him a task. An invitation-related task. And over months as I hemmed and hawed over different designs, Sak kept going. He cut paper, he embossed, he glued, he YUDUed.

And finally he presented me with 100 fully-put-together masterpieces of pain and talent, ready to have my designs printed on. My designs that still didn't feel finished. My designs that weren't finished at all.

But seeing as I couldn't let all his hard work go to waste, I stuck with my initial idea, even though I have my doubts.

When it comes down to it, I think the problem is the word "formal". I'm not a formal person. I'm not a classy person. I like fun things from fantasy lands and outer space. I'm more comfortable with cartoons and doodles than fancy fonts and well-placed swirls. But Sak pressed me to keep the invitation formal. And it is, as much as I could make it. They look good, but for some reason, I'm not sure if it really feels like me. However, I've come to terms with my discomfort, because I designed them to Sak's specifications. They are his manvites, and he likes them very much. That's enough for me.

In retrospect, my advice for anyone who hasn't yet finished their invites yet:

Be yourself. If you're not a formal person, don't do formal invites. If you're wacky and crazy and off-the-wall, there's no real reason your invitations can't be either. Because five years from now, the only person that will remember what they looked like will be you. So do something you love. And because it'll be a reflection of you, your guests will (hopefully) love it too.

And also, remember your fiance. The "other-half" matters too, and your ideas and tastes might be different. Try to find a compromise, or at least come to an agreement of who will own the process. (Just like Sak will be "owning" his manvites when our guests call back to complain about how gothically black the little things are!)

So what exactly is the problem with our manvites? I'm sure you're dying to see what the little buggers look like, so here's a little peek:

For those of you who have conquered the invites, what's your biggest lesson-learned?


  1. Oh man! Definitely figuring the whole process out FIRST was a lesson learned. Cause if you kinda play it by ear, they might end up more work or more expensive than you previously thought. But I'm sure yours came out beautifuly. :] People have been saying nice things about ours but I'm pretty much they're just being nice. ;]

  2. Ohhhhhh I planned while I did and it ended up costing us a lot more than it should have. First off, it ended up weighing over an ounce (damn you 61 cent stamp) then I didn't realize that one of the glues we used is not as permanent as we thought it was. As much as I LOVE our invites (because they're cute and less formal) I sometimes wish I would have bought the package at Michaels and was done with it. Would have saved me a good 24 hours and a few hundred bucks!

    BTW you HAVE to have doodle drawings!