Stationery Drama

I was unaware that there could even BE drama regarding paper products, but apparently I was just too green to the issue.

I had been eyeballing the Vivian Elle website since before I was engaged.  I loved the modern style of the invitations.  Joey and I met in November with the owner, who is married to someone I went to school with.  I asked to see some samples of invitations and she kind of shocked me when she only brought a couple of invitations with her.  Her reasoning was because the invitations are completely custom…but how am I to make a decision without looking at all of the options?

I knew going in that I wanted a “pocketfold” invitation so she only brought those to show us.  She had us choose the colors that we liked from her color wheel.  She seemed nervous but was nice and punctual.  I loved the work that I had seen thus far and so we decided to book her after she provided us with a quote.  I mailed her our deposit check.

A couple days later, she emailed me saying that the color I had chosen for our RSVP envelope was not available in the color that I had chosen and apologized for the oversight.  I was a little annoyed but changed the color and moved on.

A couple of days after that, she sent me another email stating that the actual invitation envelopes didn’t come in the color that I wanted either.  I was pretty furious at this point.  I happen to think that if you are paying the extra price for custom invitations that you should be able to get whatever color you want.  I called Joey to bitch about it and he told me to ask her if she could order the envelope custom to the color that we wanted from her wholesaler.  She didn’t even know the answer and said that she would get back to me.  The next day she emailed me with the custom price, which I said that I would pay.

Her third email, which was the last straw, was a list of the colors that I wanted…and the color was wrong.  I have no idea how she got it wrong considering she was writing down everything that we were saying that we wanted.  I thought about it and realized that I just could not trust her to get the invitations right.

I emailed her and stated all of the problems, and that she should mail me my deposit back.  She responded by saying that I was totally right and that she was “incompetent with this project” (her words, not mine) and that she hadn’t cashed my check yet because of it.

The owner of Vivian Elle had showed me which paper company she used for her products, so I just went to their site and picked another vendor.  I found Custom Paper Works, whose website showcased some great work.  I emailed the woman and asked to set up a meeting.  She flat out refused to meet with me in person.  I’m sorry, you want me to spend over $1,000 with your company and won’t give me an hour?  I don’t think so.

By this time I was getting pretty perturbed because it had been over a month trying to find a vendor for this.  We ended up going with R.S.V.P. in Plymouth, which has a storefront where you can get a mimosa for your initial meeting and they have tons of options to look through.  I will say one thing that I wasn’t expecting was that upon our second meeting when we were going over wording, she expected me to know how I wanted to say everything.  I thought I would be receiving a little more guidance, but that’s really the only negative I have to say thus far.  They are very professional and on the ball.

Fast forward to January when we decided to use Minted for our Save the Dates.  Minted allows you to customize the placement of the text on the template that you choose.  I spent a long time figuring out where exactly I wanted everything to go.  When my proof was ready for viewing, the text was not where I had placed it.  I edited where I wanted it again and sent them a note telling them not to change anything.  Second proof…exact same problem.  You couldn’t even read the text!  They had white text spilling over onto a white background.  Tell me how that’s going to work out.  I finally made Joey call and complain and the next day the proof was how I wanted it.  The paper quality was good and the envelopes were nice so I’m happy with the end result.  I just wish it wasn’t so difficult to reach.


Photo by Jeffrey Lewis Bennett

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