Reasons I’m Getting Married – Paper Products (Invitations)

To say that Sylvia has this thing for paper products/crafts has to be one of the greatest understatements since, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.” If it’s an ink stamp, piece of stationary, greeting card, or pretty much anything in a card shop or a paper shop, she’s all over it.

Just after Christmas, Sylvia wanted to go over to Paper Source to get some ideas on invitations and I was all for it. This was especially true because our friend John was in town and he’s essentially helping us essentially design the elements, if not the entire wedding itself. The more that we could get done before we’re pressed for time later the better. I knew going in that it could potentially be an overwhelming experience, so I mentally prepped for it and Sylvia even gave me a good out. If I got too overwhelmed, she just wanted me to walk away. I’m thankful that she’s aware just how much paper crafts mean to her and that she’s not insisting that I have a hand in some of the design unless I’m really into whatever it is. It really helps me manage my stress levels, which in turn gives me the capacity to help her manage her stress levels when they get a bit elevated.

Anyway, after we got down there, the three of us told them that we were there to look through some invitation ideas and they sat us down with a few of the invitation binders and we went to town. Unless you’ve already been married before or are currently going through this process, then it’s a bit of an understatement to say that there is a lot of options when it comes to invitations. You’ve got font, ink color, paper color, paper weight, paper size as well as the overall design of the invitation itself. Are you going to do a single card, or a folding card/paper invitation, or perhaps a two or even three piece ensemble? I’m proud of myself for not being instantly overwhelmed, but I will admit that I was nearly instantly befuddled that there would be so many options. I have no idea why in the world I thought it would be a relatively straightforward task considering that I think every wedding invitation I’ve ever gotten has been pretty different. Sylvia and John had a pretty instant connection going in terms of narrowing ideas down and man it was impressive to watch. I piped up occasionally if I either had an idea or concern or general opinion and I think I had some good ideas on small details, but thankfully they were doing most of the heavy lifting. When it came to color though, I totally checked out for a while.

See, I’m partially color blind. I wasn’t even really aware of it growing up as it was never particularly noticeable and there were only occasional shades of either orange/red or blue/purple that I would get confused about. It wasn’t till after getting teased about it in college and after I moved to Chicago and got health insurance with my current job that I actually had it tested. It’s silly because I could have just googled color blindness and easily have found the images that pretty much tell you how bad your color vision is. Once I was completely aware of it and how mild it was, I just sort of let it go when I see something differently than other people. Now, it’s a quirk and it can be fun to compare how I see something versus how most people see something.

While Sylvia and John were talking about all the different colors that we could go with, one of the clerks came over to see how we were doing. Thoughts and everything were thrown out there and the clerk casually mentioned that they had a tool that you could custom emboss anything that would take any oil-based ink like a rubber stamp. Sylvia’s eyes started to slowly light up as the wheels turned and she considered the ramifications of being able to custom emboss not just the invitations, but pretty much anything that she’d ever want to. When that moment hit, the look in her eyes was like every 4th of July fireworks display. Ever. All at once. It was simultaneously amazing and a little scary to behold. The clerk brought us over and showed us how the stamping, powder and tool worked and I’ll admit that I was pretty impressed. Once the demo was over, I didn’t have to even look at Sylvia as I already knew that at least one element of our invitations were going to be custom embossed.

Once that little bit of amazingness was over, there was more discussion on other elements of the invitations but nothing nearly as exciting as Sylvia learning about the embosser. We did find out that you can custom line envelopes, which is pretty cool, but it’s going to be extra work. Actually we’re putting a lot of work into the invitations as we’re doing nearly all of the work on our own. We actually had Sylvia’s mom and aunt over earlier this afternoon to help us with the construction of some of the elements and it was a grand old time. There’s more work to be done, but we’ve got a good dent taken care of and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Watching Sylvia’s joy about the embossing tool was essentially an extreme version of just how excited she gets by paper. I think it’s amazing. When you get to watch someone do something that they love, even if you don’t fully understand it, it’s really something. Sometimes I think that might just be what love is; the joy of your partner excited about something you don’t understand. While I might roll my eyes from time to time, I do at least get that paper is just an exciting thing for Sylvia even if I’ll never likely fully understand why. We all have things that just get us really excited, perhaps even past the point that anyone else, or even ourselves can understand. Heaven forbid that I judge anyone when it’s pretty clear that I have my own quirks.

Now that I think about it a bit more, I hope she’s not disappointed after the “paper” anniversary. Maybe every anniversary will have to be a “paper” anniversary.


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