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Our Jewish Press article of Friday, January 21, 2000


The Foolproof Way to a Perfect Invitation

for your Valuable Simcha Dollar

by Sara Olewski, Invitations Online

Planning a Simcha, whether it is a wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, is always a busy and exciting time. As you go about your preparations your enthusiasm provides the energy to tackle this insurmountable task. There are hundreds of decisions to make and equally as many purchases. There are appointments to keep and list to maintain. . . . . and there are guest to invite. . . . .

Thankfully, the tried and true social custom of sending invitations comes the rescue and simplifies this process. There are no signs to post over town, no phone call to tie you down, and no personal visits to make. The traditional invitation contains all the details of your upcoming event. What a luxury!

Over the past few years a new market for invitations has developed allowing customers the benefit of huge discounts when ordering invitations in excess of 100. Some dealers offer the second hundred invitations for as little as 30% of the cost of the first hundred. Customized and high end invitation styles may not be included in this category.

Work closely with your designer/typesetter and check that the type looks right for the size and design of your invitation. The beauty of an invitation is reflected in the visual balance of the type within its framework.

There are many different invitation papers on the market today available in different sizes and textures. Prices should not vary excessively as you compare different weights and sizes. So take some time to compare in this area and look for the feel you are comfortable with.

Borders, backings, embossing and other custom effects can enhance the elegance of your invitation, and are not necessarily prohibitively priced. If you like the idea of adding some detail, ask for prices. Cost varies greatly for the different effects.

Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!

If you need some leads for a purchasing source, check out the sources in this Simcha Supplement Guide. If you have access to the internet, you can easily hook up to Invitations Online at http:www.invitations123.com.

You'll find a complete shop-at-home e-store. There are loads of styles to choose from and pricing is indicated for each design. With the click of the mouse you can view each design in full size and be linked to sections for selecting typefaces, monograms, or other accessories.

Whether you choose to order locally or online, an elegant or traditional invitation, remember the basic guidelines to ensure that you get the perfect invitation. Choose a style you like, indicate your preferences for design, and be sure to see a proof of the final version.

Above all, enjoy! Value the opportunity to share this simcha with friends and family and to experience the joy of true Yiddish Nachas. Mazel Tov.

Our Jewish Press article of Friday, January 12, 2001


by Sara Olewski

You gaze over at the mantlepiece at the carefully chosen photographs displaying the gradual growth of your child. You knew the big day would come, but it's hard to grasp that it has come so soon. It's time to plan the big day and to invite all your guests to share in the nachas.

Surely, you have many questions. Some of the things you will want to know about are the invitations: What types are available? What choices of layout are there? How many will you need to order? You will want to know what formalities are necessary as well as how much this luxury will cost.

Most invitations on the market are in one of the five most popular sizes, which your printer will probably display for you. After you select a size, you can choose the wight, texture, and shade of your invitation. If you like an embossed or pearlized border, there are many to choose from.

You may wish to add an embossed monogram to your invitation layout. Embossed monograms that group the initials of the bride and groom in a nice twirl or frame are very popular.

When composing the wording of your invitation, you may wish to note that on a formal level it is not correct to abbreviate or use initials. Names and addresses should be written out in full. However, if space is a problem, use your judgment for a professional look. Titles, such as Mr. or Dr., may be abbreviated.

With respect to the Hebrew on the wedding invitation, always write the full Hebrew name of the chosson and kallah. Although your invitation is mainly a source of information for your guests, the family will keep this invitation as a keepsake for many years and/or generations to come. This invitation may one day be the only document where the bride's and groom's names are shown correctly. In the English text, however, you can write the names of the chosson and kallah as they are known by most the guests.

One of the hardest decisions to make is how many invitations to order. Although the American community laments the loss of "its takes a village to raise a child," our Jewish community can still proudly proclaim this heritage. We belong. Some of us belong to organizations, community synagogues, and our children's yeshivos and day schools. Over the years many friendships have been formed with these organizations. When you finish counting the names, you may find a list that runs into the hundreds. You may decide to eliminate a few names of friends whom you have lost contact with, and choose to invite others only to the ceremony, yet the list still doesn't seem to get much smaller. You stare at your list and realize that your social circle is really large.

Each of you, as you plan your affair, will find you have questions of your own. Sometimes you may fee your situation is unusual, or there may be differences of opinion on proper etiquette. What may seem difficult for you, though, may be common to an invitation dealer with many years of experience.

Mazel Tov and happy planning!

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