$1500 Invitation Inspiration Contest

We are quickly approaching the seven month mark--the point where all the "wedding experts" say we must send out the Save The Date notices and start looking into invitations. When our families started dividing up the costs of this wedding, I quickly claimed this expense. The invitation suite is the first real sneak-peek at the style and tone of the wedding and I wanted to be able to spend as much money as I needed to convey the style and class this event is going to encapsulate. And then I started pricing them. And then I wanted to slit my wrists. 

I could not believe how stupid expensive wedding invitations are! I looked all over from Vistaprint to Etsy to Wedding Paper Divas and found them all to cost roughly $23487529387652398765. After doing extensive research, I came to the conclusion that in order to get quality invitations, we're going to have to spend some dough. I was pretty bummed about the whole situation, until I stumbled upon Judy Paulen Designs while taking a walk during one of my lunch breaks.

This quaint paperie is tucked away inside mega-paper store JAM Paper on Third Avenue between 73rd and 74th Streets in Manhattan. I would've missed the place completely if I had been playing on iPhone, like usual. Well, I stepped inside and was greeted right away by the lovely Mariana and Jessica. They asked if I needed help and with a frown I told them that I was just looking because I was super poor and didn't have $23487529387652398765 to spend on pretty invitations. Mariana asked me what my budget was and when I told her, she didn't laugh. In fact, she told me that she could work with me.

I was ecstatic! She sat with me for close to two hours and looked through book after book after book before we finally found a Save The Date/Invitation set that encapsulated everything I was looking for (My Save The Dates/Invitations as a concept were a little tricky to bring to fruition because I wanted to use two of the photographs from our engagement photo shoot with Elie Zainoun instead of using typical paper notifications). I was very happy with the product I was purchasing and the price I was paying for it. I didn't think that things could get any better, but they did!

Mariana emailed me with some additional items that she needed to finalize my order. When I got to the end of the message, I noticed a link for a Facebook contest sponsored by NewlyWish and Judy Paulen Designs. I clicked on the link and read the rules: The $1500 Invitation Inspiration Contest was open to anyone who wished to use Judy Paulen Designs for their wedding invitations (check) and wanted to win fifteen hundred dollars towards an order (double check)! All we had to do was submit a photo that inspired our invitations, invite our friends and family to "like" the NewlyWish Facebook fan page and "like" our photo entry. I thought this contest was going to be a piece of cake since Wil and I have 23985723057 Facebook friends between us. We had this contest in the bag...and $1500 back in our pockets.

When we entered the contest, it had already been going on for a week and a half. The couple who was in first place already had over 200 votes and the others were pretty far ahead, too, but I didn't think that was going to be a problem. Boy, was I wrong! It was impossible to get people to "like" our picture (vote)! I posted on my wall. I posted in my status. I created an event. No matter what I did, it seemed that no one could be persuaded to take twenty-three seconds to vote. Three days in and we only had 70 "likes" to the first place couple's 300. I started losing hope, but our friends and family really came to the rescue. The people who had already voted started recruiting their own friends and family to follow suit. They posted about the contest on their walls and their statuses. My cousin's fiancĂ©e, Roz, even created advertisements for us that she posted on both her blog and her Facebook page.

It's a well-known fact that sick kids and sex SELL!

Slowly, but surely, the votes started pouring in. We hit the "streets" hard for almost three weeks and took no prisoners in our conquest. The results came in today: we came in second place! I purposely failed to mention that during the course of the contest, NewlyWish changed the rules and created a second place prize of five hundred dollars! Of course we had our hearts set on winning the contest, but we are so happy to have won anything at all. The way we see it, it's $500 that we don't have to spend. A big thank you to all our family, friends and family and friends of family and friends who helped make this happen. I honestly believe that it was the commercial that Roz made that finally convinced people to Rock the Vote! 

The Save The Dates are being printed as we speak and should be in the mail by the second week in April, the seven month mark. Right on time. So. Stupid. Excited.


  said... March 22, 2011 at 7:04 AM

You are so welcome Danielle. I wanted you to both win that $1500 so badly. Wedding are stupid expensive for a guest list with 4379343224 people and I know ANYTHING helps. I'm soooooooooooooooo happy you and Wil were able to secure $500 though! Love you xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Nitzalie said... March 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Can't wait to get mine in the mail! I'm also so stupid excited for you guys!!!

Anonymous said... March 23, 2011 at 6:55 AM

Nice video Roz...lol...

Anonymous said... March 23, 2011 at 6:57 AM

By the way...the anonymous person is wil...not sure why I'm not able to post with my profile...

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