Exclusive Wedding Invitations at Attractive Prices
I came across an online news release entitled “Online Store Offers Savvy Brides Exclusive Wedding Invitations at Attractive Prices” published yesterday on a Reuters news feed. The article self-promotes a website called AllMyInvites.com which claims to help savvy brides ”searching for the latest in modern, custom invitations at an affordable price point.” Marketing Director Roxy Diba states that “All My Invites is not your everyday wedding website; type in the name and you will be wowed by the unique and expressive invitations that will set the mood for the most important day of your life.”
With all due respect to Ms. Diba’s opinion, All My Invites, is virtually identical to the plethora of dull and insipid online wedding invitation websites that populate cyberspace. I find All My Invites designs no more “unique” and “expressive” than any of the 100 or more online wedding invitation websites that one can easily find in a Google or Yahoo search. If All My Invites is where “savvy” brides search for wedding invitations, then I must not understand the definition of savvy. It’s funny, but the Internet has a curious way of dispensing with common sense in exchange for self-promotion claims that rarely need to be substantiated. If All My Invites is to be successful, it will need to compete on price and cost controls, since their designs do not dazzle.
While these may sound like harsh words, they reflect a growing concern that companies like All My Invites (and hundreds - if not thousands – of others) are dumbing down the public perception of quality papers, craftsmanship and superior design that define fine stationery. In fact, collectively these companies are bringing the entire fine stationery industry into disrepute by insisting that “fast-food” invites are the equivalent of custom invitations, printed on quality paper.
One easy way (among many) for the “savvy” consumer to see if websites have the proper credentials for your business is to visit the About Us page on their website. The About Us page of All My Invites illustrates this point in spades. It is always wise when buying online (particularly for custom invitations) to find out who you are working with. Personally, I like to know the names of the owners, their experience in the industry and what makes them motivated to do what they are doing. If that information is not plainly evident to you, I strongly recommend that you move on to the next online dealer. Better yet, visit a qualified stationer in your neighborhood for real expertise.
In the case of All My Invites, Ray Diba (related to Roxy? or are they the same person?) provides a most revealing introduction to the company. Nevertheless, what is Mr. Diba’s role in the company? In fact, who owns the company? Is it self-funded, owned by venture capitalists or, perhaps, it is just another Taylor Company slogging their recycled designs under a different label? Mr. Diba states that he is a designer that worked for “companies worldwide” on branding. Is this qualification enough to design custom invitations, select fine papers and, most importantly, offer a variety of printing processes (i.e. engraving, letterpress). Personally, I think not. If Mr. Diba thinks that providing bridal couples with designs other than “blue circles” or “yellow linings” makes for “exclusive” wedding invitations, he has a lot to learn. Most importantly, Mr. Diba has an overriding concern on price, “frivolous” candles and other wedding accouterments that he believes are not necessary for a wedding. This acknowledgement is a sure recipe for a cheap invitation. If you are a savvy bride, I would give All My Invites a pass.
What struck me odd in this revealing self-promotion is Mr. Diba’s claim to have wanted to “strangle” himself for being exposed to the “most unattractive and gosh-awful designs” he had seen going from “shop to dreadful invite shop.” I have no idea what “dreadful” shops he went to, but if he wishes to see truly “exclusive wedding invitations” at prices that reflect their craftmanship and design, then I would suggest that he drop by a Guild Member store in his neighborhood. Perhaps, he might learn that there is more to crafting a custom invitation than Photoshop and a template-based website.
Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair