A little while ago I told you about a few of the ‘hiccups’ A Warwickshire Wedding had encountered along the way. My intention had been to post a one-off piece. But the events of last Friday are such that I feel compelled to write a sequel.

H2B and I were absolutely thrilled when we received our beautiful letterpress invitations from Nairn based printers, Piccolo Press. They were just as we had envisaged: elegant ivory A5 sized cards decorated with our entwined P&J monogram in a bronze colour and the text in a lovely chocolatey brown hue.

Fig. 1. Our beautiful letterpress invitations

But we knew that we needed to produce some sort of fact sheet to accompany the invitation. The list of information that our guests required seemed to grow longer every day: directions, accommodation, confetti rules, the wedding present list, childcare arrangements. It just went on and on. All important stuff. But it made for dull reading. And then H2B had a great idea: to present it in the style of a Dummies Guide. So we set to work and after much experimentation came up with A Warwickshire Wedding for Dummies – Everything you ever wanted to know but were too afraid to ask!  *  Inside, we added a map of Warwickshire, the Compton Verney floor plan and some photos to liven up the text and make it less dense. We were quite proud of the fruits of our labour.

Fig.2. Draft cover for A Warwickshire Wedding for Dummies

Hindsight is, as the old adage teaches us, a wonderful thing. Knowing what I know now, I think that we should have embarked upon a DIY duplication and assembly project. But printing out a document comprising twelve pages in colour 60 times would have necessitated an awful lot of ink. And the likelihood of the printer jamming at some crucial moment or my stapling the wrong pages together posed a risk I wasn’t prepared to take. Much better, I reasoned, to leave it to the professionals and avoid the whole thing ending in tears. So we called upon the services of a local printer, little knowing that it would still end in tears and that those tears would be mine.

At first, it all seemed to be going swimmingly well. I had complete confidence in the printer, so much so that I only gave A Warwickshire Wedding for Dummies a cursory glance when I collected the box from his workshop. As you can doubtless guess, that was a big mistake.

The following Sunday, H2B and I burnt the midnight oil preparing the invitation packs for posting. It took an age to collate the letterpress invitations, Dummies guides and Compton Verney leaflets, put them in the envelopes, check the addresses, seal them up, stick on the special oval address labels that I had painstakingly printed and stamp the reverse of the envelopes with our P&J monogram. For guests with young children there was the added complication of having to include details of Tinies Creche and the accompanying registration forms.  It was hard work I can tell you but as the pile of sealed envelopes grew and grew I felt some sense of achievement, not to mention relief, that the invitations would be received within the deadline of 2-3 months prior to the Big Day.

But it was a case of the best laid plans of mice and men. Before I actually posted the said envelopes, H2B phoned with news that caused me to morph into Bridezilla faster than a Bugatti Veyron can accelerate. A relative to whom H2B had hand-delivered an invitation had spotted a grammatical mistake of the most grave kind. Worse still, this mistake wasn’t buried deep in the heart of the text. Oh no, it was centre stage, under the spot light, in high-definition and so glaringly obvious that neither of us will ever understand how we could have failed to have noticed that the word ‘too’ on the cover had an ‘o’ missing.

Fig.3. No prizes for spotting the error we missed . . .

Initially we thought that the mistake was ours, but we soon discovered that the error had occurred at the printing stage when the ‘o’ had been deleted during the re-sizing of the front cover. So the good news is that the offending page is being reprinted and A Warwickshire Wedding for Dummies reassembled free of charge.

At this juncture, I should perhaps emphasise that the printer concerned (who actually contracted the job out and is in no way to blame personally) has gone out of his way to rectify matters , even coming to my flat on Saturday morning to collect the guides.  Moreover, after sending the guides to print we did discover a couple of small typos.  We couldn’t have justified the cost of having these pages reprinted but as a gesture of goodwill the printer, at entirely his own expense, arranged to have the whole thing reprinted at the same time as the covers.

So there is absolutely no bad feeling and indeed, we will be working with him again to print the table plan.  There does remain, however, a small problem: despite my best efforts, I can’t unseal the envelopes without damaging them so I have been forced to order another box of envelopes from Piccolo Press.  And we are now bracing ourselves for an evening devoted to trying to peel off the oval labels so that we can re-apply them to the new envelopes.  Reprinting the labels isn’t an option because nice Tony at Bond Labels in Essex very kindly sent me just a few complimentary sheets, most of which I have used, to avoid my having to spend £50 on a big box.  We’ve also got to remove the 90p postage stamps that we had already applied to some of the envelopes and re-stamp all the envelopes with our monogram. The first time round it was fun. But you know, there is a limit to the amount of fun that can be derived from that sort of thing and I think we reached that particular apex a fortnight ago.

So wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed that this ‘hiccup’ doesn’t turn into a case of chronic indigestion thereby giving rise to an entire spin-off mini-series . . .

* Please note that all names and personal details have been deliberately omitted.