I have been designing custom invitations professionally for more than 20 years. It takes time to create the perfect invitation suites, signage and décor for my clients’ events. Because I spend so much time with clients, I’m not just an invitation designer, I’m also a trusted confidant.
Over that time, I’ve worked with clients who were experiencing difficult life situations such as a divorce, a medical emergency with a close family member, or the recent death of a spouse or parent. I’m often told some very intimate things about what’s going on in a client’s life. I treasure these moments and feel honored to be trusted with such information. It’s my goal to help my clients through whatever struggles they are dealing with so that they can enjoy their celebration.
Most clients don’t want to be a burden
I have found that the clients experiencing the most stressful situations in their personal lives are the ones who are most careful about being a burden on others, including the vendors helping them with their event. So they often “feel bad” about asking for help. To them I say, “bring it on.” I am here for you, no matter what you’re going through. My job is to help make planning your event as stress free as possible.
This reminds me of a question a very special client asked me just this week.
My client lost her beloved husband 18 months ago. She is planning her daughter’s bat mitzvah and confessed that since her husband’s passing, she’s been “all over the place.” When it was time to send the invitations, she kept remembering people who she forgot to include on her list. She felt bad about asking me to keep printing envelopes one at a time and couldn’t believe she forgot her own first cousin! She asked if other clients also did this, or if it was just her.
I assured her that pretty much every client forgets a few guests, and that I even had one client a few years ago who forgot to invite her “favorite uncle.” Sharing this with her calmed her fears and made her feel a lot better. She can now enjoy the anticipation of receiving her response cards without worrying that she’s “bothering me” for forgetting to invite someone important in her life. If she remembers another name, I’ll simply address another envelope for her. It’s an easy fix, and something I hope she can laugh about instead of feeling stress since pretty much everyone does it.
When family drama gets in the way
A few years ago, I had a client who had some unexpected family drama pop up. She had invited her favorite aunt and cousin to her children’s b’nai mitzvah, but the aunt and cousin chose not to come. They didn’t have another obligation. They weren’t sick. They just didn’t want to put in the effort, and it was very hurtful to my client. I wrote about it then in this post:
The advice I offered to my client was essentially “this too shall pass.” I told her it was natural to grieve the change in her special relationship with her relatives. I then told her it was OK to get angry that her relatives didn’t make her family’s celebration enough of a priority, like she had done for them. And then I suggested she put it behind her and enjoy her event with the people who did show up.
And she did.
It’s more than just about the invitations and décor
To me, planning a special celebration is more than just designing and printing invitations and creating beautiful event décor. It’s about creating an experience, one that is enjoyable from start to finish. That’s also part of my job, so if I need to be a part-time therapist to help my clients enjoy the process, I’m happy to do so.
For custom invitations (and free therapy) for your next event, contact The Invitation Maven at [email protected].