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Charts and Graphs by Mr. Sword

Since Mr. Sword is too scared busy to write a guest post, I am sharing this post on his behalf, but all of the information gathering and graph making done in preparation for said blog post is courtesy of the ever-cute, ever-Scottish, and ever-skinny Mr. Sword.

Mr Sword edited

Awww! Isn’t he adorable in his kilt jacket?

I know everyone loves to see a good breakdown of the guest list and how many people are attending or not attending, and I’m no different.  Except instead of just breaking it down by family and friends of the bride or the groom, I think, especially in our case, it’s equally if not more interesting to look at the breakdown by in state, out of state, and out of country.

Our total number of attendees is officially 122 people not including Mr. and Miss Sword.  We had invited 187 (yes that number went up by one from my last post) guests but this includes children, partners, and plus ones.  Like I said before when I talked about the beauty of online RSVP’ing, sometimes it makes more sense to look at households or invitations that were sent out instead of counting each person.

For the sake of these charts and graphs, we will be counting and including each individual person.  It makes the most sense because, for example, a family of five might only have two people attending so we wouldn’t know whether they counted as a yes or a no.

For future reference: in state = Minnesota, out of state = any state other than Minnesota, out of country = mostly Scotland with one invite going to Canada, one going to England, and one to New Zealand.

Wedding color motif per request of Miss Sword.  🙂

Attending by Location 2

Guests By Location 2

Something I noticed right away was that we actually have more people attending from out of state than in state, but we also invited more out of state folks.  And something that is not clear from this chart is that we only have one family not attending who live in Minnesota, the other three not attending are plus ones that aren’t being used.

Now, for the breakdown of who invited who.  I was hesitant to post these charts because my number is significantly higher than his, but that is mostly because we are getting married in my home country and because Mr. Sword’s family is rather small.

Even though quite a few people from Scotland had to decline, I’m still eternally humbled and happy that Mr. Sword has such great family and friends who are willing to make the long and expensive trip to be with us on our wedding day.  Words cannot express my thankfulness.  This wedding will truly be a mix of BOTH of our favorite people.  We are blessed.

Guests Invited by Total 2

Guests Invited by Attending 2

The most interesting thing to me about these charts is the fact that Mr. Sword does not use a period when he writes Mr. Sword (like I do and just did, twice).  It’s a simple difference based on whether or not you’re using American or British usage, but it’s funny the things you learn about the person you love after years of being together.

I feel bad closing this blog post without a few words from Mr. Sword so I’ve taken the liberty to write out what I’m guessing he would have wanted to share with all of you.

Cheers* mate!  It’s baltic outside right now!  I’m well chuffed to be guest blogging today for my lovely fiancée Miss Sword.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the charts and graphs I was forced asked to make.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty knackered from all my traveling and I have to fill up my car with petrol and load the boot.  Thanks for having me on Weddingbee, Aye!  xx

Translation:  (And yes I know I put in some random crap he would never say on here but it makes me laugh.)

Hey friend!  It’s freezing outside right now!  I’m very happy to be guest blogging today for my sexy fiancée Miss Sword.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the charts and graphs I was begged asked to make (because she had no clue how to make them).  Unfortunately, I’m really tired from all of my traveling and I have to fill up the car with gas and load the trunk.  Thanks for having me on Weddingbee, yea!  hugshugs

(all photos personal and created by Mr. Sword)

*Before someone from the UK corrects me, yes I know the word “cheers” is normally used as a goodbye or a thank you but I looked it up, it can be a greeting or a hello as well!

Did you or will you have a higher percentage of in state guests attend your wedding vs out of state or out of country guests?  Are you pumped for having all of your favorite people in one room like we are?  Didn’t Mr. Sword write a sweet blog post?  🙂

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Best RSVP Decline EVER

It started off like any other trip to the PO Box.  Since Mr. Sword has been traveling for work every week, I’ve been doing all of the heavy lifting and car loading and unloading of wedding related packages.  That said, it’s hard to complain about receiving lots of  great packages and letters, and on this particular day I had SIX boxes to bring into the apartment and a handful of letters.  Immediately after unloading I wanted to begin opening the packages (obvs) but something caught my eye in the stack of mail, it was a letter from the UK.

Now it’s not unusual for us to receive mail or cards from the UK (hello Scottish fiance) so at first I set it aside, eager to open everything else.  But something made me do a double-take.  This letter was special.  It looked different, regal, important.  My heart began pounding and a scream left my mouth, “WILLIAM AND KATE SENT US A LETTER!  OHHH MYYY GOSH OHMIGOSH!  AHHHH!!!!”

Wedding stuff and Museum Jan. 2013 020

True story.

Unfortunately the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have other obligations to tend to the weekend of our wedding but I’m so touched they were kind enough to respond.  The letter is signed by someone named Claudia Holloway and it’s absolute perfection. What if we all talked like this when we couldn’t go to someone’s wedding?  How cool would that be?!?

I like how they don’t pretend to write it themselves.  Prince William and Princess Kate have better things to do but they cared enough to have someone respond.  Heck, they beat the Obamas!  Still waiting on that reply Mr. President…

The best part has to be the fact that they make it look like they were actually considering attending our special event!  I’m also shocked with how timely their response was given.  Royals.  They got class.

Without further adieu, here is the envelope and letter.  I will also leave the transcript below in case you can’t read it clearly through the photographs.

W and K letter edited

contents of letter edited TWO

———————————————–

Dear Mr. Sword and Miss Sword,

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked me to thank you for your recent invitation to your wedding on XX March.

The Duke and The Duchess were extremely grateful for your kind invitation.  Having given careful consideration to the possibilities, however, I very much regret that Their Royal Highnesses reluctantly feel they have to decline.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge send you their best wishes, and very much regret having to send you this necessarily disappointing reply.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Claudia Holloway

——————————————-

Tears.of.joy.

(all photos personal)

If you want to know where I sent our invitation see this post.  If you’re wondering whether or not I will end up framing this, the answer is “why the heck not??”  So tell me, who wants to send an invite to Prince William and Princess Kate now?  🙂

Why I Love the Online RSVP

When I first shared our Once Upon a Time invitations with the hive I talked briefly about my love of online RSVP’ing, but I figure it’s worth sharing my thoughts again and this time in more detail.

I have a confession to make, I placed a lot more importance on our RSVP deadline date than I originally thought I would.  I ended up attaching some emotion to the RSVP waiting game and frankly, it’s not something I would recommend!

I have secretly been waiting for Jan. 15th for a while now; feeling beyond curious about who will be able to attend the wedding and who will not.  I know many bees before me have written about their disappointment when certain family members or friends submit a “no” response, and I am here to commiserate with them.  But I truly believe that everyone who is meant to be there will be there and the wedding day will be fantastic no matter what.

We chose a deadline early enough to give us plenty of time to track down the stragglers and to be certain that guests had ample time to make hotel reservations and flights.  If most of your guests are in the same state/city, I wouldn’t think you need to know as far in advance as we do.  I’m also anxious to have a real number in my head!  For the past year when talking about our guest list it’s always been a range of numbers, like 110-150 or our best guess, 130ish?  Soon enough, we will have a confirmed number.

Speaking of numbers, out of the 186 people invited, we have heard back from 129 of them with 102 folks attending and 27 declining.  A great start!  Since we are inviting a few families, I think it also makes sense to look at our guests as households or invitations.  We sent out 86 invitations and have heard back from 63.  Out of those 63 households, 50 have accepted and 13 have declined, with 23 households left unknown at this point.

While I love the idea of receiving the RSVP cards in the mail because it’s traditional and beautiful, I have to say going online with our RSVP system was one of the smartest decisions we made! I love the ease of it and the way it keeps track of everything for us.  I can just log in and see our numbers quickly without counting or entering in information myself.

So imagine you are a guest invited to our Highland Fairy Tale wedding.  Your first step is to type in our wedding website URL to find this home page.

website home page cropped
After browsing our engagement photos and reading our proposal story, you’ll locate the “RSVP” tab on the left and click it.  After which, you’ll see this:
household screenshot

At this point you’ll enter your name in the boxes provided to bring up everyone in your household.  For most that means couples or families, but also people who are dating and/or have different last names.  Each name was entered separately into the website and organized under a household name.  For the few plus ones we gave (mostly to friends traveling from Scotland of whom we didn’t know their relationship status) we put them in as Guest Householdname.

NOTE: This can be tricky with family members who have the same last name but are part of different households.  WeddingWire will show you all of the people with your matching last name but since we’ve invited our favorite people in the world, we are just trusting that folks are only RSVP’ing for themselves and no one else.
Once your name comes up and you find the “click here to RSVP” button, you’re taken to this page:
online rsvp screenshot

The example I’m showing is from a two person household that is coming from out-of-town, thus their response is needed for the rehearsal dinner as well.

In case I haven’t spoken highly enough of this system yet, here are my top four reasons as to why I love online RSVP’ing:

1. Instant Gratification:  The second someone’s RSVP is submitted Mr. Sword and I each receive an email complete with their response, meal choices and their personal note (if they left one).  I cannot tell you how much my heart leaps every time I see that WeddingWire has sent me an email saying, “So-and-So has submitted an RSVP to your events.”

2. Endless Meal Options:  This reason makes me laugh because we really utilized this website feature for our wedding, but not in the most typical spot.  I’ve talked before how we are serving chicken or a vegetarian option at our wedding, but our rehearsal dinner is a completely different story.  With one set price and the ability to offer my out-of-town guests whatever type of burger their heart desires, we had many options in our drop down menu.  I’m.not.kidding.

food options two

3. Procrastinators Aren’t Punished:  You know those people who wait until the last-minute for everything (we had a few)?  The online RSVP is amazing because even if they remember at 11:55 PM they can still get their response in on time, without it taking days to go through the mail.  Or they can respond a few days late and we’ll get their RSVP seconds after they submit it.  (See reason number one again.)

4. Money Will Be Saved:  We saved money by not buying reply cards, envelopes, and stamps (both US and UK).  Every little bit of savings helps the overall budget stay on track!

Finally, we chose WeddingWire because when we first picked a site to host our wedding website, Mr. Sword thought WeddingWire had the most customize-able options. We ended up deciding NOT to password protect our site (although it’s probably a good idea) because instead we decided to be stingy with who could see our website information.  We never posted the URL on Facebook or in mass emails, and the first time most guests saw our website was three months before the wedding when we sent out the invitations.

I have to admit I am most curious to see if we got a higher or lower percentage of people to RSVP by our given deadline than if we would have sent out paper response cards.  Since every group of guests is different the only way to really test my theory would be to experiment on the same group of people.  But no one, and I mean NO ONE is going to want to take the time to plug-in every guest’s name to their website AND address and stamp the same amount of return cards.  But if you do, let me know how it goes?

(all photos are personal shots of the Sword wedding website, edited by Miss Sword)

Does anyone else love online RSVP’ing as much as me?  Did you give a deadline and if so, what were your counts at that point?

A Highland Fairy Tale Teaser

Happy Holidays Hive!!  I hope you all had an awesome time with your family and/or friends.  I was in North Dakota over Christmas where the temperature promptly dropped below zero.  Gross.  Despite the cold we had a great time celebrating and singing together at church, eating Grandma Sword’s chili, sharing presents, playing games, and gorging on cookies.

I’m actually doing a lot of wedding planning, crafting, and family bonding over the next few days so I won’t have any spare time to write, BUT I will have lots to share with you all starting in January when I’m back in Chicago!

For now here is a project I worked on with Sister/MOH Big Eyes during our time in Bismarck.  The back story is that Sister Big Eyes received a new IPAD from her school and she and her third graders made a movie trailer using iMovie. Well, she showed all of us her trailer and after congratulating her on the awesome work, I exclaimed that we just HAD to make one about my wedding too.

We had a blast making it and then went on to make even more movie trailers with other family members.  I’m not even an Apple person (Mr. Sword and I are “Android people” as he likes to say) but this IPAD app totally rocked my world.  Plus, I’ll jump on any chance to star in a movie made by me about me.  😉

Hope you all enjoy it and I’ll be back next week with lots of wedding updates!

Makes me laugh every time I watch it.  🙂