A Washingtonian Wedding: Invitation Tea

Two hours, 150 invitations—yes, it can be done.

Can you believe Emily and her friends made these?

Back before there were Gossip Girl parties or Grey’s Anatomy nights, women would gather to sew. They’d sit around a table and quilt or sit in the parlor and needlepoint. I don’t know which activity was more important: sewing or catching up. Quilts had to be made to keep the Little House on the Prairie family warm in the winter, and in Gone With the Wind, Melanie and Scarlett diverted anxieties about Ashley by sewing him scarves or sashes. But along with women’s necessity for crafting comes a penchant for chatting. I don’t know how many quilting bees go on these days, but I think the idea of women meeting to craft and chat is still very much alive.

Last Sunday, a few friends gathered at my mom’s place in the Virginia suburbs to do just that. We had an invitation tea. I made a batch of blueberry-lemon scones and another of cranberry. Muffins too, and one of my bridesmaids, Katie, made her famous chocolate-chip cookies. Of course, we also had tea—though it was strawberry/black-currant and iced, sweetened with honey, not the standard steaming cups of black pekoe.

We chatted and crafted from two until about four, and suddenly we were finished with the invitations—all 150 of them! Charlotte, doubling as the reader and singer in our wedding, turned out to be an invitation pro. The way she handled that double-sided tape—without missing a beat on telling funny stories and sharing wise advice—was amazing. Karin, my roommate, was especially talented with the ribbon. She swiftly cut it into 28-inch pieces and then tied the invitation and RSVP card and envelope together in the most perfect bows you’ve ever seen, all while making quips that had us laughing hysterically. Katie (nicknamed the “goof” in high school) also had us in stitches with funny stories as she helped with the double-stick tape and stamps. My mom stuffed and wrote addresses, and I stamped. All that’s left are a few addresses to find, and then the invitations are out of our hands and into the mail carrier’s.

Women might be crafty by nature. Or maybe I’m just blessed with awesome women in my life. Regardless, I’m so thankful for my beautiful mom and girlfriends—and also for having another wedding item ticked off the to-do list.


Emily, a Washington bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Nashville this fall. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

This article is part of our Bridal Party blog. To read more posts like this, click here