Some Things Just Don’t Mix

And, wedding invitations and the Italian Post are two of them.

I know, I know…it isn’t Wedding Wednesdays, so what are we doing talking about WEDDINGS??? (And, I am counting on you to forgive my Wedding Wednesday lapse last week…)

Well, this is a tad different. This is personal. This is about MY wedding! (Hear the loud Bridezilla voice booming in the background?!?)
Seriously, though. Us Italian expats, and those who love us and send us mail, know how notorious the Italian mail system is for receiving packages. If you are a gambling gal, or dude, this mail system is for you. The odds are maybe…50-50??
I’m not quite sure.
Well, let’s back up to about 11 months ago when I first started looking at wedding invitations. All budget-minded brides know you have to make tough decisions and chose priorities carefully. Invitations were not high on my list.
I searched until I found a cute, fall-themed invitation that offered enough space for both Italian and English wording, at a good price, no less. Since I had more time on my hands (or so I thought) in Italy than I would in America eight weeks before the wedding, I planned to have the invitations sent to Italy so they could be ribbonized, addressed, and ready to go.
I won’t bore you, dear blog readers with the gory details (because believe me, they are boring – and gory – even to me) but more or less…
– The company won’t ship overseas
– They can’t tell me how heavy the package is (so I can have someone else send it)
– They don’t respond well to emails
– They are pretty much LACKING any customer service-related skill set
So, I decide to look in Italy. No luck. While many of the invitations here were cute, they didn’t offer much space for two languages. I even had help.
In what I thought was a last-ditch effort I went to a local print shop and asked them to duplicate the invite I had found in America. They did pretty well, too. But, they don’t have double envelopes in Italy, and the only ones this guy found were about 2 sizes larger than the invitation itself. Ouch.
So, back to the American company (who I am specifically not naming here since they had such poor service). But, I had to place the order twice – cause, what do ya know – they didn’t receive it the first time.
– They “hold” my order for about 2 weeks because they can’t call Italy (never thinking to send me an email and let me know)
– They add on additional charges and no one seems to know why
– They sent the wrong ribbon color
But, they finally arrive at my mother’s house, where she pulls 50 or so out for us to give the Italian crew. She puts them in nice little envelope and mails them to Catanzaro.
That was seven weeks ago.
We never received them. The ItalianPost Office passed the buck on to SDA, who can’t be reached via email or phone. At least not easily. So, here we are five weeks before the wedding with no invitations to give the Italians, who won’t come anyway, but that is SO not the point.
So, my “I don’t really care too much about the invitations” priority has jumped from the bottom tier and sky-rocketed, if only momentarily, to a top notch problem.
Aren’t weddings fun?
22 Responses
  1. J.Doe

    Maybe instead of mailing the wedding invitations you can scan one and then Email it to the guests.
    maybe that sounds tacky, I really don’t know much about wedding etiquette – my husband and I eloped.

  2. Giulia

    Oh Cherrye, what a headache! I would definitely have posted the company’s name so other future brides could avoid them at all costs if their service is as bad as you say it is. I got married in Italy so never had a problem with invitations, except for the fact that we had to personally hand deliver all of them! That’s the way it works, (or at least then it did), around here.
    Chin up, the big day will be here before you know it! 🙂

  3. Cherrye

    Thanks, Stacy!

    JDoe – you eloped?!? You are sooo smart!

    KC – These are our invites. They turned out cute, but what a headache!

    G – We would have hand delivered ours in Italy, too…instead I am remailing them all from Texas. oh well!!

  4. Carla

    Cherrye, I’m so sorry to know that they still didn’t arrive. I’m sure it will all work out though. I’m hoping that the everything else goes smoothly for you!

  5. j

    Maybe they would be easier to track if you sent them all in a package to a friend or future in-law in Italy who could then send them or hand deliver them from there. The last resort should be a telephone call to invite people rather than an email and this you can always do so I wouldn’t get too stressed about it.

    Eloping is a good alternative. My parents did it.

  6. Jeff Gromen

    SDA doesn’t have clue how to deliver things. If you see one of their trucks then corner the bastard and ask them where their secret “deposito” is. I’m sure you saw on my blog where the SDA office was in the marble cutting factory. I’m sure it’s a similar thing there. Your invites are there!! Good luck.


  7. Anonymous

    Hey there stranger, it’s Rich. I haven’t seen you online in a while, all that wedding stuff must be keeping you pretty busy! Missi says “hi” to you and Pepe (I say hi to Pepe too!).

    As for PosteItaliane, I have my own anger issues. It seems the box we shipped on May 27th from Pianopoli, the box we put a bunch of souveniers in, the box we paid 260 euro to ship home, yeah, it’s still in Pianopoli. After 15 emails, 6 phone calls (calls that didn’t help because only the toll free number can help and you can’t call the Italian toll free number from the States) I finally had someone call the post office for me. It seems the box that we marked fragile must have been beat with a baseball bat. Some combination of the olive oil, the Limoncello, and the one bottle of wine we bought broke open. The box is now sitting at the warehouse in Pianopoli with some of the items (Sorrento linens, a rug, a inlaid box) salvagable, but of course PosteItaliane is less than helpful with efforts to retrieve the box. I don’t even want to think about how I recover the cost of the shipping or file an insurance claim.

    I just wanted to rant with you on the Italian Postal system.

    Email me sometime richwho(at), we need to catch up!

  8. Nadine

    I’m sorry. It’s so upsetting when things like this happen. Don’t stress about it, I’m sure it will all work out in the end.

  9. Delina

    Name and shame the US company so that no one else uses them!

    My friend in Scotland sent me a wedding invite a month ago and it still hasn’t shown up. I think they should just scrap posta italiana. At least we’d know where we were then. As it stands now it’s a lottery as to whether things will turn up or not.

  10. american girl in italy


    I wish I would have known about this before hand. I made my invites, using stock I bought at Michael’s, and mailed them from here, and even created them to be a bit italian, and a bit american. I would have been happy to help!

    As for the postal system – my mom insures everything she sends. Not for a lot of money, because then of course we have to pay duty, but if your mom insures the packages, they are tracked, and you have to sign for them. In five years, and hundreds of boxes later, we have never ever lost a package.

  11. Erika of Sweet Pea Blog

    hi, I am a new reader to your blog, which I found on Bleeding Espresso. You had me hooked when I saw the word ‘wedding’ as I too am an expat, living in Switzerland and currently planning my wedding! I am sorry to hear that you have had such drama with your invitations, hope everything works out, and agree with the idea of insuring packages – it is what my family did when I was in Italy for the summer.

  12. Giulia

    Cherrye, I hope married life has been treating you well! Can’t wait to hear about everything when you get back to the blogsphere.

  13. Cre8Tiva

    …may the spirit of a new year fill your home with an abundance of love, laughter, and joy…may the magic of the moment bring peace to your heart all year long…may your creativity take you to amazing places and may you experience the resulting bliss…much love to all of you and your family…rebecca

  14. Nadine

    I hope that your Christmas was a good one. May this coming year bring you such blessings you can’t even contain it.

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