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SWPS, Volume 5 Style

by in In The Office, Main on

Oh me, oh my, y’all. We haven’t done an official count yet, but when all is said and done, I think we are going to have sent over 600 individual ORDERS out through the SWPS in this first week. And, of course, each of those orders could contain between 1 and 20 magazines. Allow us to give you a little glimspe into how the magic happen. Or, as I like to refer to the “magic,” the one week of the year when my desk job turns into a warehouse job…

The work of the Southern Weddings Postal Service fires up long before any magazines arrive. As soon as we opened pre-orders, our intern, Alexia, set up a system for managing them, and began to handwrite thank you notes and mailing labels. Here’s a peek at the stacks from a few weeks ago:

Because we knew our office supply of magazines was going to arrive later than usual due to Superstorm Sandy, we tried to do even more prep work than usual, including pre-stamping envelopes, folding and taping up boxes, and stocking up on packing tape. Whoo!

Before we knew it, magazine delivery day had arrived!! A massive truck pulled into our neighborhood, and the driver turned out to be the same guy that delivered our order last year. The first thing he said? “A year is not enough time in between these visits.” We know it was said with love, y’all.

I’m sure he appreciated how many photos we insisted on taking of the process.

Happily, we had Miss Grace to help us haul the 7.5 pallets of magazines (18,000 POUNDS, y’all. 18,000 POUNDS!!) up the driveway. Even more happily, Lara’s husband, Ari, arrived unexpectedly midway through the ordeal! I think the delivery guy almost cried when Ari rounded the corner, he was so happy to see him. What, mister, Nicole and I weren’t exactly the help you were looking for?

Those two photos of Grace pretty much kill me, by the way. Doesn’t she look like a little figurehead in the first one? Very helpful.

Once we’d huffed and puffed our way up the driveway and each pallet was tucked safely into our “shipping department”, we got to work moving magazines from one set of boxes and into another! All hands on deck! And by all hands on deck, I really mean it! All other non-essential activity stops in the office while the SW gals bust out those first several hundred orders. Susan, Grace’s nanny, even chipped in at naptime!

Once we had a good number of orders ready to go, we started loading cars! Luckily Lara and I both have small SUVs, so we were able to squeeze quite a few into our initial load.

Oh yes, the actual postal service is always delighted to see us coming. They graciously let us unload in the back (cool!).

That’s just a small portion of our haul!

The other gals then abandoned me at the front desk (just kidding — I sent them back to the office to pack up more mags!) while the cashiers processed our boxes upon boxes. Our total across three credit cards for this initial visit? Get ready for it — $2,500. Yep! I snapped this photo and texted it to Lara when we hit the first $1,000 :)

Once back at the office, I took what has to be one of my very favorite annual photos — second only to the photo I make John snap of me grinning next to the first copy of SW I find in the store. Why, it’s the world’s longest receipt!!

And that, my friends, is the story of the Southern Weddings Postal Service, V5 Style. I sincerely hope that we’ve succeeded in getting your order out to you in good time and great condition! If you haven’t had the pleasure of placing your order yet and can’t find a copy in stores, be sure to do so here!

P.S. SWPS V2 and SWPS V4!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Rhiannon reply

    This is amazing! I love little Grace’s face in those two photos :)

  2. avatar jessica reply

    Love seeing the documented process!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    What a crazy, joyful process!!

  4. avatar Sara A reply

    I am a bridal stylist and was thrilled yesterday when my bride’s mother brought in the latest copy of Southern Weddings, amagazine I was not familiar with. I was so excited to see my bride on the back cover in her beautiful Angelina custom gown! I will be calling Luis on Monday to have him watch for it!

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  6. avatar Valerie Painter {Greyson Design} reply

    Thank you ladies for all your hard work :) What a task! Fun to see the behind the scenes pictures!

  7. avatar Katie reply

    Oh, you have no idea how this haunts my dreams…as a former assistant editor at WV LIVING and WV WEDDINGS, I remember each shipping fiasco well. And the worst part is, readers have NO IDEA how difficult it is to actually get a magazine in their hands. They just know they saw it at Barnes & Noble, so why don’t they have their subscribed copy yet?! My publisher, Nikki, wrote a great blog post on the never-ending USPS conundrum and why post offices in our smaller West Virginia communities are vital to rural life.
    I absolutely love everything you’re doing @laracasey! Keep it up for all us mamas who ditched publishing. XOXO!

  8. avatar Jordan Thompson reply

    Somehow I am just now seeing this post! I can’t believe you guys did all of that by yourselves! Im worn out just looking at the photos! You guys are amazing!

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