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SWPS Volume 7

by in In The Office on

The Southern Weddings Postal Service, or SWPS, as we’ve nicknamed our in-house shipping department, picks up pace around this time of the year, when over 15,000 pounds of magazines are delivered to our office. It’s definitely an exciting time, and one that I, as the “Head Elf” this year, was honestly a little nervous about! I was interning at SW this time last fall when V6 arrived, so although I was exposed to the happenings at SWPS, there was still a lot I didn’t know about the process.

A lot of prep work is done prior to the day the 18-wheeler packed with V7 pallets pulls into Lara’s driveway. We order all of the necessary shipping supplies, write thank you notes to slip into each order, print and sort packing slips, and get the garage cleared out to make room for all the new magazines. Thankfully, the rest of the SW gals were super encouraging guiding me through the preparation process, and Rhiannon, Grace’s nanny, helped me clean, organize, and rearrange the garage weeks earlier. We expected V7 to arrive on Halloween, but a shortage of delivery trucks at the shipping facility forced us to wait until Monday. Despite the delay, we were ready!

Since the holiday season is upon us (yippee!), I’ve found a few parallels in the SWPS to none other than Santa’s workshop! It starts with the five of us pushing and pulling pallets upon pallets of magazines up Lara’s slightly uphill driveway. I imagine we look a little like reindeers pulling a sleigh!

Simultaneously, our little Dymo label printer is working hard to print hundreds of mailing labels that we’ll stick onto envelopes and boxes filled with copies of V7.

We were grateful on Monday for the sunshine that made it possible for the SW gals and our sweet helpers to move our workspace outside. Like Santa sifting through the naughty and nice lists, we scan each mailing label and match it with the right personalized note before sealing the package and adding it to the pile. Our littlest elf, Gracie, even helped by sticking chicken stickers on several lucky boxes!

After hours of packing, with our arms feeling weak from lifting and our legs wobbly from standing, our kind postman pulled into the driveway to collect over 300 packages of V7. I have to admit, I doubted that we could fit everything in the back of his little mail truck! I should know by now that, like our team of seven gals, small can also be mighty!

Just like that, V7 was on its way to your homes! We love thinking about y’all receiving the magazines and pouring through the content we’ve joyfully worked hard to create and curate! We’re incredibly grateful to everyone for supporting our mission and we can’t wait for y’all to see V7!

Written with love by Morgan
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    I am impressed with how efficiently you worked to get V7 into the hands of brides and readers all over the country within just a few short days. Well done! :)

  2. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] than seeing your copies of the magazine pop up on our #SWV7 hashtag. We hustled to get all of our preorders out the door, and are thrilled that so many of you have your copies in hand! If you haven’t been able to […]

  3. avatar Say Howdy to the Southern Weddings Holiday Collection – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] flattered to hear that, and tend to agree! In fact, now that we’ve gotten our mountain of V7 pre-orders out the door, we can turn our attention to the SW 2014 Holiday Collection. There’s lots of […]

  4. avatar DYMOsupport reply

    Love the idea of Gracie putting stickers on a few lucky boxes! Good luck with your project girls and have a nice day!


Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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SWPS Volume 6!

by in In The Office, Main on

It was an exciting weekend in the Southern Weddings office! We all spotted V6 on newsstands early, as did many of y’all! (Even though our official release date is tomorrow, I guess the SW goodness just couldn’t be contained — see instagram for proof!) If you’ve been a Southern Weddings reader for awhile, you know that not only can copies be found on newsstands, they can be ordered straight from our office. And because of this, during a fateful week every November, the SW office goes from a quiet work space to a crazy shipping department!

This was my first year as part of the SWPS (that’s the Southern Weddings Postal Service, of course), but having seen the recaps of V4 and V5 in years past, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect when that big old truck turned the corner. Y’all, I was quite taken by surprise, because the undertaking of sending about 700 magazines in two days is much harder than it looks! But first, some preparation had to happen.

We try to get as much done as possible before the magazines arrive, but this year, we didn’t get our new postcards until the day before. That means we wrote hundreds of notes in about three days! While we waited for the postcards, we made lots of boxes and alphabetized packing slips. On “shipping department” (a.k.a. Lara’s garage) organization day, Nicole, our interns Morgan and Ana, and I stacked the remaining V4 and V5 boxes against the wall. Meanwhile, Lara and Emily were looking fabulous for a shoot, and Grace was dressed as a doctor for Halloween. :)

Finally, magazine delivery day arrived! Apparently, it rains almost every year on this day, so Emily came prepared in a rain coat and boots. It was cloudy right up until the minute the truck pulled up, and then the rain started. Our hearts stopped every time the lift on the truck quivered–if a 2,000-pound pallet fell off, there was no way we’d be able to get it back on!

The gentleman who delivered our pallets was quite taken aback by our system, but we were happy to help as much as we could. I’m not sure how helpful we were though, since when he returned with the second batch of pallets a few hours later, he brought reinforcements.

Once all the pallets were tucked into the garage and we had opened a few boxes to get our first look at the V6 cover (read more about that here), we got to work!

It took two days of packing orders before we were ready to bring them to the post office, in a total of five cars. The post office kindly let us unload in the back, and thank goodness for that, because we had quite the haul!

One of Emily’s favorite pictures of the year is the world’s longest receipt from the post office. Now that we have a fancy mailing label printer, we no longer need to wait in line for hours while the post office rings up each order. While this is a huge help for our workflow, we naturally needed a replacement picture! So here it is: a strip of mailing labels stretching all the way down the driveway. This batch was only for about 85 labels, but we probably printed close to 600!

And there you have it, the SWPS, Volume 6! And I have to admit, y’all, my entire body has been sore for a week, which no one ever mentioned in previous SWPS posts. :) I sincerely hope we succeeded in getting your preorders into your homes, and if you’ve placed an order in the last few days, rest assured, your magazines are on their way!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Caitlin Sullivan reply

    Congrats, ladies!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Love that receipt/mailing label photo :)

  3. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    Congratulations on your hard work girls! It looks beautiful!!

  4. avatar Jess reply

    That mailing label photo is pretty epic! Congratulations on another issue so beautifully crafted, and thoughtfully shared.

  5. avatar Dana reply

    I’m so proud of you for doing heavy labor! :D

  6. avatar Mandy V reply

    Just found a copy in the stores today (Atlanta Target) ! So excited to dive into it.

  7. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Southern Weddings reply

    […] diving into all of our gorgeous editorials from V6, we shared a peek into the Southern Weddings Postal Service. The total number of V6 copies we’ve sent out from our little office so far is well over […]

  8. avatar Southern Weddings V6 Launch Party Recap – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] the joy found in the 300+ pages of our latest issue every time one gets sent out from our shipping department. To top it off, we were elated to share our pretty new home with you after months of […]

  9. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] this time next week, we will have V7 in our hands and the SWPS will be in full effect! Before we switch gears from desk jobs to packing up hundreds of magazines […]

  10. avatar Southern Weddings V7 Pre-Orders are OPEN! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] our last photo shoot, Nicole and Morgan are hard at work on layout, and we’re dusting off our SWPS uniforms. That can only mean one thing: it’s time to open V7 preorders! […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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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!

  5. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] by Bob Care Photography}WHAT WE'RE LOVING THIS WEEKI was finally able to dive into Southern Weddings V5 on turkey day…ahh it's so beautiful!And I made an extra side-dish for our family meal…it was […]

  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!

  9. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of the amusing nature of our day today, take a look at these recaps of magazine delivery days for V5 and V4–it sure is hard to explain to our new delivery company that no, we don’t have a […]

  10. avatar SWPS Volume 6! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] the Southern Weddings Postal Service, of course), but having seen the recaps of V4 and V5 in years past, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect when that big old truck turned the […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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