So I’m having a wedding in less than a year that will be out of town for most all of my friends and family, what is one of the most important things to do as soon as possible in this situation…send save the dates! Ok, so originally this didn't make much sense to me. Being the budget savvy bride that I am, I didn't want to spend money on save the dates! I figured about 2 hours after we got engaged, all of the people that were important to me knew we were engaged and when our wedding would be. If we haaad to do save the dates I just wanted to email them, but my super logical and considerate fiancé explained how our older family members were not surfin’ the net on a regular basis, so this was no good. Finally I gave in and started thinking of the save the dates as a fun and cheap way to give our guests a first look at the tone and vibe of our wedding. I was still doing this cheaply though!
I absolutely didn't want to pay a graphic designer to create these for me, I would rather save money and have great invitations. Luckily, I have Adobe InDesign on my computer and have a working knowledge of how to use it from college. I’m not sure what a free program online would be that you could use to make collateral pieces like save the dates, but would be curious to know if you all have used any. I have a lot of little projects (like awesome wedding mad libs) to do before the wedding and my computer crashed, so I lost the program and had to get a new computer. Thanks Addy for spilling water on it!
Matt and I had not found a photographer yet, so we didn’t have engagement pictures to put on there and anyway I kind of dislike cheesy engagement pictures, so we went with a fun and cheap postcard. We decided to include pictures of us when we were little. This has been a huge hit! If most people are like me, I really don’t want to keep a save the date up on my fridge for 9 months that is a picture of two people sucking face.
To make the save the dates reflect the wedding, I wanted them to be quirky, so I wanted all the text to be different sizes and fonts. It turned out really well and I think it made the whole thing look like it was more design-ey. I also included striped that were in the wedding colors. Matt's special touch to the save the date, was including a lyric from a song that we are using in the wedding. I loved the idea and it made them even more personal and fun!
The hardest part of creating the save the dates myself was figuring out what size to make them and where to print them. I started asking friends that work as graphic designers and deal with printers a lot. One of them recommended egprint. Their website showed that they offered 2 sided, color postcards for a little over $40 for 500 of them. AMAZING DEAL! Postcards mean cheaper postage and an easy to design rectangle shape. There were two catches, 1) I only needed around 150 and the lowest quantity you could order was 500 and 2) I had to sign myself up as a business on the website to order from them. I decided that 500 at $40 was cheaper than 150 anywhere else, so it was worth it and I also signed up just under some random business name and that worked out fine too. I highly recommend this place! We got them in the mail and they were printed perfectly and they arrived right on time.
So my tips on doing affordable save the dates are to not be afraid to do it yourself. Its not the actual invitation, have fun with it! Secondly, find an online printer that specializes in quick, bulk prints. Lastly, don't be afraid to pretend you are a business to get a better deal!