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Back in October of 2010, after we’d already been engaged for 6 months, we decided we should finally pick a date for this epic hurrah we were planning. I was quite surprised at how tricky this part was. Between working around family member vacations, the time of year we’d hoped for and my own bookings [silly me filled up most of the summer for client weddings before even booking my own!] this task was more difficult than I’d ever imagined!

At long last, we came up with August 30th…yep, it’s a Tuesday, but I think it’s the best choice! First of all, many of my friends are photographers and other wedding professionals. I’d really like them to come, but it would be a lot to ask for them to block off a weekend date during the prime season. Furthermore, most of the rest of our local friends work in the hospitality industry…Tuesday is notoriously quiet in the food & beverage biz. And lastly, everyone else on the list will have to take a bit of extra time off in order to travel from several hours away regardless, so we’re hoping this will encourage them to book a bit of an extra long weekend to come explore our neck of the woods. It’s surprising how many Canadians have never spent any quality time in the Rockies! We’re hoping for it to become more than just a one-day affair…I’d love it if our family and friends could come hang out with us for a few extra days!

By the time we’d finally picked a date, summer of 2010 was already a distant memory, many people had already started thinking about their annual vacation for 2011. We didn’t know many of the wedding details, but I figured it was time to get the word out so our potential guests could start working it into their plans if they are hoping to try and make it out to our neck of the woods for the party.

I saw this idea for Save the Date cards on Ruffled early on in the planning stages. I thought that since we live in a tourist town it was perfect to utilize tacky post cards…and economical! Including postage, these worked out to just over $1 each. And I’m left with a custom stamp kit to play with down the road. Instead of asking people to Save the Date, we suggested they Plan a Holiday.

Despite the great response to the budget-friendly Save the Date cards, I hadn’t really thought much about invites. We knew we didn’t want anything swirly and flowery for our invites, but beyond that I was pretty clueless when it came to wedding stationery. [Adam even more clueless.] To be 100% honest, invites really were not high on my list of priorities. However we decided to get in touch with Shannon, from Spoonful of Sugar.

Back when I was just starting my business here in Banff/Canmore in 2009, I had the opportunity to shoot some photos at Shannon’s dad’s little winter wedding to gain some local experience. Because of this, Shannon was so kind to offer up her design services at cost. What a lovely gal. Talent trades really do make the world go around.

Working with Shannon was seriously such a breeze. We met up in her cute little home office, had a quick chat about our wedding ideas and style, talked a bit about textures, a few colors and fonts. That was about it. Voila, by the next morning, there was already a digital design in my inbox. All of a sudden I was really, really excited about our wedding paper! Now that I have my own set of invitations that I’m infatuated with, I have certainly started to look at other stationery designs with a different eye than ever before.

I decided we should add a bit of aesthetic interest to the front of the envelopes. I bought close to 400 single stamps in random denominations to make up $0.59 for each invite. Adam thought I was nuts.

I knew that we had far more information to share than what would fit onto Shannon’s cute little designs and we would need a website that we could direct guests to. I’d begun to dable with some of the free wedding websites out there. I was not impressed. The ones I was coming across were too cookie cutter and frilly for my picky design taste.

I was about to settle when I came across the perfect blog entry from past Budget Savvy Bride guest blogger, Lesley. She did a feature on her site which was built for free on blogspot. Despite my less-than-flawless track record with html I decided to give the project a whirl. I’m certain I made the process more stressful than needed, but in the end, I think it came out just great! Here are some of Lesely’s tips.

As a note, our stationer-extraordinaire, Shannon also does beautiful ultra-professional reasonably priced wedding sites that match your stationery design to a tee.

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  • lauryn

    I love your save the date idea! So clever. I also agree with you on the stamps, it adds so much to the envelope. And you invites are stunning!

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  • Julie

    I 100% grabbed the Save the Date idea from another wedding blog, but I agree they turned out SO well. Thanks so much for the comments!

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