DIY Wedding Projects: Save the Dates

Welcome to the second installment of my series on do-it-yourself wedding projects!

One of the first wedding projects we tackled was our save-the-date cards. Save the dates are exactly what they sound like: an announcement of your wedding date, possibly accompanied by travel info for out-of-town guests. They can take many forms, from a simple postcard with the date and location of the wedding and a photo of the happy couple to a themed piece (we almost used this Mad Men-inspired template from Wedding Chicks). Some people send them as a magnet (to hang on the fridge as the reminder it was meant to be), e-mails, or even as an elaborate video.  It’s whatever you want to make it.

Be forewarned, however: It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that this is the first little bit of your wedding anyone will see, so IT MUST BE SPECTACULAR. And that can be a lot of pressure you don’t need when you’re starting to figure out all of your wedding plans. So just remember that your guests will likely just be excited by the promise of a wedding!

I opted to design ours as a two-sided card. Since we didn’t have any engagement photos at the time and we needed to move on to more pressing issues, I decided to design ours digitally and send it to an online printer.

At that point that we knew we wanted our wedding to be a fun, relaxed celebration of our relationship, so after brainstorming, we thought it would be fun to mimic a doodled page torn from a notebook. So I found a digital scrapbooking paper design that looked like a piece of notebook paper, and added the details in our chosen color scheme. This is how the digital image turned out:

Then when our printed cards arrived a week later, it felt like it was missing something. So a notebook border punch helped us finish the look:

We only sent ours to close friends, family, and out-of-town guests, so that helped keep the cost down. (Only send save-the-dates to people you are sure to invite—otherwise you face the choice between an expanded guest list or certain awkwardness the next time you see someone who was asked to save the date but didn’t get an invitation!)

We also created some special wrap-around mailing labels, but I’m saving that for its own blog post!

What I learned: Make it simple! Don’t get burnt out on the first big project

What I wish I’d done differently: I should have made the note at the bottom, which reads, “Formal invitation to follow,” a larger and easier to read. Some of our older guests mistook it for the invitation. Yikes!

Next up: Invitations!

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