The adorable mess header

The adorable mess header

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Save the Dates!

Okay ya'll!  I am so excited to finally get a chance to sit down and work on this dream of mine: The Adorable Mess.  I have been completely and utterly consumed with wedding planning, teaching, and now we're in the process of moving.  Ahh!  Life has been completely crazy.

I'm planning to do a series over the next few weeks featuring the wedding: what I've learned from wedding planning, resources that were helpful, and advice for brides to be.  Today's post is pretty short, featuring our Save the Date, a "save the date" timeline, and some great resources for printing your save the dates.

Since we got married on a holiday weekend, we knew ahead of time that Save the Dates were going to be REALLY important for two reasons: so that people could set aside that weekend in advance to actually come to our wedding, and to make sure that they were able to get hotel rooms at a reasonable rate.  We didn't want our guests to have to pay an arm and a leg to share in our special day.

The time line for getting the save the dates and the invitations out was probably one of the most stressful parts of the wedding for me, considering the fact that printing and production time usually takes about twice as long as you expect it to.  Talk about wanting to pull your hair out!  Ahhhh!  Therefore, to save you some stress, I'm sharing some hind-sight that I wish I'd considered.

Save the Date Timeline

2-3 Months Before Save the Dates are Mailed (8 Months before the Wedding)

Have your Engagement Pictures Taken (if you want them on your Save the Date)
If you want your engagement pictures on your Save the Date, then make sure you take your engagement photos at least 2-3 months before the Save the Dates need to be mailed.  Things you have to factor in are the photographers personal timeline and the time it takes to edit your photos.  If you're looking for some advice on Engagement Pictures, check out my post Planning your Engagement Photos.

Set Up a Wedding Website
One of the MOST important things you can include on your Save the Date is your website information. Why?  Because it directs your guests to all of the necessary information once your Save the Date arrives.  It is a way to get information to your guests without filling your Save the Date to the brim with information.  I'll be putting up a post later in the week about website options.

1 Month Before Save the Dates are Mailed (7 Months before the Wedding)

Collect AddressesFacebook message everyone, call, text, do whatever you need to do to get those addresses, and make an Excel document of your addresses.  The sooner you have these cataloged and in your computer, the better. 

Decide on your Photo and Layout
I had all kinds of visions for our Save the Date.  However, what really defined our ultimate design choice was our favorite engagement photo.  Sit down and really look at your pictures.  Which image really captures you as a couple?  Which image reflects your wedding design?  From there, try out a few different layouts, remembering to keep your photo in mind.  Also, what kind of save the date will you send?  We chose to send a post card for two reasons: it saved money on printing AND it saved money on postage.  Currently, it only costs about $0.35 per postcard to mail a postcard within the United States.

Choose your Printing Company
This is probably the choice that is the most important.  You'll need to check production and shipping timelines to make sure you get them in enough time to address them!  See below for some printing companies.  Also, you want your Save the Dates to be adorable.  Give yourself enough time to play with design choices and choose the one that makes you the happiest.

What to include on your Save the Dates

  • Name of the Bride and Groom
  • Date of the Wedding
  • City and State of the Wedding
  • Website information
  • A note that a "formal invitation will follow." 
  • Any other pertinent information that can't be communicated via the website. 

Order your Save the Dates
Other than paying for your Save the Dates, this is the best part.  I couldn't wait to get mine in the mail! When you do place your order, make sure you order 10-20 more than you plan to use.  Sometimes you make mistakes.  

2 Weeks before Save the Dates are Mailed

Address your Save the Dates
Remember that Excel Document of all or your addresses?  Now is the time to put it to good use.  Grab some good music or a favorite TV show and start addressing those beauties!

Purchase Postage
Head to your local Post Office to purchase postage.  FYI: Post card postage is cheaper than standard postage.  Nothing like saving a bit of money! :)

Design and Complete your Website
Make sure that website is up and running for your guests to view once they get their Save the Date.

6 Months before your Wedding

Mail your Save the Dates!
Traditionally, Save the Dates are mailed about 6 months before your wedding to make sure that your guests are in the loop with all of you wedding events.  Once you've mailed them, sit back and get excited.  Things are starting to happen!

Save the Date Printing Companies

After much research and being as picky as I am about fonts, I ended up choosing to print our photos through a company called Minted.  They have some ADORABLE designs to choose from.  However, the photo that we ultimately chose really controlled which design we went with.  

Some great options include:

Our Save the Date! 

Happy Designing,

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