Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Save The Dates

         There are so many options when it comes to save-the-dates: magnets, online videos, e-mails, or the traditional card in the mail. The wedding magazines all say that your save-the-dates should be the first *hint* to your guests about your wedding's theme. Well, what if we really don't have a "theme" for our wedding?? We know the colors of our wedding, and when we describe the wedding, we say we want it to be "simple and relaxed." So, we went with something simple for our save-the-dates: postcards!

         We are very proud of our save-the-dates. The day that we went and toured our venue, Dan’s mom came along with her camera and we shot some amateur photos of the two of us. We got some great shots of us in front of the fountain and one the railroad tracks. Thanks to one of the fiance's coworkers, we were introduced to this site Zazzle that allows you to put your pictures on practically anything you can think of. So we created our own postcards using 3 of our favorite pictures from our shoot. So here's the final product:
         We felt like postcards would be a cheap alternative to traditional save-the-dates. Originally we played around with the idea of fridge magnets, but those cost more money than we budgeted for to create. Plus, then you have to buy the envelopes to mail them in, as well as traditional postage. With postcards, there are no envelopes required. Plus, postage is nearly ½ the price of a standard letter ($0.28 per stamp). We definitely recommend the postcard route for any couple planning their wedding.

Side Note / Word of advice: We were looking at square invitations for our formal invites. But, when we went to do our registry, the person who was walking us through the process told us that for her invites, she chose square invitations. Little did she know that it cost extra postage to mail out square invites because of their unconventional size. She told us that it was nearly $1 a pop to mail out those invites! So, if you’re a bride with a small budget, be sure to check into the postage before you chose your invites. If the envelope isn’t a standard size, or if the letter weighs more than an ounce, it’ll cost you more to mail them.

         Before we ordered all of the save-the-dates, we ordered one "tester" postcard to make sure that everything looked the way we wanted it to. I definately recommend doing this unless you are familiar and comfortable with the website you are ordering the products from. The tester cost us $2.94, but let me tell you, it was worth it! If we had not ordered the tester, I would not have known that I had placed text outside of the "save zone" of printing. See, the URL to our wedding website was practically chopped off. So, I went back on Zazzle, moved the URL up a little hire, and we were ready to order.
Side Note / Word of Advice #2: I was at my parents' house this weekend and wanted to see how well they made it through the mail. I was worried that they would get all banged up. Fortunately, there was only one or two tiny spots that looked like they'd bumped up against something else. However, do you know how at the bottom of all of your mail, there's this little barcode that the post office stamps onto your envelope? Yeah, well, that was stamped onto our postcards....right over our website address... So, just something else to take into mind. :)

         We ordered about 85 postcards in total. We didn't need that many, but we wanted to make sure we had extras in case I accidently wrote the wrong address or spelled someone's name wrong. Thanks to the same coworker who gave us the website tip, we managed to get a $10 off coupon. Plus, Zazzle had sent us an e-mail offering free shipping. So, all in all, we got all of our save-the-dates for under $50! Plus, we saved $0.16 per stamp on each postcard we mailed out (we handed some out in person to those people who we see all the time).

         Again, we are so proud of our save-the-date postcards! We're looking forward to creating our formal invites as well, though we'll probably go the more traditional card-in-an-envelope route for that one. And, we're hoping to have professional engagement pictures to incorporate into our formal invites!

         Have any of you created your own invitations or announcements? Did they turn out the way you anticipated? Or would you much rather order something from a store or catalog?

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