Congrats on your recent engagement! This is such an exciting time in you and your partners life. I am sure a million thoughts are running through your head right now and I am here to help take some of the pressure and stress away from planning your wedding.
Throughout my new wedding blog series I am going to give you some tips and tricks on how to make planning your special day less stressful.
First thing first: Save the Dates!
Yassss! You have a date picked and it is time to announce your big day to all your family and friends.
Well, now what?
Before I get into those awesome tips I promised, let's talk about the difference between a Save the Date and a Wedding Invitation. Trust me, this question is a lot more common than you think! And no questions are silly questions - this is a judgement free zone.
Your Save the Date is sent out before your wedding to announce to your guests that they will be soon formally invited to your wedding. In other words, it lets your family and friends know to block the date off on their calendar and to build up hype to your wedding.
A Save the Date typically has you and your partners name, your date - duh - and a location. The location usually isn't an exact address but instead it is the city and state where the wedding will be located. The location is important to provide especially if a decent amount of your guests will be joining you from out of town.
Your Wedding Invitation is sent out a few months before your wedding (typically 2-3 months prior - I will be writing a blog post about invites next so keep an eye out!). Your wedding invitation will have more information about the date, time, and location of your wedding, the time and location of your reception. Additionally, you'll be sending detail cards with important information on venue locations, lodging, food choices, and an RSVP card. BUT - more on that in another post, I am getting ahead of myself!
Overall, your invite will be more formal than your save the date.
Next question - should I even send a save the date? Technically, you don't have to, but you should. Sending a save the date gives your guests ample time to make travel accommodations, plan time off, hire a baby sitter if needed, and block the date in their calendar. With such an important ceremony as wedding, it is courteous to give your guests plenty of times notice so that they will be there with you to celebrate!
Alrighty, now that you plan on sending Save the Dates, let's get to those money and time saving tips!
1 - Find your Style
Before you start to panic, your save the dates don't have to match the rest of your wedding stationary! However, it would be ideal if they did.
Start looking up inspiration photos based on the time of year you are holding your wedding, color schemes, floral inspo, and other wedding stationary ideas.
If you plan on hiring a stationer (hello there!) to take the stress away from designing your stationary, it would be great to send them inspiration photos or Pinterest boards to go off of. If your stationer doesn't know what you are looking for in a save the date, it will take them more time and money (designers usually include a few proofs before requiring more to be purchased) to nail down exactly what you are looking for.
Don't know where to start? Don't worry I am here to help! I am more than happy to have a free 30 minute design consultation with you to help you get started! Just mention this blog post when sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2 - Plan Ahead
I have read in so many different places that Save the Dates should be sent out 4-6 months in advance but I have also read 10-12 months in advance. So, I am going to split the difference and say that Save the Dates should be sent around 6-8 months before your wedding.
With that being said, if you want to send your Save the Dates 8 months before your wedding, you need to look into the processing time for your stationer.
For example, my lead time for production is 1-2 weeks. This does not include design time, especially is you want a design that is 100% custom. If we go through a few rounds of design iterations, that could tack an extra 1-2 weeks to the save the date processing time. However, if you go with one of my premade templates, the time frame shortens by a few weeks and the cost is less.
Overall, I would suggest the design/ordering process about 4-6 weeks before you plan on sending your Save the Dates. With this ample amount of time given to you and your stationer, there won't be any rush to get things out the door and you can work closer with your designer to get exactly what you are looking for!
3 - Proof read, proof read, PROOF READ!
This is a BIG one.
Before finalizing your Save the Date information and sending it over to your stationer, make sure everything is spelled correctly. Even make sure the date is right! (Yup, I've seen that one before!)
Your stationer won't know if names are spelled correctly and if the date is correct, so it is your job to make sure everything is good to go. Send your Save the Date information to you mom, your in-laws, your maid of honor, your sister - whoever - to make sure you have multiple eyes on the information to catch any errors.
Your stationer, (hello again!) will send you a proof before printing so you will have another chance to look at your information one more time before giving the g0-ahead to print.
I have seen it happen too many times where a couple doesn't notice the errors until the Save the Dates are in their hands and they have to get them reprinted - which sadly costs you more time and money.
Make sure to proof read multiple times before sending the information our way!
4 - Get your Envelopes Addressed!
Another huge time saver is getting your envelopes addressed at the same time when you purchase your Save the Dates.
Most stationers, myself included, offer addressing services for a small additional fee. I also include envelopes with your Save the Date purchase so it makes sense to get them addressed at the same time!
That way, when you get your lovely Save the Dates in the mail, all you need to do is put them in the envelope, smack a stamp on them, and send 'em off! This step of getting your envelopes addressed will save your hand from so many cramps - I promise!
Also, don't forget to follow tip number 3 - proof read all your guests names and addresses! I wouldn't know if their addresses and names are correct so make sure you get those right the first time!
5 - Order more Save the Dates than you need
I know, this tip seems counterintuitive to the 'saving money' aspect of this post but hear me out! It will save you money in the long run!
I suggest ordering 10-15 more Save the Dates than needed for a few reasons. Your parents and in-laws might want an extra copy that didn't go through the mail, some may get lost in the mail, you might want to keep a few, and if you are putting your Save the Dates in their envelopes while drinking a latte, you may get a coffee stain on one or two.
Plus, you will also get those extra envelopes with your order just in case any of those get ruined while packaging the cards! Hand addressing a few envelopes over 100 won't make your hand cramp for ages.
When buying cards in bulk, you get bulk prices so the overall cost of your Save the Dates will be cheaper if you buy extra upfront instead of buying them later. Most stationers have a print minimum of 25 cards, so if you only need 10 you'll end up paying much more than if you added those additional cards to your original purchase.
Phew! That was a lot of information! If you are still feeling overwhelmed, please do not hesitate to comment down below or send me an email with any and all questions.
I am here to help make this process easier for you so you have as stress-free of a wedding as possible!
Stay turned for next week when I give tips on your Wedding Invitations!
Have a lovely week!
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