Sending save-the-dates seemed like a fun, easy task. But once I dove in, I realized how time-consuming the process can be. Here’s how Sean and I went about it.
Step 1: Guest List
Before we booked our venue, we made a preliminary guest list. But sending save-the-dates forced us to finalize it. We had to make some tough decisions when it came to cuts. There are a lot of people we would have loved to invite, but it would have put our guest count in the 300-400 range. From the beginning, Sean and I knew that was too many people for us. We wanted to spend time with—or at least acknowledge—every guest at our wedding. Booking a venue with a maximum capacity of 200 forced us to stick to this goal. Once we decided who we would invite, we had to gather addresses. This took several weeks. Kudos to our moms for helping us track down information.
Step 2: Design
I got lucky when it came to this step. My maid of honor, Nicole, is a professional graphic designer. She offered to design my save-the-dates for me. I wanted to pay her because I respect her time as a professional. She declined, but we landed on a compromise—her design services will count as my wedding gift. (I still feel like I got the better end of the deal!) Sean and I love our engagement photos, so we decided to use some of them for our save-the-dates. I sent them to Nicole along with basic text, and she came through with an awesome design. She recommended that we use Smartpress for printing, which turned out to be less expensive than I thought. Since we saved money there, I splurged on some custom stamps from Zazzle featuring one of our engagement photos.
Step 3: Website
We’ve already gotten a lot of questions from guests about our big day, so we decided to create a wedding website to go along with our save-the-dates. I’m no web designer. But I was impressed with the templates from Squarespace. They charge a fee, but it was worth it for the design quality. They also threw in a free domain name: EliasonDorsey.com. It took several days to upload all the information and photos to the site, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. We included the site address on our save-the-dates, so guests will know where to find wedding details between now and June.
My advice? Don’t put off save-the-dates. The process is fun, but it can take a while. Start early and save yourself some stress.