So remember when I said I was done with the DIY wedding projects? I lied. When it came to my save-the-dates, I fully intended to simply drop one of our engagement photos and text into a Wedding Paper Divas or Minted template and move on to the next wedding task. Then I saw the cost.
Don’t get me wrong, as a magazine editor, I love paper and think it’s a worthy investment in the grand scheme of a wedding. After all, it sets the tone for your entire event. But with the knowledge I have from working at a magazine, I couldn’t justify dropping hundreds of dollars on something I knew I could pull off myself at a fraction of the cost.
It definitely took me much longer than if I had used one of those templates. I spent hours looking for inspiration online, watching design tutorials, and trying to find the perfect font—but I figured, what’s the point of an 18-month engagement if you can’t pour yourself into projects like this? It has been such a satisfying and fun task, and I am absolutely thrilled with the end result. Tip: If you decide to go the DIY route, I highly recommend local printer Smartpress. They offered dozens of paper options and turned my save-the-dates around in under a week.
With the money Sam and I saved on making our own save-the-dates, we decided to splurge on a few embellishments. First, I found an adorable return-address stamp on Etsy that I customized to read “Future Mr. and Mrs. Hugo” (which happens to be in the same font we’re using for all wedding paper goods). Then, taking inspiration from Real Bride Kara, we also ordered custom postage stamps from Zazzle.com featuring another one of our engagement photos.
As for the guest addresses, I panicked a little when I found out that proper etiquette dictates you hand-address envelopes. My handwriting is by no means terrible, but it’s not at the same level as a professional calligrapher (which we did not have a budget for). Again, taking advantage of my long engagement, I asked for a beginning calligraphy kit for Christmas and have dedicated weekends to practicing the craft. I think I’m getting pretty good!
I hope our guests will notice and appreciate the extra effort we put into these save-the-dates! If nothing else, this project has given me the confidence to also design our invites and wedding programs (for which I have something special planned). Stay tuned!