When we got engaged, we wanted to share it with the world! Of course the requisite Instagram was a natural first step, but for those that would be securing an invite to our wedding, we eventually had to make it official! That starts with a save the date. It’s a creative way to announce your nuptials, while also ensuring that guests plan ahead for your wedding weekend.
I quickly learned that there are a million articles claiming to know the do’s and don’ts of save-the-dating, and quite frankly, there were a lot of mixed opinions. So today I wanted to share how I navigated these wedding waters, and of course share the final product!
Who gets a save the date?
You could certainly send them to everyone on your guest list, but make sure you’re prepared if they all come! Save the dates give your guests time to plan their travel and time off, so it’s best to send to only those you definitely want to attend.
How early should you send them out?
Generally, the recommended time frame is sending your save the dates 6 months before the wedding date. Extra time for destination weddings and holiday weekends certainly helps, but ours went out in March for a Labor Day weekend wedding.
Should your save the dates match your wedding theme?
They don’t have to, but why not? This gives your guests a glimpse of your style as a couple, and teases what to expect on a much larger scale at your wedding. It also gives you an excuse to plan those little details. This is a preview of things to come and lets you test drive your desired theme. You will have many more chances to build on that style or theme, through invitations, wedding websites, and paper products at the venue, so it can’t hurt to start now.
Where do you design them?
I soon realized that there are an endless number of sites for ordering save the dates, but one name kept popping up at the top of the list: Minted. So you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to partner with them for my very own design! Their selection was incredible, and offered so many customizable details.
What to consider when designing:
There are so many variables to consider when designing your save the dates, but I tried to streamline those decisions for you. Here is the short list:
- Single card, magnet, or minibook?
- Picture or text and design only?
- What to include on your save the date?
- Names of the bride and groom to be
- Wedding date
- City and state
- “Formal invitation to follow”
- Wedding website information, if you have it
- Print or foil press?
- Patterned backing? What color envelope? Envelope inserts?
- Address and return address printing on the envelopes?
- Customized stamps?
We went with a single card (design here) featuring a picture from our mini engagement shoot with Laurel Creative. As much as I love all the foil press options, I decided to save it for our invitations, and just used a simple white script overlay. But you know me, and you know I love gold, so to add a little pizzazz we included gold foil envelope inserts. I thought they added an elegant touch to an otherwise plain white envelope.
Minted’s address manager was also an absolute lifesaver. We uploaded our entire guest list, and it auto-formatted every address on our list. We chose to have the guests’ addresses printed directly on the envelopes, which looked worlds better than any label would have, and saved me from having to hand address 180 envelopes! And now these addresses are saved in their system for when we do our formal invitations this summer.
Our final touch was the customized stamps. My opinion? If you are going to spend the money on stamps anyway, why not make them special? An ‘American Flag’ stamp is great and all, but it doesn’t really scream “love is in the air” like some of the custom designs available on Minted. We went with a simple P&E, again tying in the beautiful fonts from our save the dates and envelopes.
In the end, what could have been a very overwhelming process was extraordinarily seamless with Minted. And quite honestly, it was really fun! I’ve already started brainstorming my invitations, and can’t wait to share those with you down the road. In the meantime, I’m sharing some more “Save the Date Inspo” below for those of you currently in the throws of wedding planning. Happy designing!