The Minks Save the Date

These days, sending a “save the date” announcement before a wedding is standard practice.  It’s obviously a nice way to give out-of-town guests some time to make travel plans, but it’s also a way to give a hint about the style of wedding you’re planning.

We wound up ordering our save the dates much earlier than most. There was a good reason for it…

As a design blogger, I have hosted my share of giveaways, and I was delighted to find out that the wedding blogs have giveaways, too. A few months after I started entering wedding-blog giveaways, I won one! What I won was a set of custom save-the-date announcements from The Happy Envelope, a fantastic stationery company in Knoxville, Tennessee. The only problem: we were so early in our wedding planning that we didn’t have a picture or wedding website to put on the save the dates. We had a date. We had a location. That was it.

We wanted the save the date to be a little quirky, and it had to include Junior Mink. I started poring through photos to find something that would work. At some point in looking through photos, a different “take” on American Gothic came to mind. If you don’t remember, this is American Gothic:


American Gothic by Grant Wood / From the Art Institute of Chicago

That’s not exactly the kind of imagine you’d expect to see on a save the date, is it?

I tried to explain what I was thinking to some friends, but they weren’t quite feeling it. Everyone seemed to want the very traditional picture of us embracing or canoodling in a popular location. It didn’t feel like us. So, one afternoon after work, we went to an area of our neighborhood that has a brick sidewalk and a brick wall. I swept as many cherry-blossom petals as I could out of the way and set my camera up on a stool, prepared to use the timer button as many times as needed to get the shot that was in my head.

After the first terrible shot, a graduate student came walking by and offered to snap a few pictures for us. Luckily, he understood what I was going for when I explained what we were trying to do. Within a minute, we had the image.


Mink feet / Photo by a University of Virginia law student

I was giddy. I uploaded the photo to show some people on a fairly traditional wedding message board, and the first response was “Your heads are cut off.” I decided to share the picture on the Weddingbee boards after that. The comments rolled in and they were positive. I wasn’t crazy! One Weddingbee member even wrote: “I will be mad if you don’t use this.”

We changed the color to sepia for the save the dates, and I hastily put together a bare-bones wedding website so we’d have an address for the cards. The Happy Envelope had a proof back in a couple days, then sent our finished save the dates soon after. They’ve been sitting on a shelf for months.

Even though I’ve had them for months, the idea of actually sending these out is making the wedding feel closer.


What did you have or are you planning to have on your save the dates? Do you expect save-the-date cards to have a picture of the couple on them? What’s the best save the date you’ve seen?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Walk the Line: The Girls Get Ready, The Boys get the Venue Ready
When Relationships Change
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  1. Member
    paw 871 posts, Busy bee @ 7:39 am

    I just love your choice! So fun!

  2. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:44 am

    These are so cute! We didn’t put a picture on our Save the Dates at all (Madness I know!) I really like the sepia!

  3. Member
    jacinda10 469 posts, Helper bee @ 7:46 am

    I love these Miss Mink! I remember seeing them on the boards before you were a bee and thinking they were awesome then too.
    When are ya sending them out?

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Kim, Guest @ 7:50 am

    I love this picture! We did a similar one in our engagement pics, but our pups face is in ours (waist down of humans).
    I think its super cute :)

  5. Member
    knvprincess143 1036 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:06 am

    I LOVE YOURS, and it is one of the best I’ve seen :)

    We opted out of the Save The Date craze. Why? Because our guestlist isn’t finalized and I don’t want to lock myself into inviting someone I may not be able to invite in the long run.

  6. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:10 am

    @paw: Thanks! We’re really happy with how they turned out!

    @Miss Aardvark: No, not at all. I considered no picture myself! I like creative, artistic designs and saw plenty of photo-free Save the Dates that were awesome.

    @jacinda10: I had a feeling people might remember me through these! We need to send them ASAP!

    @Kim: I have a soft spot for dogs in any kind of wedding pictures! I hope you share yours on the boards! People will go nuts over it!

  7. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:11 am

    @knvprincess143: If you don’t have too many out of town guests, they aren’t really necessary. We did them because my family lives far away and we have some relatives that are scattered around the country.

  8. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:45 am

    I love your Save the Dates! I remember seeing them on the boards and thinking how adorable they were, glad you went with this design :)

  9. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:48 am

    @Mrs. Pony: Thanks! My mother didn’t “get” them, but everyone else liked them. :)

  10. hawk Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:15 am

    Your save the dates turned out great! I love that you included Junior Mink!

  11. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:17 am

    @Miss Hawk: Hee hee! I kind of want to frame the picture. I love having him in there, too. :)

  12. Member
    jacinda10 469 posts, Helper bee @ 9:25 am

    @Miss Mink: That would be such a cute pic to frame. It would actually look great blown up, on a canvas even. Or in color, in a dark wood frame.

  13. Member
    futuremrscpt 955 posts, Busy bee @ 9:58 am

    I absolutely love this Miss Mink!

  14. Member
    futureMFG 283 posts, Helper bee @ 10:13 am

    So precious!

  15. Member
    jessm10 194 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:26 am

    I love your save the dates. The picture is genius and I like that you had your dog in the picture.

  16. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:31 am

    @jacinda10: I think we are going to frame the color version!

    @futureMrsCPT: Thanks!

  17. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:32 am

    @futureMFG: We are dog nerds!

    @JessM10: Thanks so much!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    zeraaashian, Guest @ 11:32 am

    I showed it to DF, and he LOVED it! We might steal your idea with our pooches! Great job!

  19. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:34 am

    @zeraaashian: Yay! You better share it on the Weddingbee boards so we can all fawn over the pictures!!!

  20. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:58 pm

    Very cute! Love that Junior Mink is involved :)

  21. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:06 pm

    Awww I love these!! Haha we ordered our STDs in September even though they’re not going out til January. What? Vistaprint was having an awesome sale. 😀

  22. dalmatian Member
    dalmatian 592 posts, Busy bee @ 4:53 pm

    So perfect! Love the feet, and the paws :)

  23. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:16 pm

    Love it! I would be proud to hang this on my fridge! I’m a sucker for including the doggy.

  24. turkey Member
    turkey 654 posts, Busy bee @ 7:37 pm

    I love your choice, especially with the sepia.

  25. Member
    brittaful 263 posts, Helper bee @ 8:32 pm

    I did library save the dates. Hand typed. Custom envelope liners. And stamps. 200. Not recommended (but pretty product). It just took hundreds of hours (and I type 90+ wpm). Check out our gallery for images —

  26. Member
    missbubbles 179 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:05 am

    I love the picture, do not get me wrong, but i am more impressed with the dog. He/She did so good sitting there. My dogs would have been attacking the camera!

  27. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:38 am

    @TinyTina: Hee hee! I think we had ours over a year in advance. I really hopped on the blog giveaways!

    @Miss Dalmatian: Isn’t Junior Mink the cutest?!? I love his little feet!

    @brittaful: Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine!

    @Miss Sunhat: Same here. If there’s a dog, I’m in love.

    @Miss Turkey: Thanks!

  28. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:39 am

    @missbubbles: He’s super trained. He was sick as a puppy and wasn’t allowed to run/jump with other dogs, so for fun, we trained. He’s also very food motivated, so if there’s a potential treat involved, he’ll do anything!

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    sarah, Guest @ 9:31 am

    so cute! and i love the photo credit: “Photo by a University of Virginia law student” :)

  30. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:40 am

    @sarah: I wish I could give him credit! He’s clearly one of my neighbors, but I don’t know his name!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Dee Dee, Guest @ 1:59 pm

    Hi Ms. Mink – Love them, we made our own save the dates on with our cat and dog on them and said they were going to be legitimate now. We loved that we were able to make our very own save the dates!

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