Although Moo and I have spent most of our lives in Maryland, neither one of us is originally from this area, which means that both of our extended families live elsewhere. I now have family in different parts of New York as well as California and Hong Kong, while Moo has family is Oklahoma and Florida.
We wanted to let our family and friends know the wedding date and location as soon as we could so that they could start making travel plans and keeping an eye out for deals. To do this, we decided to send out our save the dates in late November, which was eight months before our wedding and a little earlier than the recommended time. We ordered postcard-size magnets from VistaPrint and used the VistaPrint free business cards for the hotel accommodation information, which was requested by our guests.
This is the magnet…so hard to photograph! Sorry for the glare and the fingers.
When the magnets came in, I had a minor panic attack about the way they would look when mailed—what if our guests didn’t like them? What if they didn’t even see the hotel-information card? Was I really just going to throw everything in an envelope?! I decided that I wanted to figure out a way to package everything together without spending too much more money”¦and so, I present to you our first wedding (semi) DIY project, which cost under $10!
Supplies for the first step: paint, blank white index cards, free business card, sponge brush.
The first thing we wanted to do was attach the business card to some sort of larger card to make it a little more noticeable. I’m awful with paper cutters, so I went to Walmart and bought a package of blank index cards. We painted both sides of the cards cream, using a sponge brush to apply a light coat of paint. The cards dried within minutes, so we did them in sets of 10—paint the front side of 10, then the back, then start a new set.
This is what the cards looked like mid-process. Some of them curled a little, but stacking them under a wedding-planning book helped.
Once the cards were dry, we needed to attach the business cards. I tried to cut little slits in the index card to hold the business card, but it was hard to get them in the right spot, and the end result looked awful. Moo then suggested double-sided tape on the back of the business card, which worked perfectly!
Supplies for the next step: ribbon, scissors, magnet, index/business card.
Once the cards were assembled, I wanted to somehow attach them to the magnet. This was just for presentation purposes, but I was being a huge perfectionist and spent several hours tying and untying ribbon to get it just right. I also repeatedly asked Moo if things looked OK and then ignored his answer. (If you’re a perfectionist like me, it might be best for you to do this step by yourself.) I loved the brown ribbon I was using for this step and everything was going great”¦until I reached the end of the ribbon spool.
I went back to Joann to get more of that same brown ribbon, but they were completely out of all brown ribbon and wouldn’t get more until the following Monday. It was now Thursday, and I needed all the cards ready by Saturday morning so we could address and mail them. Cue panic and a freaked out phone call to my sister/MOH C. After a long conversation with her in which we debated the pros and cons of brown vs. cream vs. teal ribbon, I purchased all the teal ribbon I could find at Joann and went home to finish the project.
Please note: NO brown ribbon!!
The end result had three different ribbon styles: thicker brown ribbon with loops (the original), the same style ribbon in teal, and thin teal and brown ribbon together. I finished some of the cards on Saturday night while Moo’s parents (FMIL E and FMIL K) and my parents (Mom and Dad Milk Cow) addressed the envelopes. Sorry to all the guests who got those cards, because I no longer cared whether or not the ribbon looked good and was just tying a knot. Oops.
The end results!
I got Forever stamps for the cards, and Moo weighed the envelope and contents on a food scale to make sure the stamps would be enough. They were! After we finished addressing the envelopes, I left the stack with my wonderful mom, who braved the pre-holiday post office to send them out. I worried that something would happen to the save the dates in the mail, but I started getting texts from friends and family a few days later letting me know they had arrived.
Overall, our first DIY was really easy, low budget, and sort of stressful. Since I already had the paint and tape, I just needed to buy index cards, ribbon, and sponge brushes—this came out to well under $10, since the brushes were the most expensive at around $2. And I learned very quickly that I underestimated the amount of time and ribbon that I would need, so I’m going to start the rest of my projects well in advance of the deadline!
Even though this DIY was completely unnecessary, I felt much better about putting the improved save the dates in the mail with my own personal touch on them. I feel even better when I see our magnets on other people’s refrigerators (and a little uncomfortable that they see our faces on their fridge every day), especially since some our family members kept the ribbon on the magnet when they hung it!
Did you order your save the dates, DIY, or a little bit of both? Can someone else please tell me they also panicked about ribbon colors so I don’t feel quite as crazy?