Crafting the Save-the-Date

When we first set out on our wedding planning journey, I was adamant about creating all of the paper goods and stationery myself. This was inspired partly by the need to save money and partly by my stubborn desire to have total control over the creative process. Our first challenge arrived in the form of the all important save-the-date cards. Mr. C and I knew we wanted something unique and personalized, but let’s be honest, that usually costs a pretty penny.

Never one to back down from a challenge, I took this task into my own (in)capable hands. Never mind the fact that I am not a graphic designer. Or the fact that, at the time, I had no idea how to use Adobe Illustrator. I’ve been using some iteration of Adobe Photoshop since high school. But Illustrator? It’s a different beast entirely. I find Photoshop intuitive but Illustrator takes training, practice, and patience. I was lucky to have the help of a friend who happens to work as a graphic designer. Some one-on-one training supplemented with a few YouTube tutorials and I was on my way. But even after finishing this project, the pen tool and I are not friends. “Oh, you just need some time to get used to it,” my graphic designer friends have told me. No. The pen tool is evil and should be destroyed.

But before we can get to my trial-by-fire experience with Adobe Illustrator, I need to start with the inspiration. With the overwhelming diversity of save-the-date options, colors, and designs out there, it was hard to narrow down exactly what we wanted. We started by deciding the most important aspects we wanted to incorporate into this project.

1) Incorporate the Look / Feel of the Wedding:

The save-the-date is really your guests’ first taste of your wedding style and theme. As such, we knew that it was important to incorporate a some of our wedding colors as well as images that evoke a feeling of Versailles or Marie Antoinette.

2) Size Matters:

I have seen a lot of adorable save-the-dates. Everything from origami, animated flip books, “mix tape” CDs of music, mini calendars (like Mrs. Green Tea’s!), and more! Mrs. Duckling made her wedding date into felt numbers that are pulled out of a tiny envelope. Who could forget a date that adorable? Mrs. Eagle designed her own save-the-date magnets. Check out this adorable save-the-date where the couple asked their guests to “pencil in” their date. Adorable but not very cost effective, unfortunately.

Image via: Style Me Pretty / Photography by: Pen / Carlson / Planning + Design by: Birch Design Studio

Then you have the standard photo postcard that many couples opt for these days. This is a very simple and painless way to create your own save-the-dates. The best part is that your friends and relatives will have a great photo of you and your fiance to display on the fridge. There are loads of examples available, but I love our own Mrs. Turkey’s! Unfortunately, ever the overachiever, this seemed like the easy way out to me. Also we may have been slacking on having our engagement photo session. Whoops!

Honestly, the decision here came down to money. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on elaborate save-the-dates or the postage required to mail them. A simple postcard made the most sense to us, plus it meant that maybe we could spend more money on the invitations down the road. Mrs. Snow Cone gave some great tips on how to save money when ordering postcard save-the-dates.

3) Personalized:

Incorporating cameo-like silhouettes was my idea on how to personalize our design without including a photograph. I was really inspired by these two save-the-dates, one from Minted and the other designed by the groom of a wedding I spotted on SMP. They do double duty in adding personalization along with a little 18th century flair. It seemed like the perfect solution for us!

Image source via: Minted

Image source via: Style Me Pretty / Photography by: Stephen Jerkins / Stationary by: Nick (the groom)

I’m still tinkering with the design, but I’m nearly finished with our save-the-dates. It only took me, oh, two months to sit down and finish them. I’ve been slacking Hive, it’s true. I hope to reveal them to you soon along with the details on our wedding website which I’ve also been working on. Since our save-the-dates will have our wedding website address, that needed to be completed before we put our save-the-dates in the mail.

What was your save-the-date inspiration?


Mrs. Camel

Athens, GA
Wedding Date:
May 2013
The One Where We Find a Venue
A Foxy Fête: Say That You'll Stay
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