To recap, we used a friend (Bridesmaid Lemon) to take some pictures of us to use for our save the dates. My original plan was to order them through an Etsy seller and then print them ourselves. There are a lot of options for sellers who let you upload images to their design and then you can print them yourself (or they will print them for you—for a hefty price).
Well, as usual, saving money got in the way of this plan. I stumbled upon a Groupon for Vistaprint. They had a number of save-the-date options, so I decided to change my plans and go this route. Of course on the day I decided to actually order the save the dates, I hated every design. What’s a bride to do? Design them herself, that’s what!
After researching different photo-editing options, I decided to purchase Pixelmator, which is basically Mac’s cheap version of Photoshop. In my head, I would easily be able to compile pictures and put some words on them and call it a day. Boy, was I wrong. I spent an entire Sunday afternoon and hated everything I did. I’m sure this program is good for people who know what they are doing, but it was a horrible experience for me. I am still angry thinking about that day—it was seriously awful.
I am back to finish up our STD discussion. Since people are acknowledging that they have received their postcards, I figured it was safe to let the cat out of the bag. Last time we discussed the Scooters’ ideas on STDs, we came up with a list of how we wanted our little beauties to look. This list included:
As we discussed the design, we decided to incorporate a cool idea. I hadn’t seen it on a wedding save the date in the same way we incorporated it (if I may say so myself). So what did I decide we wanted on our save the dates, you ask? We incorporated a QR code into our design. It wasn’t just a regular QR code that would send people to our website—I wanted it to actually SAVE OUR DATE. It took a lot of time to find a QR code that, when scanned (with the right app), would actually populate your smart phone calendar!
So because our invitations weren’t something I was happy about, I started to look for other ways to make them a bit more “fun”—and that meant stalking the Royal Mail website.
Originally, I had found these personalised stamps which looked really awesome. Except, although you could add your own photo (like Mrs. Turkey did with their logo), you had to choose one of the existing stamps to go along with it—and they just weren’t to my taste. Boo.
Plus, they were also £1. First class stamps have now gone up to SIXTY PENCE (90 cents), which is utterly ridiculous and I absolutely refuse to pay a quid for a stamp just because it’s got a funny picture on it.
I’ve already mentioned that I am not much of a DIY’er. Somehow the image I have in my mind for most projects doesn’t ever come together in real life. The one exception to this rule is anything that I can do on a computer. Glue gun and glitter? No. Keyboard and Publisher? Yes.
So I decided that I would design all of our paper products. We would be saving money and our “vision” would be all over these babies, since they came from my noggin. Once I made this decision, it wasn’t long before I had a rough design for our save the dates.
Fun fact: Mama and Papa Airplane own a printing company—not the small type of shop that frequently does invitations and other fun, creative projects, but a larger company that prints things like short-run books and full-color ad mailers. While I wouldn’t get much help on the design side (although Mama Plane got plenty of proofs in her inbox), they would be able to professionally print whatever I came up with. More money savings!
For our save the dates I wanted a double-sided card that would showcase two of our gorgeous engagement photos and incorporate an element I fell in love with when I was originally searching for invite/save-the-date inspiration: the calendar.
So many to choose from! / Screen shot from Etsy search
Despite all of the b-e-a-utiful save-the-date inspiration I shared with you in the last post, we opted to go a completely different route.
I was browsing the DIY Boards and found this beauty by hive member Miss Q. She was kind enough to share the template with me at my request, so I present to you my official save-the-date inspiration—as in, this is what we were originally set on:
From the lovely hive member Miss Q / Edited a little to remove her personal information
I was in love with this idea. I believe she used it for a magnet, but I had visions of it in postcard form—of course, with our colors, our date, our information.
I am not a crafty person (I’m much too obsessed with details for the minor flaws of personal crafts), but there was one part of our engagement shoot that necessitated a DIY project, mostly because I wasn’t about to shell out the cash to buy the product online.
I’ve always loved the use of signs in save-the-date photos. The chalkboard is one that is really popular right now…
Like many brides before me, I am in love with paper goodies. True story: one of the best parts about being a peer tutor in college was ordering free office supplies from the catalog. I have always loved stationery, I have always loved mail, I just swoon over all of it.
Needless to say, I had been dreaming up save-the-date and invitation inspiration for foreva-eva. One thing was for certain: I wanted to use our engagement pictures. Let’s drool together at some of the beauties that weren’t, though:
With our engagement photos back from our photographer, we started thinking about our save the dates.
I started entering a million wedding competitions (another blog about that later) when we first got engaged, and I won 50 save the dates from Sincerely Ink! So that helped a little in narrowing down what design we used.
But when I looked at all our options, I just couldn’t decide. There were too many things to consider! Did I want the artsy photo in the street? Or one where we’re smiling? Or one that shows me with my head on his shoulder? Or the one of us facing the sea?
Should it be iconic of our town? Or the best photo of us? Should we really have a picture of us kissing sent to members of our family?
Decisions, decisions, decisions! So I handed it over to the bees to vote…
I really appreciated the advice, suggestions and opinions, but funnily enough, even though this picture came out with the most votes…
Our Save the Dates are done!! I am beyond thrilled with how they turned out.
They are so totally us. Mr. Whale plays the guitar, and I play the piano. I also love to wear bright colored tights, leg-warmers, and bright shoes (lucky for me, my dude grew up in the 80′s, so he thinks these things are totally hot. I know, I snagged a pretty awesome guy.).
The best thing about our Save the Dates is that they look awesome! The second best thing? We made them ourselves!! My mind was blown when I heard that some people spend hundreds of dollars on these things. You totally don’t have to! And now that they’re done, I’ve definitely got some tips.
Tip Number One: Either have a professional photographer or talk a very patient friend into helping you. I have to give a BIG thanks to my mom for being our awesome and incredibly patient photographer. We probably took about 150 photos until we could get this one. Crazy, right?? What did the ones we didn’t choose look like?
Here’s pretty awkward angle:
Being that neither of our long-distance families wipe their fannies with dollar bills, we felt news of our Texas nuptials should be spread rather quickly if anyone we liked was going to show up. Well, semi-quickly, anyway. We were engaged in October of 2011, and around June of 2012 we decided to get our act together and get something solid in the mail. Fortunately, a friend from high school is exceptionally gifted with a DSLR, and was willing to photograph us!
We found the save-the-date design on Etsy, a godsend to the wedding world. It was $15 for the design from Sweet Azalea Boutique, and she was amazing! I also loved the idea of stickers to close the envelopes. Word to the wise, Paper-Source envelopes have a point that goes all the way to the bottom of the envelope, which was not great for the little stickers I had made by Posh Girl Boutique. I decided not to stress and just stick them on there anyway. Surprisingly, my dad and brother had very strong opinions about sticker placement, so I just let them battle it out until they came to a decision.
It’s time! I’ve finally gotten notice from our guests in sunny California that they have received their save the dates, so I can officially share them with the hive!
Now, before I share, I have to caution those of you who, like me, are excited to place your order and therefore may not be thinking logically. When I revealed the two STD designs that we didn’t use, I said that we got a great deal for the 200 cards we ordered. Two hundred cards…if you’re smarter than me, which I’m sure most of you are, you’re probably already connecting the dots, but in case you didn’t figure it out (like me)—we did not need 200 cards. Two hundred is our guest list total. There are households with as many as eight guests in them.
Yes, hive, I ordered a card for every. single. person. Sigh. Thankfully, since we did get a great deal, it isn’t as big of a deal as it may have been if I did this with invitations, but needless to say I have learned my lesson, and I now have a list of guests invited by household.
Moving on: the reveal!
Personal photo / The front side / Design work by our photographer, Valerie Carnevale
Hive, I never thought I would be that bride. That bride that cared about stamps. Especially the STD stamps! I just assumed that when people received our STD, they would note the date in their planner/phone/etc. and then toss the STD.
But then, there I was, standing at the post office to purchase postage and suddenly…everything seemed to be in slow motion. I watched as the employee pulled open the big binder of stamps. I watched her flip, flip, flip through the pages and start to pull out several pages. What did I see, you may be wondering? I saw these:
Personal photo, unfortunately
I saw ALOHA stamps staring back at me. And a variety of Hawaiian shirts. Now, if I were having a destination wedding? Sure, toss the ALOHA at me. But for our rustic, romantic, light and neutral colored wedding? No. These simply did not fit the bill.
…for our STDs! (If you laughed, don’t worry—I did too!)
But really—we ordered our save the date cards! I had been wrestling a little with when we should actually send the cards because, as anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows, everybody has an opinion and all of them are different. I decided early on that we would send our invitations mid-January. Sending them then would ensure they didn’t get tossed out over the holidays, and it would give our OOT guests plenty of time (right around four months) to plan their travel and hotel stay.
But that left me with another question—when is an appropriate time to send our STDs? I thought that six months would be a good time-frame, which means I need to send them in October. Umm… it’s already October!? Boom, another reality check for me! Between ordering the STDs, waiting on them to arrive, AND addressing them all, I came to the realization that I needed to order them like yesterday. So order them I did.
I decided to go with Vistaprint*, in place of MOO cards. When it came right down to it, I had to consider that most people aren’t going to actually KEEP our STDs. More than likely they’re going to note the date somewhere and then toss them. So we went with Vistaprint. One side is our STD, the other has lines for me to write the address and use our fancy pants return address stamp (details on that coming soon!).
Our total for the STDs came out to $114 for 200 cards (and envelopes, not that I plan to use them)—a great price!
Now, I’m not going to reveal our STDs until they’re actually dropped in the mail, but I will reveal the two designs that we didn’t use. (And trust me—it wasn’t an easy choice!)
As I previously mentioned, deciding on doing a postcard for our save the date was an easy, yet regrettable decision. Choosing which save the date we wanted was heavily influenced by which photo we would use, and choosing the photo we would use was where the decisions started getting difficult. We had it narrowed down to a few of our favorite photos, but here are a couple that didn’t make the cut:
This one is a favorite of both of ours.
After sitting on our save the dates for a week or two, too nervous to actually mail them off, I finally got up the courage to send them to their final destinations.
On one hand, it was really exciting since it’s starting to come together—PBear, it might be too late to change our minds and elope.
On the other hand, it’s really scary to let other people see what we’ve been working on for so long. I’m so scared that people are going to hate the postcards or think they’re ridiculous. I recognize that this is a fairly irrational fear since these postcards are going to people who love us and who know that we’re just a bit silly. And the postcards are gorgeous and everything I ever imagined they would be and more. But a little part of me still worries—worrying is the one thing I’m really good at.
One last check before we send them off