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?