I’ve said it. You’ve probably said it. Everyone’s said it.
Planning a wedding is a stressful undertaking. I was just not prepared for what would trigger our first wedding-related blowout.
The save the dates. The stupidly simple, easy-to-do item turned into a two-hour hell fest. And it was all over which photo we’d use. I still roll my eyes every time I look at the magnet hanging on our fridge.
Image via someecards
Once we completed our engagement session, we took a well-deserved wedding planning break for Christmas and New Year’s. And eventually, in January, I sat down to design the save the date.
The last five years I lived in Pennsylvania, I volunteered for an animal shelter and served as the “official” shelter photographer—which really just meant I had a great camera that was powerful enough to take beautiful photos of fast-moving animals. During that stint, I’d used both Shutterfly and Snapfish to create some memorabilia as giveaways. I made these websites my first stops for the save the dates.
Shameless plug for Andy’s Friends (Personal photo)
The templates each website had were fantastic, but the price I’d pay for the quantity I needed put the final bill at well over $200—a lot more than I was willing to spend, especially before postage. I logged on to the Weddingbee to figure out an alternative.
Enter Vistaprint. I’d never heard of Vistaprint until Weddingbee—thanks, hive! I did a quick Google search and found a 50% off coupon. Better still, I discovered that for only about $10 more, I was able to upgrade from a plain postcard to a magnet, something Mr. Puffer really wanted but I thought would be out of our price range.
In just under an hour, with Puff sitting next to me on the couch, I designed and proofed our save-the-date card. I had my credit card in hand to place the order when I thought I’d better show Mr. Puffer the design one final time. His response?
“That’s not the photo you’re going to use, is it?”
Cue hours of pure wedding hell. We argued over which photo to use. Then we argued over the template to put it in. Then we went back to arguing over the photo. Back and forth, for a solid two hours, we fought about the save the date. I think, at one point, I told him to design the damn thing himself, if he felt so strongly about it. And I’m pretty sure he told me to pick whatever the hell I wanted, as well.
But despite our disagreements, we both agreed that we wanted each other to like the final design. As a compromise, I designed three save the dates with three different photos: one he loved, one I loved, and one we both liked. We then voted for our favorite and a runner-up. After voting concluded, we both chose the same design as the runner-up, and that was the one we ordered.
We survived the save-the-date designing process, and afterward we could laugh about it. But it was definitely a dose of reality. Until that point, wedding planning had been going so well. We were agreeing on nearly everything and finding easy compromises on everything else. The Save the Date Debacle of ’15 told us that we should prepare for more stress to come.