Save the Dates are a newer trend and totally optional. Here are some things to think about to decide if you want to do Save the Dates or not:
- how far away is your wedding? The farther away your wedding is, you may want to do Save the Dates so that guests have it reserved before they make family/vacation plans that far out.
- how many guests will have to travel long distance? If a big number of guests will have to fly or drive a long ways, Save the Dates would be helpful so that they can make travel plans ahead of time to get good deals.
- Save the Dates can be a great way to alert guests to your website, registries, and engagement pictures.
- Save the Dates don't have to be expensive, in fact, they can be free!
For Invitations--you should go back to your colors and style as your invitation is the first glimpse people have of your wedding. There are many vendors that will make invitations for you offering dozens of templates, fonts, wording, etc. that you can choose from.
Once again, we chose to do the invitations ourselves. It saved lots of money. We did lots of research for prices of cards and envelopes. Finally, we chose Invitation Outlet. We ordered envelopes for 5x7 cards and for small reply cards. We then bought cardstock from Staples and my dad and I created the invitations, RSVP cards, and info cards ourselves. We researched online about different wording and downloaded a pretty script font. I will say it was a lot of work and yes some headache to get the alignment all right but once we did (and my dad was a HUGE help) it was well worth it. We took a flash drive with our PDF files to Staples along with our paper and directions of how many to print, where to cut. It worked out so great and was very cheap! I can't remember the exact price but I think including buying the cardstock, it cost less than $30 to get all our invitations, rsvp and info cards printed.
Not only did we design the invitations but then I wanted to add a cute element that tied in my colors and style. I used one of my mom's die cuts and 4 colors of cardstock to punch out 900 flowers. I then used a glue pen to stick all the flowers onto the invitations. My mom then sewed all the flowers on.
Here are our RSVP cards. We also made it an option for people to respond online at our wedding website. It was very fun getting response cards in the mail though! We did NOT include stamps for the RSVPs since we also had an online option.
If you choose to have your invitations completely made for you, do some research to find the best prices. If you choose to make them yourself, give yourself lots of time, have someone good with computers help you, double check all your important information and spelling, and make a timeline to stay on schedule with designing, printing, making, addressing, and mailing.
For addressing, some people will hire calligraphers and some will hand write themselves. It might be the "proper" thing to hand write them, but....like I have said before, I broke rules with my wedding. Using a nice font we downloaded, my dad printed all the addresses on.
If you want to do everything the traditional way, you still can do it yourself but it just might take longer and possibly cost more. I think my way was personal, classy, and required reasonable time and money.
Invitations are such a huge thing...if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and ask me!