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Save-the-Dates

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I wanted to design our save-the-date cards, because we had a unique theme in mind: peacocks and sunflowers.  Don’t ask how the idea came to be, but t ended up being beautiful!

I liked the idea of a simple post-card, so I set out on Photoshop to design the front and the back.  I’m definitely not a graphic designer, but I have learned a few tricks over the years.  A couple years ago I wanted to make a photobook for my honey to celebrate our three year anniversary, or maybe it was for his birthday, or Christmas… I don’t remember!  Anyway, I discovered this fad called Digital Scrapbooking.  Since I can’t cut paper straight or glue anything without sticking my fingers together, this sounded awesome!  You can download these “kits” which include background images (i.e. papers) and embellishments (i.e. buttons, flowers, ribbons, frames, etc.).  These are all high-resolution PNG image files that you can import into a Photoshop or other image-editing program.  Often, people scan actual scrapbooking materials.  Here are some great websites for free “kits” (usually, you just can’t use the products for commercial purposes):

To add another bit of flare, I downloaded some custom fonts (which are also usually free if you aren’t using them commercially).  A few people know that I am slightly obsessed with fonts!  Paul actually bought me a proprietary font once for a Christmas present.  It was one of the most thoughtful gifts he has given me.  I love to use the website http://www.dafont.com/ to find unique and artistic fonts.  I would advise you not to ask Paul how many HOURS I spent asking his opinion on different fonts for these postcards.

Once I had my “scrapbooking” embellishments and several font options to choose from, I set out to design the front (with some great engagement photos from our photographer!) and the back with our event details.  I also put our wedding website on the back – but realized after they were already sent that I sent the WRONG URL!

save the dateback

The easiest part was printing them. I used the mail-merge function on Microsoft Word to add our guests’ addresses to the back of the postcards. I bought some Avery 4×6 post-card paper for about $25 and popped it in our inkjet printer! Each 8.5×11 sheet prints two postcards that are micro-perforated.  It did take a while to punch them all out, but it was much cheaper than ordering pre-printed cards! We had about 70 cards to send, which would have been about $1 each on most websites we found.  We bought a roll of post-card stamps from the post office ($0.33 each!) and ended up using the extras for the response cards on our invitations.

Pros:

  • I was able to design every little detail, which allowed for more customization than the templates online.
  • We saved money (even when you added up ink costs).

Cons:

  • The paper was a bit flimsy, and a few were damaged in the mail.
  • We could have avoided this if we knew about hand-canceling!  Most post-offices do this, and it’s free!  Instead of putting your mail through the mechanical stamping/barcoding/whatever machine (which is what damaged our postcards), a USPS employee handstamps the mail.  We did this for our invitations, and I’m glad we did!  Since you’ll probably have a large stack, I suggest going at a slow time of day and asking the worker very nicely (not that you shouldn’t always do this!).  Make sure they know that the mailings are for your wedding, and they should be accommodating.
  • I didn’t love the perforation lines around the postcards, but no one else seemed to notice/mind.

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