a bouquet of flowers, a cup of coffee, and a mint green envelope
Art,  Crafts,  Create,  Love,  Wedding

How to Decide What to DIY at Your Wedding: Save-the-Dates

There were two basic principles that I used to decide if I DIYed my wedding:

1) If it was a temporary thing, I DIYed it.
2) If it was going to be a keepsake, I DIYed it.

Now you are probably thinking… what? Those are the two opposite sides of the same spectrum. Which is true. So let’s go through my thought process of how I approached each key traditional wedding item.

What I Did: DIY and Purchased

What I bought: 50 postcard magnets (included 50 white envelopes) via Vistaprint
Cost including tax and shipping: $48.66
Celebration Boutonnière Forever Stamps: $0.55 each
Total Cost per Save-The-Date: $1.52

Like most wedding things, you can either go very cheap or very, very expensive. Save-the-dates and other wedding stationery items are no exception. According to the Woman Getting Married blog, the average cost of a Save-the-Date (as of 2018) is $150 for 100 Save-the-Date postcards, or $1.50 each.

What did I DIY for my Save-the-Dates?

I used the built-in Vistaprint template to design my Save-the-Date. I also found an image of my venue on Google to add to my design since we had not done our engagement photos yet.

How I Could Have Saved More Money

If I wouldn’t have ordered magnets, and instead did paper cards for my Save-the-Dates, my cost would have gone significantly down.

For example, the basic matte card stock version on Vistaprint would have been around $15.24 for 50 cards/envelopes, and the premium matte version would have been $21.98 for 50 cards/envelopes. Please note, these prices are when they are having a 50% off sale, and I highly recommend you buy there when they have these huge sales, because they do them fairly often.

Another way to save money is to know quite closely how many households you need to send Save-the-Dates to. While this may sound simple, once you start coordinating with people from across the country, or communicating through people, something so simple can get complicated quickly.

Due to a few communication breakdowns, I had a very hard time understanding who all I needed to invite, and which sections of my family and my husband’s family needed their own Save-the-Date. (Sidenote: I was going to abbreviate this, but it is abbreviated as STD. *facepalm*)

I overshot how many Save-the-Dates I needed by probably 20. Firm up how many households you will be sending your Save-the-Dates to before you place your order if you need to reel in your costs.

Why I Both DIYed and Purchased My Save-the-Dates

I would consider these Save-the-Dates keepsakes. I didn’t fully DIY these because I really wanted our Save-the-Dates to be magnets. We have received magnet Save-the Dates in the past, and I really liked putting it on the fridge and having that constant reminder of the good times ahead of us. We still use some of the Save-the-Date magnets as functional magnets on our fridge.

Main Takeaways If You DIY Your Save-the-Dates

Don’t Sacrifice the Printing Quality

Even if you design your own Save-the-Date on a free service and buy your own card stock, do not print at home unless you have an excellent printer. Sometimes printing at home can be more costly with not-so-great end results. Whether you go to your local print shop, or use an online service like Vistaprint or Shutterfly, the printing of your Save-the-Dates should be outsourced.

This is especially important if your design utilizes a lot of color. The only exception I would make to my recommendation of outsourcing your printing would be if you are doing a simple design in maybe just black font, as seen in my DIY invitations.

Use the Save-the-Date to Set the Tone of Your Wedding

Even if you are still finalizing the theme, you can use your Save-the-Dates to set the tone of your wedding. This idea is applicable whether you DIY, purchase, or commission your Save-the-Dates.

When I started designing my Save-the-Dates, I wasn’t fully committed to a color scheme, and we had not done our engagement photos yet. What direction was I going to go in?

What I did know was that our wedding was in spring, and we wanted our wedding to be inspired by nature but lean more towards a classic elegance rather than rusticity.

In order to convey this, I found a picture online of our wedding venue that prominently featured the pink leaves of the venue’s centerpiece cherry blossom tree. I used a template in Vistaprint that uses ornate, classic script to convey the subtle elegance we were aiming for with our event.

Ultimately, I ended up incorporating the colors of the cherry blossom tree into my overall wedding palette, using rose gold as a prominent color throughout my decor.

Don’t Overthink It & Don’t Over-do It

It could be easy to spend hours overanalyzing how you should approach your Save-the-Dates.

I hate to say it, but the honest truth is that once people have the details they need to see if it is feasible for them to attend your wedding, the fate of most Save-the-Dates will be the garbage can or recycling bin.

Think of your Save-the-Date as a little tease. Give your guests the need-to-know information, and keep the rest close to your chest, for now.

Everyone’s wedding timeline is different, but these could easily be one of your earliest purchases. Unless these announcements are super important to you, don’t blow your wallet on something that is ultimately fleeting and disposable.

I have been to quite a few weddings, and what sticks out to me about the weddings is not the Save-the-Dates, but the fun and love that I got to experience with my friends, family, and colleagues.

It is easier said than done, especially when you are in the throes of wedding planning, but just remember to keep it all in perspective. And trust me, there will be much larger and much more important expenses to come in your wedding planning journey.

The Most Basic Information You Should Have on Your Save-the-Date

  • Your Name and Your Partner’s Name
  • Date (Duh!)
  • Location
  • Wedding Website

So Tell Me…

What did you do for your Save-the-Dates? Did you keep it simple, or go big? What do you want to know about Save-the-Dates? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, Jenna. @DigitalMolt

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