Save the date cards are a very popular trend, but are completely optional. If you are going to have a destination wedding or have guests that will be traveling a long distance to your wedding, a card announcing the upcoming wedding would be a courtesy gesture allowing them more time to plan for the trip.
A wedding on a very small budget should not spend valuable finances on these cards. An exception would be to only mail them to guests who really need to have the advanced notice. These guests need to have enough time to book flights, schedule to be off work and find hotel accommodations.
According to the wedding timeline proposed on another page of this site, the save the date cards should be mailed at about 6 to 9 months before the wedding.
Most people would appreciate the notice well in advance so that they have ample time to plan for the expense of traveling. Six months would be the very least amount of time for people who are traveling a really long distance. People traveling from a place that they can drive to your wedding don't need quite so much time as they will not have to book flights.
There are many designs for the cards. Some are magnetized, some are simply postcards, and most have a picture of the couple on them. For the very frugal couple, these can be printed from your computer. Any photo shop can have these done for you for a very reasonable price, and of course our favorite place to shop....the web has almost endless choices. These will cost you, on average, $2.75 a card plus the stamp for mailing; most being sold in quantities of 25 or more. That brings the average cost per card to $3.29.
Now if you have 100 people to invite, and let's say all one hundred are couples, you still need 50 save the dates. Fifty save the dates using our average of $3.29 each will cost you $164.50. You can see from this simple calculation that costs add up quickly.
Picky Bride and Minted are two companies that offer a wide range of save the dates for you to consider. They also run special discounts often, so it's a good bet that you'll find what you're looking for at a price within your budget. Now don't get side stepped! Remember there will be a lot offered that will catch your eye and cause you to want to go out of your budget or make an impulse buy. Don't do it! Figure out how much you want to spend and then stay as close to that figure as you can.
Another way to save on the cost is to make a quick phone call letting the guest know in a very personable way. If you choose this, be sure to make the calls when you have time to shoot the breeze for a minute or two because some if not most of your guests will want to congratulate you and have a little chit chat while on the phone, especially if they haven't seen you in awhile.
You can also send out a text or email, but those methods are not in any way as elegant and are very impersonal. Emails tend to be overlooked and forgotten.
Again, save the dates are absolutely optional. There is no reason to spend unnecessary funds, so make a wise decision and if you decide to send out cards choose those that fit into your budget.
Your save the date cards can be as simple as a postcard with your wedding information. You can also put a picture on them.
Notice on the example you can click on above that the return address and recipient address are placed the same width as the picture so that when the card is cut, it will all be printed within the parameters of the card and won't be slashed off.
Design them on your computer through Publisher, or any other program that lets you design a postcard. Print your save the date announcement on cardstock (each page makes two; you have to cut them in half, of course), or use blank postcards. Then attach a small adhesive magnetic strip to the back. (The magnetic strips can be purchased at office supply shops or craft sections in any store and of course on the web. They are about 1" to 2" in length and have a peel off backing)
Be sure to place the magnetic strip where it won't be in the way of the address of the recipient, return address, or of the stamp.
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