Communicating with our guests in writing, Part I

Let's talk "Save-the-Dates". Pretty early in our wedding planning process we decided that we're going to have Save-the-Dates. Not everyone is doing them, but I think it's a great idea. Also pretty early I was set on the idea that we should have magnets as our Save-the-Dates. Yes, postcards would be cheaper, but the idea that we would see our carefully designed magnet on someone's fridge when we visit was far too exciting to pass on it. And yes, we could have stopped at the electronic Save-the-Dates that we sent out a couple of months back, but we didn't.... Which meant that we needed to find a place which would make us custom magnets.

I consulted my favorite wedding planning book for some leads:



Most of the bargain places for Save-the-Date magnets mentioned in the book, like Costco (who would have thought they are selling wedding invitations?), had no option to completely customize the magnet. All we really wanted was the ability to upload our own image for the magnet. We found one place, that allowed just that - and Erik even designed the magnet for the exact size that the site required. However, we would not have been us if we stopped there. Clearly, I needed to find more options... and find more options I did.

Thanks to the weddingbee post by Miss Sunrise I realized that I could use or, as we ended up doing, to make our custom magnets. I did my research by reading a ton of weddingbee posts about VistaPrint and saw how they tend to add extra charges to your card, but I still decided to go with them, but just use a handy Shop Safe feature of my Bank of America credit card. Thanks, Weddingbee, for being very helpful! I would also like to mention that I did a comparative analysis of Ovenightprints, Vistaprint and (yay to the GoogleDoc Spreadsheets!) and VistaPrint turned out to be the best bet in terms of quality of the magnet and the price. Another handy realization - before ordering anything online google "the-company-name + coupon". In my case, googling "vistaprint coupon" resulted finding the sweet "50% off magnets" and "25% off envelopes" deals.

Here is the cost breakdown:

100 5.47" x 4.21" Magnets - \$49.99

200 A-2 envelopes - \$52.99

Proofs and file uploads - \$10.45

Expedited 3-day  shipping - \$36.20

This is \$1.22 per magnet with an envelope. I'd say that's pretty good. We included a card insert the size of the magnet with additional information that we printed ourselves on a card stock paper from Staples. Even with the card insert we managed to keep the weight of the envelope under 1 oz - so it only required one 44c stamp - yay!

Here is my sweetie opening the box from VistaPrint:

[caption id="attachment_132" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption=""What's inside?! What's inside?!....""][/caption]

Here is Save-the-date-suite sans the card insert:

[caption id="attachment_124" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Did you notice the squirrels? The vine/flowers/leaves design is close to the design of my engagement ring. The design for the magnet and the envelopes was created by my most talented sweetie - I just provided a somewhat useful feedback."][Save the date!][][/caption]

For the US stamps, we had a mix of these from the USPS:

[caption id="attachment_120" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="We've got the love stamps, the wedding stamps, and the special stamps for our guests who love pets - we've heard that those were appreciated :)."][][][/caption]

Here are all the parts for the Save-the-date suite waiting to be assembled. Pardon my shaky arrows - GIMP was not cooperating with me today. :)

[caption id="attachment_139" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Save-the-date-parts"][/caption]

Here is my sweetie professionally slicing the inserts with the "best \$6 he ever spent" - the cutting tool, bought at the going-out-of-business-sale for a crafts store Pearl. We miss Pearl dearly...

[caption id="attachment_141" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="He was awesome at it!"][/caption]

Here is me, doing assembly. Not sure why I have this squirrely look on my face:

[caption id="attachment_142" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="I might be up to something... or not... you can't really tell... :)"][/caption]

I attached the stamps to the envelopes the next day, during the Celtics game ("Beat LA! Again!"), with the help of my awesome bridesmaid L. who stopped by to watch the game. Save-the-Dates went into the mail and looks like just about everyone has gotten them. We have noticed that the website activity has spiked.

And now.... now we just need to do this with our invitations. This will be "Communicating with our guests in writing, Part II". I hope that we can use something we learnt from making Save-the-Dates in creating our invitations. I mean, we MUST have learnt SOMETHING.... Okay, I think I'm just trying to say that invitations task is rather intimidating... and with our attention to tiny little details it can prove lengthy and maybe even painful at times... but I have faith in us. Something tells me, we will come up with great invitations. :)

[]: [Save the date!]: []: