DIY Wedding: Save the Dates

Yay! The Save The Dates have officially been sent! Now that everyone shall be receiving (or have already received) theirs in the mail (unless they live outside the U.S.), I can post about it! I've been eager to write this post as soon as we got the postcards from the printer back in February.

Now I know that our wedding is < > this big. It's safe to say we went that route for several, practical and some unavoidable reasons, but we are embracing the intimacy that our private, very personal moment will be shared with such a close group of people. That's not to say that we're completely and utterly thrilled about it because, for one, we're "the more the merrier" kind of people, but it is what it is and that works for us. At least I can say, unequivocally, that our wedding will not be a three-ring circus (thank goodness.)

Now, with that bit prefaced and out of the way, I realized how completely unnecessary Save the Dates were, but I am paper-obsessed and couldn't live with myself had we missed a chance to send wedding-related mail to our loved ones. Silly, I know, but I just couldn't help it!

Though I repulse the idea of naming a theme to our nuptials, it does have the air of something from a better time, while not being overly cliché. Just something...soft, classic, elegant and seemingly effortless. Something timeless on the surface, but quirky and personal when you get into the details. I want things to have purpose and meaning and want nearly every choice to reflect us both. I want people to feel comfortable and beautiful and romantic and in love. I want really good food, quality drinks and toe-tapping tunes. Above all, I just want to slow down and savor every moment of the day.

With all of that said, careful consideration has been my MO through the whole planning process. I've tried to bring everything together in something just eclectic enough to make me happy while still keeping a general concept or "theme" (design blasphemy) ever present in the bones of the event.

My first opportunity was found in designing the Save the Dates. I have to admit, it wasn't the most creative I've ever been, but they are cute, didn't cost a fortune and were, for all practical purposes, practical. So many of our guests will be coming in from out-of-town, we felt it was a polite gesture to give them ample planning time...also, that we're getting married just a short time before Thanksgiving was something to consider.

The inspiration: vintage-looking postcards

{Courtesy Martha Stewart}

For me, this was the one photo inspiration that got the ball rolling for me. Once I saw the stamped "post card" at the top, the vintage postage and the deckled edge, I was smitten.

After much deliberation, we decided against the deckled edge (even though I know it would've made it look even better), but it was just one more expense tacked on that we chose to avoid.

I found the perfect vintage cake topper photo to use as the jumping off point, adjusted it in Photoshop to postcard size and played with the color until it had a sepia-toned look to it. That became the "pretty side" of the Save the Date postcard. On side 2, I laid out the necessary written details using a fun mix of fonts and justifications and a vertical dividing line between the correspondence and address sections. Once I had both sides, I saved them as PDFs and uploaded to Vistaprint.com. What a handy service! In just a few weeks, we had our Save the Dates in-hand and were ready for Phase 2.

Right fter the postcards were ordered to print, we bought a great vintage-looking "post card" stamp on Etsy. When everything arrived in the mail, I stamped all of the postcards with the stamp using a gingerbread-colored ink at the top, center of the postcard.

Once they were all stamped, I hand-lettered each of the addresses using a drafting pen (size 1 Sakura Micron pen, black ink.)

Once that was finished, I knew we needed cool postage but when I saw the cost of vintage stamps, I nearly choked. It would've cost me a fortune! So I got to work scouring the Internet and eBay, waiting for something to really stand out amongst the American flags and unknown poets, heros and writers. And then I saw Cole Porter on eBay and knew I had my man. Yes, I paid more than the 29-cent face value of each stamp (which was still 1-cent over what I needed) but I didn't care. Cole Porter it was.

So that's the first official DIY project posting for the wedding. How do you like it? The nicest postal worker ever let me hand cancel all of the postcards, too, so no yucky machine stamping ruined the clean look to them. I was thrilled that I was allowed to do that! AND the Dublin, Ohio post office's hand cancel stamp says "Shamrock Station, Dublin, Ohio" -- now, doesn't that beat all for a Friday the 13th wedding? I was over the moon! I'll most definitely be taking the invitations there, too.

I can't wait to post more as they come along. You all are really in for a treat with the rest of the wedding ephemera :)


Mrs. B said...

Oh, aren't they simply lovely? And you designed them yourself? How impressive. You have done a remarkable job, dear. I feel honored to be able to see these. Thank you so much for sharing!

Eve said...

Thank you, Mrs. B! They were fun to make, that's for certain! It's a pleasure sharing these details with everyone when someone such as yourself leaves such kind words. It absolutely makes my day :)

Bridechka said...

These are lovely!

Leeann said...

Wow, great job! I recently downloaded Photoshop (for wedding DIY purposes) and have no clue how to use it! I'm jealous of your skills. Any simple tips?
Thanks for sharing your work and I look forward to more!

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