Review · Series · Wedding

Mail Time: Save the Dates & Invites

Cue that Blues Clues song ♫. Last pre-wedding wedding series post! Fret not, the actual vendor reviews are not far yonder. Let’s talk about the lovely Save the Date reminder and actual Invitation to send your beloved guests! You’ve got to think of something fridge worthy to compete with the limited real estate in some instances. I’m sure it’s always a pleasant surprise to break from the endless litany of bills and spam offers to receive personalized mail!  I’ve seen cute custom fridge magnets, postcards, announcement cards and online graphics. You can show off those snazzy new Engagement photos you took to test out your potential photographer right. OR if you skipped the photo session, you can send out a beautiful graphic with all the key details. (TIP: Don’t forget to insert your wedding website so guests know where to look for info.) However you wish to present yourself, this will be your guests’ first glimpse what to expect for the wedding!

We sent our Save the Dates 10 months prior, and painstakingly wrote (with Wai’s help) each guest’s name and address. I personally used Vistaprint, since one of my other friends used them, and hers turned out amazing! (I actually used hers as a reference along with all of the other weddings we attended last year.) My bridal party decided on using Minted for my tea party themed bridal shower invites. Then for the actual wedding invitations, thankfully they were included with our venue package through Raffael’s! (I’m still sleuthing to figure out what vendor they used. We had a huge book of invitations we looked through.) We learned from the Save the Date struggles and created our own design to print the addresses directly onto the envelopes. (We also fiddled with labels but the coloring just looked off.)

 

Cost Comparison

Overall the cost per print is cheaper for Vistaprint, but Minted in my honest opinion has more appealing designs (with more add-ons). The quality of the prints themselves were both comparable. I garnered additional savings by from using Vistaprint by stacking a 20% coupon code and 4% Cash Back Ebates! Funny enough, they also constantly have promotions and sales… The day after I placed my order, I noticed they had a 40% off promotion for announcements and invitations. Some other would have let this go, but I contacted their customer service through their handy chat feature! I was pleasantly surprised that they were very understanding and credited me the additional 20% refund without any fuss! (Some places like to play it off as they are doing you a favor by making this exception for you. Looking at you Amazon.)

vp3
Vistaprint – can’t put my finger on it but it’s missing that artistic pizzazz

Minted also has Ebates cash back, but only at 1.5%. One of the perks I mentioned about Minted in my TheKnot website review was that you can pick an invite and coordinate your wedding website or vice versa so all of your stationary can match! Also Minted will save time by providing FREE matching envelope and address label printing. If you have hundreds of guests you plan to invite, you can spare your own hand of cramps or money from hiring a calligrapher. You’ll still have to stuff the invites or announcement cards yourself though.

minted
Minted – love that they also feature the artists who created the design!

Both websites offer wedding invitations along with a large variety of other creative types of prints that your family may want. I’ll definitely revisit these options once we receive the wedding day photos!

Tips & Confessions
  • Establishing your guest list is tricky, so you’ll have to be 100% sure you will invite the guest(s) who receive the Save the Date! As the card suggests hopefully your guests will block off their calendar for your special day. How awkward if they received an STD… only to realize there’s no follow up.
  • Got any doubts about the reliability of guests? Don’t hold your breath on these folks. Take this into account for the seating chart to disperse them throughout so you don’t have one gaping empty table.
  • If you’re paranoid that random people will have the link to your website, you can choose to put your website link on the back of the Save the Date or only on the response card.
  • Check if your invitations come with 2 separate envelopes! OUTER – with group’s mailing address that will get dirtied in transit. INNER – beautiful lining not meant to be sealed with specific guest names. I’ll confess that we should have looked up a tutorial of how to assemble these since we didn’t realize there was a stack of other envelopes with the fancy lining… Probably half of the guests received these. Oops!
temp
Who knew Wal-Mart also sold invite sets?
  • Use the “Envelope” settings in your word processor and take note of what the feed indicates to feed the envelope in correctly.
  • Spare yourself of licking envelopes by using glue sticks and/or sticker seals. I even tried my hand at the lost art of using wax seals!
  • If you don’t care about the romantic stamps and your envelopes are not huge/oddly sized, you can get additional cash back by purchasing sheets of stamps at the grocery store!
  • Double check the spelling! I’ll confess I had a few misspellings that slipped through the cracks. Apologies! I can’t tell you how many times people inadvertently add an H to the end of my name (Hannah) since that’s the standard spelling. Yep my name is not a palindrome.
  • Give yourself some cushion time between the RSVP deadline and when you actually need to provide your venue the be all end all FINAL HEADCOUNT. Once you do you are down the path of no return… (See below for mini-rant.)

Rating: 4.5/5 ★★★★1/2

Mini-rant (Feel free to skip)

Truth be told, after Sunday I’m done hosting events indefinitely, though I’m still happy to candidly share my experiences through this wedding series. I thought I prepared myself for the worst reading up on all of those wedding horror stories on the wedding forums, but didn’t envision the emotional energy drain for myself! My SO also wants me to add that I’ve had my share of (Anti-)Bridezilla moments… including but not limited to deleting my own bridal group text. Somehow we’ve experienced almost every single clichéd wedding drama thus far from sources I wasn’t expecting. Yes, this includes those last minute cancellations from people who already RSVP’d right after we submitted our final headcount. Unless there’s a legitimate reason for backing out at this point, I will not forget the sting of flagrant disrespect.

The most common response of support I’ve received is to ignore the background noise (easier said than done), and to focus on the true friends and family who will be there to celebrate our day. In the grand scheme of things, yes, the show will go on one way or another, but I’m still waiting to for excitement to strike. Hopefully much like this week of endless rain, the tears from stress and sadness are in the past. (Let’s be honest I’ll still cry on the wedding day. It will probably be a matter of when and how many times.) After 5 years together I can’t imagine much else will change aside from our legal status and living sans roommates. Much to his annoyance I’ve already started calling him my husband since I’ve known for awhile that I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

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3 thoughts on “Mail Time: Save the Dates & Invites

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