Save the Dates | Diary of a Charlotte Bride | Charlotte NC Photographer

Save the dates are out!!! Finally!!! Although we've been planning for a while now, sending out the save the dates is when everything became real for us! There's something about knowing your wedding is officially up on your guests' fridges and on their calendars that makes it that much more final! And designing our save the dates was a lot of fun... it was one of the first things I did, which at the time seemed way too early, but I'm so glad I ordered them when I did! All my wedding planning timelines said to have them sent out 6-8 months before the wedding, which is exactly where we're at right now, but I ordered them back in December because I knew it would take me forever to collect addresses, get them addressed and in the mail. I wanted to get the designing of the cards finished so I could concentrate on the addressing and take my time getting it done. It took me about 3 months! Here's some things to keep in mind... Use your engagement pictures! You paid good money for those and should find as many ways to use them as possible. We had so many pictures from our engagement shoot that we were obsessing over we couldn't decide which to use, so we went with a template that allowed us to not have to choose and have several of our favorite pictures on the save the date. We used Shutterfly, even though it was so hard cheating on my beloved Etsy, I felt Shutterfly was the cheaper option and had better templets for using more than 3 pictures. We also enjoyed creating our own save the date. On Shutterfly, you can drag pictures onto the card and see what it will look it and move things around until you're happy with it, which was helpful!

Magnets versus cards?? I always thought I wanted a magnet save the date... I thought they were super cute and who doesn't love a good magnet?! But when it came down to it, we thought.... it's going to go on someone's fridge either way... whether it's being held on there by itself or with another magnet it's going to end up in the same place! So we felt this was a good place to save some money. Magnets can run $2-$3 more per save the date and it's heavier for an increased cost in shipping, so it's something to consider.

When collecting addresses... start a spreadsheet and keep them organized so it's easy to access when it's time to address invitations, or time to email whoever is doing your addressing! This is a major work in progress for us still... a groom's job for sure! And my very best piece of advice I've given out of all my blog posts so far, count how many households you have on your guest list. Yes... I'm not afraid to admit in my crazy wedding planning brain I made the stupidest of mistakes and ordered a save the date for every guest on the guest list instead of ordering one for every household. So we have stacks and stacks of extra save the dates! It was a bit of a waste of money haha! We can laugh now... but trust me we weren't laughing when we realized this! It's ok though... I already have great crafting ideas for these extra save the dates! ;)

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Add your website onto your save the date! It's another way to get your guest to check out the accommodations you've set up and all that work you put into your website! Shutterfly allows you to add a picture and message on the back of your save the date for no extra cost, so we decided to take advantage of that and put another favorite picture on the back with our website and added a super cute background too. I love it! My only regret is not stuffing them in the envelopment with the back of the card facing out, after sending them out, I realized that people might not know to turn them around and might miss the information on the back of the card.. another good thing to consider. And if you're reading this and you received yours... go to your fridge and turn it around and check it out! :)

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Melissa Lynn Hunt Charlotte NC Photographer