On average, Save The Dates can set you back $150 to $200. Excuse me, WHAT? Roughly $200 bucks to tell people you’re getting married soon, and to keep a day open. That’s $200 I could put towards alterations for my wedding dress, or money I can spend on actual invitations. That was not for me so ya girl managed to do it for $27. Let me tell you how!
What are Save The Dates?
Okay first of – you may be asking what is the purpose of a Save the Date? Quite honestly it’s basically a pre-invitation. You’re essentially alerting your guests that you plan to get married on a certain date, at a certain location. You’re also kindly asking them to keep that day open for your Big Day.
Budget Friendly Save The Dates
So you may be wondering, how did I manage to spend only $27 on my Save The Dates?
Firstly, I only ordered 50. It’s really important to remember that you do not need a Save The Date for every person on the guest list. If you’re inviting a family of four that resides together, that’s only one Save The Date!
Design your Own
Secondly, instead of utilizing a pre-made template from sites such as Minted, or Shutterfly, I opted to create my own. Mind you, the designs are beautiful and there are definitely affordable options, but I knew I wanted to save as much money as possible! If you read my Bridesmaid Proposal Post, you may be aware that I used Canva to create the Proposal Cards. I also used Canva to design my Save The Dates.
Canva is free to use, filled with tons of templates and designs, and you can order your designs to be printed out. I opted to go for the “deluxe” paper vs the card-stock which was only $3 more!
The thing that I love about Canva is that you can upload your own pictures and graphics! I specifically wanted a map of the world in all black, but there weren’t any free options on Canva. I went to good old Google and found a royalty free PNG! One download and upload later I had the exact graphic I wanted for my Save The Dates. Check out what mine ended up looking like! Don’t worry Mom, I edited the actual Save The Date to an internet friendly version below.
Postage Fees Add Up
Hidden costs always pop up. For every Save The Date you send, you need a stamp to mail it. I don’t know how often you visit the Post Office but a roll of stamps can set you back.
Since the weight of a package can affect the number of stamps you need, I wanted to minimize the weight on my Save The Dates. I decided to go the postcard route to eliminate the weight of an envelope. Also, it allowed me to use a postcard stamp which was slightly cheaper than a regular stamp. Plus a postcard was a great way to tie into a destination wedding.
Why not deliver in person?
Lastly, I was very fortunate that our friends and family were visiting us for our Engagement Party and I personally handed them out. I ended up only needing to buy 10 stamps!
All in all I was quite happy with my choice to design postcards for my Save The Dates. The cost of the cards and postage only set me back $35. Saving money on the cards was great, but I fully enjoyed making a card that was unique to us and our wedding. I don’t think I would have loved my Save The Dates as much if I had opted to purchase a pre-made design.
Need More Info?!
If you’re like me and decide you want to design your own Save The Dates, keep reading below for everything you need to know about Save The Dates. When to send them, who to send them to, what to put on them. The whole nine yards!
Everything you need to Know about Save The Dates
In general, a couple usually sends Save The Dates 4 -6 months prior to the wedding. With that said, you probably want to order them roughly 6-8 months before the wedding. This gives you plenty of time to potentially catch and correct any errors that may occur. You typically don’t want to send them too early – or you run the risk of guests forgetting all about it.
However, for destination weddings, such as mine – you should send your Save The Dates out sooner. I personally wanted to give my guests plenty of time to save money and plan accordingly if they decided they wanted to attend.
General Tip: You don't have a "date" - until you have a venue. You may have a date in mind you want to get married, but if there aren't venues available you're out of luck.
What to Include on Save The Dates
You want to make sure to include the following items on your Save The Date.
- The Couple Getting Married
- The Date (duh)
- The Location – city and country (if destination)
You can also add your wedding website with more information and note that a formal invitation will follow. For destination weddings you may also want to include hotel and flight information. I decided to list this information on my wedding website.
Who You Should Send Save The Dates To
As a general rule of thumb – you should send a Save The Date to everyone you plan to invite. If you send someone a Save The Date, plan on inviting them. If you’re unsure about your guest list, I would wait to send any invitation out until you have finalized a list. You can always add to the list, but it’s much harder to remove from the list.
Everyone should receive a Save The Date, even if it’s your mom, or your Maid of Honor. Hey, your mom may want to keep it, or she may actually need it to help remember the date!
Always be clear about who you’re addressing it to. Its best to do exact names of guests invited so there isn’t any confusion or awkward conversations.
If you’re giving that guest a plus one, you should address it as “_____ & Guest”. If you’re inviting a specific plus one, such as your cousin’s long term boyfriend, list both names. In the event someone breaks-up just before the wedding, and you don’t want to invite a random person because you gave them a “guest” you’ll be covered.
If you want all of your wedding stationary to align then consider what you want your invitations to look like first. I already knew what I wanted my invitations to look like so this helped a lot in the design process.
When you get ready to send those Save The Dates – ask the Post Office to hand cancel them. Basically instead of running it through the processing machine which could potentially damage your Save The Date, it gets processed manually.