Next, choose the photos! It wasn’t easy… Once we got the photos back from our engagement session, we had to choose which ones were going use. We didn’t choose a “save the date” yet, but I knew after looking at many designs, the most that would be used is five photos. So our goal was to narrow our engagement photos down to our favorite five. (Note this didn’t happen… We narrowed it down to 10!!!) As a woman, and most women can probably agree, I am picky about and probably too harsh on myself when it comes to choosing photos I like. Additionally, I wanted to make sure that I let my fiancé be involved in choosing what photos we were going to use. He would have been fine with just having me pick out the photos and design the “save the dates” but this is OUR wedding and I want to make sure he feels apart of the process. Sitting down and going through the photos with my fiancé, I was surprised at how many I liked that he didn’t and how many he liked that I didn’t. (Again we are our worst critics). I am not going to lie, it probably took us over an hour to narrow down our photos. After finally agreeing on about 10 photos, it was time to choose the design. I must have looked at a dozen websites that made recommendations on where to order the “save the dates”. I also posted on Facebook and got friends opinions on where they ordered theirs. In hindsight, there is a point where you become overwhelmed. I was looking at so many designs and so many websites and frankly had no clue what I wanted. And the winner is… Costco! I finally just ordered through them. I have ordered invites through Costco before and I had friends who did their “save the dates” through them as well. After looking at their designs, we realized again we had to narrow the photos down to five. We got it down to five, then played with the designs and put in our pictures to see how it looked.
After about an hour looking at the different designs, I finally found one that I loved! I saved it in my cart but didn’t buy them just yet. It is crazy because even though I knew I liked them, my mind wondered if I was going to regret ordering these ones. One thing no one mentions is just how many options there are for everything. I wondered if I should still look at the other websites and make sure there wasn’t anything I would like better. I wondered if I made the wrong choice and should have spent the extra money on the magnets instead (Side note: NO you don’t need the expensive magnets.) They were over twice the cost of the ones we got. Additionally, how many people will actually keep that after the wedding is over?) The last thing I had to decide was how many to order. By this time we were lucky enough to pretty much have our guest list close to done (only names, no addresses yet… I will talk about that one in a moment.) At first, I looked at our total guest count and thought that was how many “save the dates” we needed. Luckily my mom reminded me that many of the guests are couples or families and that we definitely don’t need that many. In fact, we needed only about half that number.
Last but not least…and probably the hardest part… The envelopes getting addressed was the most time-consuming part and created so much frustration. I don’t know about other brides, but my guess is many are in the same situation that I was in. They will have some but will be asking many people what their address is. Collecting these was so annoying!! Patience never has been a virtue of mine and I try to get things done as quickly as possible. I texted, messaged, and called all of the people I could think of for my friends and family. My fiancé on the other hand only knew a few peoples addresses. For the others, I asked for my mom and future mother in laws help to get the rest of them. One thing that was very helpful was The Knot has a wedding collection link. You can send a link to friends and family and they input their information for you. This is how I got about half of the addresses I needed. I even sent it to people whose address I already had so that they would all be in one place. After about a month of bugging my mom and future mother in law, and then bugging others we finally got all of them. I actually ended up putting a date limit. I told them if I didn’t have the address by a certain date they aren’t getting one. This may sound super bitchy (can I say bitchy) but what I have learned, even more so now, sometimes that is needed to get things done and checked off the long list of things to do before the big day!!!
P.S. If you are working with a budget, don’t forget to factor in the cost of stamps!