DIY Save the Dates

Do it Yourself and Save The Date for Less

Website like Pinterest have sent brides' heads spinning into a sea of DIY wedding projects including invitations and save the dates.  If you've always had a penchant for arts and crafts then creating your own save the dates may be something you want to do and we're not going to try and stop you.  However, if you're simply investigating the idea of printing and sending them yourself, there's a few things you should know before proceeding. 

When it comes to planning your wedding there are some things that you can do yourself while other tasks are best left to professionals. Sending Save the Dates fall somewhere in between; sending save the dates usually qualifies as a do-it-yourself wedding project but that ultimately comes down to what you mean by "do it yourself". 

There are two popular ways people send DIY save the dates:

Printing Save the Dates at Home (on your computer)

Don't Use Your Printer!

Don't. Don't do it.  It's not worth the trouble, time, and/or hassle.  You would think it would be easier and cheaper, but many couples aren't aware that printing save the dates at home can cost $0.25 in ink for each card—not including the paper itself. They often look horrible, too.  The templates are pretty generic and the paper quality is sub-par.  There's a way to print do-it-yourself save the dates from the comfort of home that's much easier (see below).  Finally, if you're justifying printing at home because you're having a small wedding, know that there are companies that offer free save the dates that are perfect for a small wedding.

Save the Date Templates (Download & Print)

Marketplaces like Etsy that showcase indie, handmade designs offer save the date templates that you can buy ranging from $10-$50.  Here's how it works (though each artist has a slightly different process): you buy a design, send your details to the artist by email (such as names, wedding date, etc.) and they send you back a digital template, often in the form of a PDF or JPEG.  You can then use this digital file to print them on your own computer or have them printed professionally.

This is a viable option, but you should remember that you'll still have to pay to print the cards as well as buy cardstock/other paper.  Finally, you'll also need envelopes (unless your sending postcards).  By the time you add up the design fee, paper, ink, and envelopes, the savings is minial over an all-in-one stationery service (see below).

Using an Online Printing Service

If you can use a computer (congrats, you've already proven yourself capable) then you can design and print your own save the dates.  There are dozens of online companies that offer printing services to let you create save the date cards, postcards, photo cards and even magnets. It's very easy and economical; simply choose a design, fill in your names, wedding date and wording (such as your wedding website) and order the quantity of save the dates you need.  The company sends you the save the dates in bulk and you mail them out to your wedding guests yourself.

There are many no-nonsense reasons to use a printing service:

  1. Price. Believe it or not, they can do it cheaper than you can at home. Depending on the style and quantity, you can often order save the dates for less than $1 each and postcards are even cheaper.  There are even a few companies that offer free save the dates.  By using a printing service you'll save time, money, and hassle.
  2. Quality. There's a notable difference between professionally printed stationery and the DIY stuff you buy at Staples. Professional printing services often offer multiple print finishes (gloss, matte, etc.) as well as high-quality cardstock and photo paper—options you can't get if you print them at home. People will notice the difference, and ironically, the difference is more affordable (see above).
  3. Style. Most print-at-home save the date kits often feature very generic save the date templates. By contrast, the seemingly limitless design and theme choices created by incredible artists from the online printing services (Zazzle offers thousands) ensures that you'll find one that fits you perfectly.
  4. Simplicity. It bears repeating: using an online printing service to design and print your save the dates is significantly simpler than trying to print your save the dates on your printer at home. Hey—it's your wedding, but don't say you weren't warned.


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