I am so excited to share our Save the Date cards with you all today! I teamed up with Minted to design them and love how they turned out. More on that process at the end of the post. First, let’s talk about how to choose the perfect wedding date. An essential step before designing your perfect save the dates!
As I mentioned last week, we found our dream venue first and then picked our date to ensure they had it open. If you’re doing it the other way (date, then venue) then some of this might be a little different for you. But, overall, choosing your date can be easy by considering a few key factors:
Always dreamed of a Summer wedding? Love the way the leaves change in the Fall? Consider what season suits you. If you don’t have a preference, consider other factors. For example, football season is often a busy one (especially here in The South) so that often rules out a lot of Fall weekends. There is always a ‘bye’ week, but this only works best if most of your guests root for the same team. Even if it’s an away weekend, the last thing you want is everyone gathered around the tv or checking their phones all night. For my fiancé, the first of the year is out. He is a CPA who does auditing and they work so many hours from January to end of March that a wedding would not be feasible then. He can’t even really take vacation during this time. For me, I work for a school district and have two months off in the Summer. It’s too ideal to pass up this time of year so we decided sometime during the Summer.
Location + weather
I’ve always wanted an outdoor wedding. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to Texas in the Summer but it is not a pleasant place outside. If we were doing a Texas wedding (which I talked about here as one of our original possibilities) then this would be basically impossible. I can’t even fathom being outside in a big dress or having your groom in a suit or tux during the Summer months in Texas. Even when we almost chose the ballroom of a hotel, I still couldn’t get the idea of an outdoor wedding out of my mind. Consider where you want to get married (it can be a general location if you haven’t decided on your venue) and consider what the weather is like during that time and how it may affect your wedding. I wouldn’t pick an outdoor wedding during the most rainy month of the year.
Is there a date that means something to you? Perhaps an anniversary that several members of your family share? or your anniversary that you’d like to continue to celebrate? Considering if something is particularly meaningful might be a factor in picking your date. For us, this was not a factor.
If the above choices don’t impact when you get married, perhaps the price would make a difference. Everywhere has a high and low season, so choosing somewhere outside of the high season may make things more affordable. I know when we were considering California this was the difference in thousands of dollars.
Have another wedding to attend? or perhaps one that one of you are in? These might make the list of Blackout Dates. Certain holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically off limits, too. If you’re doing a small, family-only wedding this might be an exception.
Have someone you HAVE to have at your wedding? Check with them on their calendars before choosing your date. When we started thinking seriously about Italy, I checked with one of my best friends who has another wedding in Italy during the same time frame. We did not want her to have to travel there twice in such a short time frame, so we looked for open dates that would allow her to make one longer trip to such a far off destination.
Do you want to take your honeymoon directly after your wedding or do you want to do a delayed honeymoon? For us, we could not imagine going back to work the few days after our wedding. We definitely wanted to do a honeymoon immediately following our wedding, so this was another reason we wanted to get married in the Summer. If you are not planning to take your full honeymoon after your wedding, will you take a mini-moon so you don’t have to go back to work the Monday or Tuesday after?
How long will you need to plan? If it’s the Spring and you want a big Summer wedding, it may be best to consider the next year to ensure ample planning time. The size of your wedding and your budget can definitely impact how long you need to plan.
VENUE + Vendor availability
Photographer is what I personally cared about most in terms of vendors for our wedding, so we checked with several and considered open dates for the one we wanted most. If you really want a certain florist, caterer, or another vendor, reach out as soon as you can and ask them their availability so you can coordinate between them and your venue. If you’re set on a certain venue, then you’ll need to plan on availability. This is when timing comes into play, too. Popular venues often book up quickly. That’s why you always here about the Plaza Hotel in NYC being booked years in advance. I can’t help but laugh thinking of the FRIENDS episode where Monica puts her name down for the Plaza to hold a date. Then, they call to confirm and Chandler picks up and then freaks out. Hilarious, but in some cases it’s a reality.
As I mentioned above, certain holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving are typically off limits. If you’re planning a destination wedding, like we are, sometimes holidays are your friends. I am honestly not a huge fan of holiday wedding weekends. I have been to my fair share that aren’t destination weddings and it takes a little adjusting in terms of your typical holiday plans. For example, we love to be on the lake over Memorial Weekend, so a wedding over that time may adjust those plans. For us, we wanted to get our wedding as close to a holiday as possible so people could minimize the number of vacation days they had to take. Luckily, this also corresponded to one of the weekends before/after the wedding one of my VIPs was attending in Italy.
After considering all of these factors we landed on our date: July 1st, 2017. I must admit, the little bit of me that is a total neat freak loves that it’s 07/01/2017. It will definitely be easy to remember! This allows me to have a few weeks between getting off work and leaving for our wedding. It allows my fiancé to actually be away from work. Our guests will be able to travel around the 4th of July holiday to make a trip out of our destination wedding. We’ll have time to take our honeymoon right after our wedding, too. Plus, in the future when celebrating anniversaries we’ll be able to take trips.
Because we’re having an International destination wedding, once we chose our date, we wanted to get our Save the Dates out ASAP. We wanted our guests to have enough time to plan, save, and ration vacation days if needed. I’ve loved Minted for home decor for quite some time and have always loved their paper goods. We used them for our holiday cards this year, too. They are so easy to use and there are endless designs. We wanted a customizable design for our Save the Date to make a statement about our big destination. I found this image of Florence on Etsy and bought it as an instant download to include. We thought it was so stunning and would make the image. I meannnn who doesn’t want to go to this stunning place?
We chose dual sided invitations so on the other side we could include a photo from when we got engaged (read the story if you haven’t already here) and also provide details about our wedding website. The simplicity of the front of these invitations with a little bling from the foil was the perfect style. We ordered them, along with envelopes, gold envelope liners, and custom stamps. Oh and one of the best parts? They have an address assistant and you can get your envelopes addressed for you. I have pretty neat handwriting so I was planning to address our own envelopes until I saw that they had this available. SUCH a time saver. If you don’t have handwriting suitable for invitations and were considering a calligrapher, then its a major cost saver, too.
If you’re needing save the dates or wedding invitations, or invitations/cards for any occasion, I definitely recommend Minted. We even used them to create our wedding website, too. I received my Save the Dates c/o of Minted, but all opinions here are my own. I was offered paper goods c/o two other companies but chose Minted because I have been a longtime fan.
The countdown to 07/01/2017 is ON!