I had never heard of save-the-date cards until recently. Well, within the last couple of years, anyway. In case you were in the same dark wedding cave I was, they are little notices telling your friends not to plan to do anything else on the date you've selected 6 months or so down the road as you've reserved that for your wedding day. I can't imagine I know too many people who plan things that far in advance, unless it's a wedding. Nobody I can think of is that organized. I try, really I do. I've got post-it notes all over the place reminding me to do things. Now, if I could just organize where I put these notes so I can remember to do all of these things I'll be in great shape. Of course, even when my notes are in plain sight, if they've been there a while I start to forget they're even there. They become part of my desk's landscape and I just ignore them. I still can't decide if save the date cards are part of the big scheme of sucking as much money out of a bride as possible by the big wedding machine out there, or if they're actually a pretty good idea. I'm leaning towards the good idea side, mainly because there are so many different save-the-date styles out there and I like them in general. Obviously, I'm not going to have someone create our cards from scratch, billing me for their time and artistic talents. These reminders can cost at least $1 a piece, and although that may not sound like a lot, multiply that times the amount of people you're inviting, not to mention the cost of your actual invitations and RSVP cards and it adds up quickly. I know a bit about graphic design, having worked at a small town newspaper that liked to hire women using the theory that we work cheaper than men and would do more work. I learned all sorts of stuff there - how to run an outdated folding machine, how to stuff flyers in papers, how to keep a perfect balance between cutting off customers who haven't paid their bills in forever without making the subscription numbers drop and look like nobody was reading the paper, laying out the articles for printing, and even graphic design. On top of all that at the low, low pay of $5.50 an hour, I learned an important life skill. When you work in close proximity with a person who's probably certifiably insane (in this case a bitter divorcee who couldn't let go of the fact that her ex had moved on and talked about it non-stop, "I don't care what that judge says and if he's remarried - we're still married in God's eyes!") the best thing to do is nod your head in agreement, no matter what the hell they're talking about. Aside from my mad skills doing graphic layout, Jerry's even more talented than I am. He can place you in any scene in the world (so don't be surprised if you see some honeymoon photos of us in Paris, London, Tahiti and the moon) and make it look as if you're really there. And he can make us look fantastic while there, too! My point is, making save-the-date cards will surely be less expensive than ordering them. Every time I see one I like, I'll forward a picture to Jerry and say, "I like this one, but I liked the other one better," and ask for his opinion. I think we're in agreement as to what we'd like them to look like. I won't post them here until they're completed, though. I'll give you just a little hint, though - they're lighthearted and suit our personalities! If you aren't quite so lucky as to be as gifted and talented as Jerry and I, there are still ways to go about saving money on your cards. Maybe you have a very talented friend. I actually considered asking one of Jerry's friends who is an animator to draw caricatures of us to use in the save-the-date cards and even on the invitations. I thought we'd ask for it as his wedding gift, but then we decided against it. What if he worked hard one something for us and it just wasn't what we wanted? Would we feel pressured to use it anyway? Another way around much of the cost is downloading some templates to your home computer and working with those to create a card style. I did a search for free wedding invitation templates and tons of sites came up. Be warned, though, some do want you to sign up for their site first, but not all do. A lot of times when I go to Michael's craft store, I head straight to the back where the clearance section is and can almost always find some blank invitations with envelopes marked down. I've even seen them in the clearance section of T. J. Maxx. At one point I thought it'd be really romantic to make my own paper and put flowers in it, but it turned out that the paper wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to be. Who wants to pull an invitation out of an envelope, only to have it crumble in their hands? Another thing to remember is, postage costs less if you're sending a postcard than something in an envelope, so maybe a postcard style is the way to go. Or, skip the paper route altogether and make a save-the-date video like this one!