disclosure: thank you, catprint, for sponsoring this blog post and providing complimentary save-the-date cards and wedding invitations. as per usual, all opinions are my own!
shortly after getting engaged in july 2019, i began looking online for local wedding venues. we couldn’t wait to start planning our special day! greg and i hoped to get married within 6–12 months somewhere in the greater seattle area. and seattle has many gorgeous venue options. we anticipated inviting and hosting a fairly large group, and the size of our guest list helped narrow down options. i was in communication with 4–5 venues (and spoiler alert: i didn’t see any of them in person).
many venues allow guests to tour and taste during business hours, and at the time, i was unable to miss work. greg and our moms visited the first one, located in snohomish, washington. before arriving he said to our moms, “let’s not go with the first one. we want to keep our options open.” two hours later, i received a call that he had found the one—and the festivities would be held on march 7, 2020, at lord hill farms. while it may seem a bit odd that greg booked the venue sight unseen (from the bride), i was confident in his decision. and i eventually saw just how perfect it was when we had our menu tasting.
after procuring our wedding date and venue, it was time to officially kick off the planning process!
i have to admit, looking at save-the-date cards and wedding invitations is a bit overwhelming. the choices are seemingly endless from color palettes and fonts, to templates and overall design aesthetics. i was thrilled when the team at catprint reached out to see if we would like assistance! not only does catprint offer an array of save the dates and wedding invitations, but they also have greeting cards, postcards, party invitations, seasonal holiday cards, and more.
greg and i worked with allison, a talented graphic designer to customize our save the dates and wedding invitations. we were in close communication for several months, and she was quick offer feedback and provide edits. allison is incredibly creative, organized, and patient, and i highly recommend her design services!
designing our save-the-date cards
to get started, i requested a complimentary wedding sample pack from catprint. it included 4–5 save-the-date options on varying papers and stocks. receiving hard-copy samples was tremendously helpful in terms of assessing the quality of the cards and helping narrow down our design. i also browsed pinterest for additional design inspiration.
when considering your save the dates, it can be helpful to have a photo in mind, preferred fonts, paper type (whether photo paper, card stock, or magnet), and event details (i.e., your wedding date and location). it is customary to send save-the-date cards 6–12 months before your wedding date. don’t feel intimidated by this range. if your wedding is local, mailing save the dates 6 months in advance is plenty! destination weddings and elopements require more planning and consideration for guests, and this may encourage you to drop your save the dates in the mail sooner.
greg and i opted for a simple postcard design. it had our favorite engagement photos (taken at mukilteo beach and harbour pointe golf club), as well as our wedding date and location on the front, with space to write guests’ names and addresses on the back.
we couldn’t have been happier with how the design turned out, and i saved a handful of spare cards as keepsakes.
designing our wedding invitations
i have to admit, wedding invitation etiquette was previously foreign to me. i learned a great deal throughout the planning process! so much goes into the details and language that is (or is not) included. i found this article helpful in regards to what not to include in your wedding invitation and this blog post provides a handful of templates and recommendations.
to get started, i looked to pinterest for design inspiration. and i found many designs that i liked when searching “wedding invitations” within catprint’s gallery.
i knew i wanted to include our wedding colors (emerald green and white) as well as a winter theme due to the timing of our special day (march). similar to our save-the-date cards, i leaned into a classic design with pops of color and gold foiling. allison and i worked closely on a few drafts before narrowing down a final version. she also helped coach me on the language that best represented our wedding plans.
below is the basic anatomy of an invitation (from top to bottom).
- whomever is hosting the wedding celebration is mentioned first;
- the bride’s name typically goes before the groom’s;
- spell out the date and time of wedding (i.e, avoid using numerals);
- list the name and address of the wedding venue;
- set the tone for wedding reception activities.
please note: each of these details are at the discretion of the couple. this is simply the formula we opted to go with for our wedding invitation.
to avoid having too much information listed on our wedding invitation, we included two smaller inserts: 1) the venue’s address, an outline of the evening, and the requested dress code, 2) nearby accommodations for traveling and out-of-town guests.
in addition to the inserts, we provided an rsvp card and pre-addressed return envelope with postage. if you have a wedding website, guests can rsvp online. however, it may also be helpful to utilize rsvp cards for tracking purposes. a family friend also recommended that we discretely number each rsvp card (with our corresponding guest list) as guests occasionally forget to include their name. i am grateful we did this, as we received two rsvp cards without identifying information.
it is customary to send wedding invitations 6 weeks in advance to allow ample time for guests to respond and make travel arrangements, as needed. many venues require a final headcount two weeks before the event date, and you should consider this when establishing your timeline. i recommend listing the date on which a reply is desired on your rsvp card and wedding website, allowing a buffer for potential holidays or mail delays.
photos by sarah wolfe photography
i am thrilled with how our wedding invitation and inserts turned out. the colors are even more vibrant in person, and i saved extra copies as keepsakes.
other planning considerations
in addition to your save-the-date cards and wedding invitations, you may consider setting up the below items.
- create a wedding checklist to help you stay organized and on-budget;
- publish a wedding website with important wedding-related details;
- build wedding registries at various retailers (this can be done in person or online);
- establish a honeymoon fund.
the wedding planning process has changed immensely—with many weddings being postponed—due to covid-19. my heart goes out to each of you who have been affected, and i send well wishes as you plan your new special day. at this time, catprint is offering change-our-date cards for couples who have a new wedding date.
thank you again to allison and the team at catprint for bringing our save the date and wedding invitation designs to life!
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.