The paper train has been a real roller coaster. So much so, that I titled a BAB paper post "Mo Paper, Mo Problems". That's about as thug as I get, so you're welcome for that.
Originally, when we started this process, I wanted to send out magnet save the dates. I wanted to do an engagement shoot and have one of the photos printed on the magnet with our date and website on them. But then, our bubble was popped when we were reminded that German's don't often have magnetic refrigerators.
So we agreed to scratch the save the date idea, which went hand-in-hand with another decision we'd been pressured to make: paper invites. I didn't want those originally either. This is 2017, 98% of people I know are on the internet and have an email address, I wanted to do electronic invites and RSVP. Since we weren't able to get email addresses for everyone on our guest list without having to ask everyone, I just succumbed to tradition and said yes to paper invites. Ugh.
We're still doing an electronic RSVP. I'm not budging on that. Primarily on principle, but also because the way I've set it up, the RSVP form feeds directly to the wedding spreadsheets, which is essentially the brain of the entire wedding.
In February, I had my first wedding breakdown over the Germans "needing" some form of paper notification about our wedding, but it was triggered by Teh German agreeing to send save the dates since our invites arriving by the end of March (7 months out) wasn't soon enough for "German's that like to plan."
After Teh German said he'd take care of it, my Type-A personality reared it's stubborn head and my control freak came out. It's not that I don't trust Teh German, I do. But not about this. There was also the fact that I feared that despite him "taking on" the project, it would lead to a lot of stress for him and I'd end up finishing it and if that was going to be case, I'd rather just "help" him with the entire thing.
My goal for this project was "as cheap as possible." I had been around enough wedding invite sites to know how much places could charge for a piece of paper and I wasn't having it. I told Teh German that we could print something out and mail them.
After some brainstorming, we agreed on save the date postcards. This way there would be no envelopes involved, just print, throw a stamp on them, and done. Teh German's job was to go with me to Michael's to find paper to print the cards on, find some templates to help me create something in Photoshop, translate the sentences on the cards, and he was not allowed to "help" me while I worked on it and he perused social media.
We were able to easily find some 5x7 textured card stock at Micheal's. We weren't worried about getting paper in our colors, so we ended up with a rainbow pack (to my internal glee). We used a coupon to get a discount, because "we're on a budget."
Creating the design wasn't difficult since we were doing a minimal approach. It was mostly just testing different fonts and getting the spacing/alignment "good enough."
Troubleshooting the printer was a pain in the dick. I ordered Epson ink to see if that fixed my ink color problem I was having and then we ended up just printing them with the cheap ink cartridges anyways since it was on colored paper and we weren't overly concerned. It took me no less than 4 tries to figure out how to put the paper in the tray and the little diagram ON the tray was totally unhelpful. I had to use the owner's manual.. what is this 1988? Ugh. After I figured out the printer, things got easier.
I had to tweak the Photoshop files a bit to get the alignment like I wanted it. Then I realized that our paper had an extra quarter inch of material on the end so they could punch a hole through the paper and use the hole to hang the paper in the store. Teh German got tasked again with taking our card stock to work and cutting it down to a perfect 5x7.
After the paper was the right size, the next hurdle was manually changing the addresses on the Photoshop file for each individual save the date. This was the most tedious part.
After all the cards were printed out, they were packaged and mailed to Germany. Papa G had agreed to mail off the save the dates if we mailed the entire batch to him. This would save us bigly (you're welcome) on postage.
So let's talk cost.
Card stock: $8.99+tax-20$ off coupon= $7
Ink: a few bucks since we used the cheap shit= $5
Ways we saved:
-we used the cheap ink instead of the $40 Epson set.
-we mailed the batch to Germany instead of spending $1.20 per card to mail them ourselves ($36).
-I designed the template and printed them myself.
-Teh German cut the paper at work so we didn't have to take it somewhere to be cut.
Still $32 for only 30 save the dates, which could have went towards our invitations.