We ordered our save-the-dates on Thursday! In between writing my submission for round two of the USA Today Collegiate Correspondent Program application process and spending time with the boys, I worked on a save-the-date design, using one of our favorite photos from our engagement shoot earlier this summer. We decided to order them from Vistaprint. Mainly because Vistaprint was having a buy-100-postcards-for-free sale. Except, I decided the word “free” meant that I should just ignore the website’s thousands of pre-designed options and do my own thing. Which definitely wasn’t free, and sort of made the whole point of FREE a bit, well, moot.
Firstly, I’d like to note that we are only sending save-the-dates because:
A. Only two of Alan’s family members live in Pennsylvania.
B. Some of Alan’s family live as far away as California.
C. I wanted to design something.
D. They were free. Sort of. Not really.
Since I spent all day and a good part of the evening
pouring my soul into working on the postcards that most people will probably throw away after realizing they don’t want to travel all the way to the middle of nowhere save for the rest of their lives after marking the date down on their calendars and circling it with a heart, I learned quite a bit about the entire process.
First of all, if you’re designing your own save-the-dates, you don’t need an expensive program suite like Adobe CS5 (not that I would complain if I owned a copy of CS5). I used the free-to-download program GIMP (because my own expensive program crashed and I’m holding out until I can afford CS5), and I’m quite pleased with the way they turned out.
Second of all, when saving a file, there are huge differences between .jpg (best for photos), .gif (best for graphics) and .png (a combination of the two). By the time I finished our save-the-date design, the .png file (I saved it as both a .jpg and a .png) was huge and Vistaprint was unable to upload it. In the end, I opened and saved it in Paint as a .jpg, which compressed it enough to be considered usable by Vistaprint, but still retained the photographer’s quality and the crispness of my designs.
In all, with the sale and my uploaded designs for the front and back of the save-the-dates, I paid $21.43 for 100 postcards (and our guest list is just shy of 100). That’s $.2143 a save-the-date! Or, it would be, if there were such a denomination as $.2143. I’m pretty proud of that fact, since the other designs I liked were $.99 a save-the-date.
Our save-the-dates are due to arrive on Aug. 25. I have to admit I’m a bit nervous about how the back of the postcard will be rendered, as I noticed that it looked a bit off, but the photo on the front looks lovely and for the price I paid, I’m willing to take that chance. If they arrive and we’re not satisfied with the quality, we have enough time to order them through another company (because there’s no way I’m mailing out save-the-dates that don’t do Jonathan’s photography justice).
+ writing. Lately, it seems that all of my creativity has flown out the window. Usually, it waits until the beginning of the fall semester to pack its bags, but it would seem that my inspiration decided to leave early this year. To make up for the half a dozen or so blog posts I’ve started and subsequently trashed over the past week or so, I decided to try a different approach – I’m writing this entry on OmmWriter, a downloadable program with pretty backgrounds, relaxing music and and minimal features. I used OmmWriter Dana the other night for the first time, and wrote a 700+ word article in far less time than I’d alloted for myself. This thing is magical. Either that, or it’s a psychological trick that my mind is playing on me because the program is new (to me) and has pretty backgrounds and music. Nevertheless, whether the program is magical or whether I’m crazy, I still managed to write an article and I love OmmWriter.
+ future stepmomhood. The boys and I have recently taken to playing Monopoly and asking to visit a nearby park. I may or may not play on the equipment with them until other adults show up, and then quickly pretend I’m just taking photos because I’m clearly too old to be playing on a playground. … Since they learned that the Nikon D5100 has a video-recording feature, they’ve begun scripting their own movies and commercials.
+ journalism. The 2011 Associated Press Stylebook arrived in the mail the other day. Or, maybe that was yesterday … the days all run together. Either way, I was super-excited to upgrade my 2009 edition.
+ pcs. Yesterday, I decided to finally begin sorting my belongings into pack/sell piles. After a couple of hours, my room looked like it exploded (and, actually, it still does) and I didn’t even have one full box to show for my efforts. I’d like to hold a yard sale, but I don’t live in a high-traffic area and I wouldn’t be able to ask reasonable prices for a lot of my more pricey things (like two prom dresses). I considered posting online, but I’m not keen on the idea of shipping said prom dresses, in the event that someone is interested. So, at the moment, my room is a mess and there is a box of randomness on the floor.
+ wedding planning i haven’t done. In other news about things-I-should-have-started-half-of-forever-ago, Alan and I still have yet to select a caterer. I suppose one usually schedules a tasting with potential caterers, before selecting one. Which, we still have yet to do. On the upside, my mom, sister, K, N and I are going bridesmaid shopping next month. Which, apparently, is only two days away.
+ more wedding planning i haven’t done. Also, we’ve decided to send out our save-the-dates nine months ahead of time (mid-September) and our invitations six months ahead of time, instead of the usual six- and three-month mailing dates. Since almost everyone on Alan’s side will be flying in or driving in from outside Pennsylvania, it only makes sense for us to give everyone early notice in order to arrange flights or vacation/leave dates.