Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis the season...

to get married!

2011 looks like it's going to be a very busy, happy and celebratory year! Last week we received two Save the Date cards for weddings this Spring. The week before that we got the news that Dave's little sister got engaged. Add that to the two already existing weddings scheduled for next year- my best friend Paige in Lake Tahoe in August and my cousin Marlu in Las Vegas in June and that my friends makes five weddings next year! Something is definitely in the air...I guess that would be love.

Re-inspired by all the Save the Dates we've been receiving, I thought I'd post about the Save the Dates we sent for our wedding.

Although we were having our wedding at a winery we knew we didn't want to theme it out with wine inspired everything- colors, favors, invites, etc. We loved the location and the vistas it offered but wanted the wedding to stand on its own, away from the winery. So instead of going with wine inspired colors in the red and purple tones I choose green and brown, accenting the lush surroundings more than the grapes.

The Save the Dates were our one nod to the winery. Cruising around online one day I saw wine bottles used as wedding invitations and really liked the idea but knew that I didn't want to use them as my actual invite. Dave suggested them for the Save the Dates and I thought that was perfect. Our one nod to the winery theme would be our first contact with our guests and what a unique and fun way to set the tone.

We decided against sending actual full bottles of wine because it was simply too expensive. Even at $10 a bottle for a cheap bottle of wine it would cost us $500 for just the wine, not including shipping costs and that was just way more than we wanted to spend on Save the Dates.

I started by having Dave customize the design on a wine label I liked to fit our wedding. If you're not experienced with Photo Shop there are many sites online that you can choose a template from and have them printed. Here are a few sites that I found with really nice designs: Gloria J Designs, Stoney Creek Wine Press, My Own Labels.

We ended up spending around $30 for printing all 50 labels on a thick, shiny stock paper at Kinkos.

Next we needed wine bottles- lots of them! Being the HUGE tree hugger that I am and having enough time (we were engaged in 2007, married in 2009) we decided that we'd work through our cache of wine over the next year and save the bottles. On this plan we ended up drinking through about half of the bottles we needed. The rest I ended up ordering online along with the corks through Shore Container which cost me about $20 for two cases (24 bottles) and $14 for 50 corks.

Next we glued the labels to the bottles. Since we had used a thick stock paper I decided to use plain old Elmer's glue to apply the labels. I knew the labels were thick enough that the glue wouldn't wrinkle or bubble up the paper.

At that point we were basically done but something felt like it was missing. It felt weird that the bottle was empty so we decided that we'd put a message to our family and friends in the bottle along with destination info and our website address that had complete information about the entire event. After printing out the messages we rolled them up, fastened them with a ribbon leaving one end long enough to travel up the neck of the bottle and attach to the bottom of the cork.


Now this was definitely the most expensive part of the project. But since we were having a small wedding (we anticipated 60 people attending) the cost of mailing them was probably more than most people spend but doable since our guest list was small. Depending on where in the country they were going (our furthest was to Alaska!) the bottles cost between $3 - $6 to send. It ended up being around $200 to send the whole bunch. Altogether the project cost us around $265 total- not too bad for creating a unique and memorable Save the Date!

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