While we didn't have the most fashionable save-the-dates we sent out something that was representative of us. We put the majority of them in the mail at the end of February for our January 2008 wedding. My friends knew exactly where they came from before they looked at the return address. They were received favorably.
We first designed the magnet. We found a base image design by an artist on DeviantArt.com and he gave us permission to use the image. We added our names and the information on the black background. After we submitted it to vistaprint he even offered to do the graphic for us but it was too late. Thank you Rafael Salcedo.
Then the magnets came in and we needed someway to send them out. We had already worked on the website and established travel times and lodging. The basics were on the site, we just needed people to read it. We had initially considered buying a recycled paper note and envelope set at Target but opted to basically do some recycling ourselves with random stuff we already had in the house.
We had some recycled chipboard that I brushed over with some water and watercolors.
I cut the chipboard when it was dried and flattened it out. I wrote on it with india ink and a calligraphy pen. I left enough room to attach the magnet with some photo corners we had. If I wanted to do it all matchy-like we would have bought black photo corners.
Then there were the envelopes. I don't like tossing out old calendars because the pictures are so pretty and the paper can be used for so many things. I took calendars from Costa Rica biological reserves and cut each piece in half. I folded the paper around the chipboard card as if it was an envelope. I cut notches around any joint that overlapped and affixed the envelope together with double-sided tape on paper that folded over to seal the contents within. I folded the top edge under so that it was a clean edge when presented to the addressee.
I sealed the envelopes with double-sided tape and sealed with a foil heart. The labels are standard white labels trimmed with black marker and punched with a small palm tree stamp along the bottom. The return label is made the same way, just about 1/7th the size of the addressee label and without the palm tree. I hand wrote the addresses.
In all we tried to match the image of the envelope with the guests' personalities or what we thought they would like best.
The response to these was so positive that we are definitely keeping the recycling theme going for the invite. However we want for those to be a lot more chic. We expect to send invites out by November so we still have time to refine what exactly it is that we are going to make.