8 months from the wedding: simple advice for stress-free save the dates


Brett & Jessica

When I logged into my Knot profile recently, I was wishing there was a panic button I could push to get all this planning done. The bright font of “8 months to go til’ your wedding!” evoked a small throaty scream instead of a smile. As I tracked down the to do lists for each month, I kick-started my breathing back up. Most of the 8-10 month items had been pumped out and our cute lil “Save the Dates” were sitting in a box by my side, ready to be stuffed and mailed.

One of the consistent pieces of advice given to me thus far has been to “enjoy yourself” during the engagement process. Our save the date picture day was one of those moments where I took the advice :). One of my best friends and bridesmaids, Jenny, has been tootling around with her DSLR camera and practicing the fine art of photography. She is also the one who introduced me and the future hubby so I was honored and thrilled when she volunteered to take nude (jkjk) fully clothed engagement photos for our save the dates.

kate engagement photo


After very little deliberation, we decided to have our pics taken around our lovely Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago. There are some artsy spots we have always been wistful about.

Particular things that I loved about the day:

  • The weather!! Warm, early fall with perfect afternoon sunlight.
  • Wearing a sweet new $30 dress from Forever 21, as well as 2 symbolic necklaces: 1 cross to represent my family’s faith and a tiny elephant to represent my sweetheart’s Hindu culture. I didn’t have to spend a ton to create my look.
  • Having someone I love take our pics. It gave me a glimpse into the level of trust and comfort we needed to have with any prospective wedding photographers. Jenny fixed my hair, adjusted our clothes, and gently moved our poses to meet her vision. It can be an intimate experience.

Here’s a few pics we loved that didn’t make the family friendly final cut.

wedding home mural

Wedding bill murray

wedding lawn

We eagerly awaited the final results after our day ended. Once we got all the beauties in our pretty little Dropbox, the easy part began. We went to Minted.com to create our save the dates. The template was rather simple, and a proof was sent within 24 hours for approval. We picked a design that fit us, the selfie couple, with a ton of room for multiple shots. Jenny took so many good ones, we couldn’t pick just one (like Pringles). We got the actual magnets (put me on your fridge people!!) within 2 weeks.

wedding magnet

Final thoughts!

  • Jenny is awesome. She took our pics for free and we loved spending that time with someone who knows us both so well.
  • OOPS!! In retrospect, we could have put our wedding website’s address on there. I have also seen other articles that suggest you also add “formal invite to follow”. Don’t people know that though ;)?

As the holidays pick up with intense speed, I am going to keep meditating on the present and really work towards enjoying this planning time. Scrolling through these memories certainly does remind me why we are doing all this circus-like coordination in the first place.

Thanks again to Jenny Rivadeneira for documenting the day in style. All photos are expressly hers so no snatching, y’all.

Anybody else have favorite Save the Dates design sites or tips?

biopicKate Swem is a recently married lady living in Chicago. Her husband, Raja, is her blogging coach, fellow Netflixia sufferer (The Strain is now in rotation) and adventure twin. Tune in to hear about her wedding reflections and advice! You can follow her on Twitter, or read more on her and her best friend’s blog, Chi Organic Girls.