For some people, November 1 is an invitation to break out the Christmas decoration boxes and hang the mistletoe.
I am not one of those people.
I think every holiday should have its due, and that it’s practically a crime to breeze right past Thanksgiving, which is one of the loveliest holidays of all! But there is one holiday hustle I can get behind, and that’s planning ahead for Christmas cards. On that note, today we’ve teamed up with Dixie Design to offer a few tips for getting your Christmas cards done beautifully and out the door on time! (And their designs are so sweet and Southern – can’t wait for you to see!)
1. Choose a photo. If you got married in the last year, your decision is probably an easy one: you’ll obviously be using a photo from your wedding! (It felt like a huge rite of passage for me!) On second thought, sifting through all of your beautiful wedding photos and choosing just one could be challenging, indeed…
2. Take a new photo, if necessary. If a wedding photo isn’t an option and there isn’t a photo you love from the past year, consider hiring a photographer. Many pros offer “mini sessions” in the fall for exactly this purpose: usually 15-20 minutes, where you receive 10-20 photos, for $150-$400. (Following your favorite photographer’s social accounts or subscribing to her newsletter are great ways to stay in the loop about sign-ups.) “If you have time in advance,” says Jennifer from Dixie Design, “it’s nice to find a card you love before having your photo taken. That way, you’ll know the appropriate orientation (vertical or horizontal) and the colors you may need to wear to coordinate well with the card’s design.”
3. Gather your list of loved ones. “Your wedding address list is a great starting point for gathering holiday card addresses,” says Jennifer. “You can cut and paste those addresses into a separate document, and then you’ll have your card list ready for next year, too — and it will be simple to make changes to addresses and add new addresses along the way.” We’ve also found Postable to be a great solution if you like to keep an online address book, or our friend Emily Ley’s version if you’re more of a pen and paper gal.
4. Select your card design. The fun part! Spend time uploading your photo into several different cards – “remember, you may love your photo and you may love a certain card, but the two together simply might not work,” says Jennifer. Christmas cards are practically a collaged piece of artwork for the month of December at my house – like little paper jewels! – so don’t be afraid to have fun with special details. From Jennifer: “We think our holiday cards feel special because we strive to provide our customers with designs that look like they were custom-made for them, with details like hand lettered and calligraphed messages, illustrated and painted designs, monograms, and high-end paper.” Aim to place your card order no later than December 1, but ideally around November 15. And remember, especially if you’ve moved in the past year, it’s better to be ahead of the curve with your card so your loved ones can adjust their address books!
5. Stuff, stamp, and send. With your cards in hand in plenty of time, you’ll have a week or two to address them at your leisure, ideally beside a Christmas tree, with hot chocolate in hand, and your favorite Christmas songs on the radio :) We think a hand-written note, even if brief, on each one is a lovely touch. Same for hand-written addresses on the envelopes. Enlist your new husband to help with the sealing and stamping part! A seasonally-colored strip of washi tape on the back flap or a modern holiday stamp (like the ones from our friend Lindsay Letters) add a little extra zip.
All of Dixie Design’s holiday cards are fully customizable on their website — you can upload your photo, view it inside potential cards, and personalize your message, all right there on their site! We’re big fans of their sweet illustrations, happy colors, and darling Southern aesthetic, and know they have just the design you’re looking for for your first Christmas card as a Southern newlywed! See them all right here.
This post is brought to you by Dixie Design. Thank you so much for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!