In our digital-first world, there's no denying how good it feels to find a real piece of mail in your mailbox. That's why holiday cards are so undeniably special. "The tradition of sending and receiving holiday cards is such a special way to reconnect with friends and family," says Marissa Cedarleaf, Minted's general manager of Holiday and Weddings. If you're thinking about sending seasonal greetings to your family and friends but aren't sure how to get started, you're in luck. We asked Cedarleaf to share her very best tips for putting together memorable holiday cards.
Meet the Expert
Marissa Cedarleaf is the general manager of Holiday and Weddings at Minted, a shoppable stationery and art marketplace with designs created by a talented community of artists.
If you're engaged or newly-married, you're already ahead of the game: Cedarleaf says that engagement and wedding photos can absolutely be transformed into holiday cards, and using these types of snapshots is a great way to drum up excitement ahead of your big day or help loved ones remember the celebration. Ahead, Cedarleaf shares her top holiday card tips for engaged or married couples.
Choose your design, then your photos.
Before you do anything else, decide on your card's overall design. The Minted + BRIDES collection now includes 12 holiday greeting cards, and there's an option for everyone: Whether you're looking for a holiday-specific style (such as our "Bliss" or "Floral Arch" cards) or a simple, seasonal design (like the "Glitter" option), we have you covered. And whatever you do, don't skip this step or jump ahead. Your card's layout and design will help you choose the right orientation and number of photos.
Once you've selected your design, it's time to consult your photo albums. "Newlyweds and engaged couples often have an abundance of photos from which to choose," she says. "A standout holiday card perfectly marries the photography and design elements, so have some fun with it and play around with the options." Can't choose just one or two favorite photos? Cedarleaf says, "Embrace the idea of several shots, and use a collage design or photo backer to include multiple photos in your holiday card."
Write your greeting.
Sure, you want to show off the photos, but the greeting is important, too. Not sure what to write on your holiday cards? Cedarleaf says to keep it simple and be authentic. "A 'happy holidays' message is a great way to send cheer no matter what you celebrate. There are many different ways to say 'happy holidays,' including sayings such as peace, love, and joy," she says.
Another good option? Show off your new (or soon-to-be new) moniker. "If you’re changing your last name, a design that emphasizes your soon-to-be surname is a great way to celebrate your union," Cedarleaf explains. "Couples may choose to express gratitude to friends and family on the heels of an eventful year and as they embark on the next stage of their relationship. Looking for something fun and clever? 'Merry' and 'marry' pave the way for quite a few wedding puns! Try something like 'A Very Married Christmas' or 'Merrily Ever After.'"
But if you're entirely out of ideas, leave the hard work to us: All of the Minted + BRIDES holiday card designs feature seasonal greetings that can be personalized just with your names—we won't tell your loved ones that we lent a hand with the messaging!
Figure out your preferred timing.
While you can send holiday cards at any point in the season or even at the start of the new year, it's important to decide when you want your greetings to arrive at loved ones' homes. "If you can, take your time designing your holiday photo cards. A head start will let you organize your photos, get input from your partner, experiment with different designs, and update your addresses," says Cedarleaf. "We recommend starting the process in early to mid-November so holiday cards can arrive in recipients’ hands after Thanksgiving and before mid-December. Holiday decorating and planning will have begun in many households and you’ll stay ahead of the shipping rush that historically lands the week before Christmas."
That said, Cedarleaf recommends ordering your final cards about two to four weeks ahead of your desired delivery date. "You’ll want to leave enough time to approve your proof, for shipping and for assembly," she explains.
Have fun with it.
At the end of the day, holiday cards should be joyful and fun—both for your recipients and for you and your partner as you create them. "The tradition of sending and receiving holiday cards is such a special way to reconnect with friends and family," says Cedarleaf, so embrace this as something special you two can do together each year of your marriage. And make it easy on yourselves, Cedarleaf advises: "Minted customers love our free recipient addressing to save time during the busy holiday season. Custom addressed envelopes, styled to match your card design, arrive with your holiday cards. Put on some festive music, stuff the envelopes, affix stamps, and you’re ready to send."