Sending out a save the date about a year to 9 months ahead of the wedding date is a great way to let people know that you're getting married and make sure that your guests that are traveling a distance have time to get travel plans in order.
Magnets - You can now create a Save-the-Date magnet to send to your guests with pretty much anything on it, including your personal photo(s). You sites such as www.newandblue.com, www.123print.com and www.magnetstreet.com. Your guests will not misplace these save the dates because they can stick them right on their fridge, I have about 5 on my fridge right now from weddings that I've been to and weddings that are in the future. If you have about 100 invites it will cost you about $200 - $300 dollars for these magnets depending on which magnet you choose.
Paper - If you choose to send a traditional paper save the date, skip the stationary store and go to staples, office depot or target for self printing kits. Save the dates tend to be casual, save your money for the more formal invitation.
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