So you're engaged, you've set the date, and now, it's time to get into the nitty gritty. You've started to plan the wedding of your dreams, and you want to make sure that everyone knows that you're engaged, for one, and you want to make sure that your friends and family know to "Save the Date" to celebrate with you! Distributing "Save the Date" cards are great way to kick off your engagement and your journey into wedding planning, and it's usually one of your first big wedding tasks.
The great thing about Save the Date cards is that you don't have as many rules of etiquette to follow as you typically do with wedding invitations, since Save the Dates are considered more informal pieces of stationery that you aren't necessarily required to even use! Now is the time to have a little more fun; be creative and think outside the box. Magnets and electronic Save the Dates are extremely popular, but there are so many great ideas out there, that I just had to choose my favoritess for this week's Picks on Paper! But first, here are some tips and guidelines to planning your Save the Date cards!
Save the Date Etiquette
First and foremost, if you need help with your Save the Date cards, I can help you write, address and distribute them!
- Do I have to send them? Save the Date cards are becoming more and more popular nowadays, although they are still not absolutely required. When deciding whether or not to distribute save the dates to your guests, it's best just to use common sense. Are you having a destination wedding, or will many of your guests have to travel to your wedding location? If so, it's pretty much essential that you notify your guests of your wedding date and location before the wedding invitation goes out a mere month or so before the wedding. Along with location, consider the popularity of your wedding date. If you're getting married on Fourth of July weekend, New Year's Eve, or at some other time when many people typically make travel plans, then you'll certainly want to ask your guests to "Save the date," as early as possible!
- Timing. Ideally, you'll want to distribute your Save the Date cards about 6 months prior to your wedding date.
- Guest list. For God's sake, do not send a Save the Date card to anyone you are not sure you're inviting to your wedding. Remember that if you send them Save the Dates, then you're pretty much obligated to send them invitations later on. It's a huge snub to do otherwise. If you're not sure about inviting someone yet, or if you happen to have a "B" list of people you'll consider inviting once you have a better idea of who on your "A" list is able to attend, then just wait. You can always mail out Save the Date cards to those you're sure about, and then hold onto a small portion of cards to distribute a second batch of them a little later on.
- Do I have to send them to everyone? If you do choose to distribute Save the Dates, be sure to send them to everyone you want to come to your wedding. Even if it's your best friend, who you've already asked to be your Maid of Honor, send her a Save the Date card. A rather common question is whether or not you should still send a Save the Date and invitation to someone who has already said that he or she can't come to your wedding. In this situation, the answer is always, "Yes!" As many of you know, I had a destination wedding, so I knew early on who could and could not travel down to Mexico to come to our wedding. We sent Save the Dates and invitations to everyone who we wanted to be there; regardless of whether or not they had already committed to coming or not. Think of your wedding paper as a way to express your desire to have your friends and family there on your special day. Even if your Aunt Sally and Uncle Tom can't travel the distance to attend your wedding, sending them a Save the Date card is your way of telling them that you want them to be there, and that they will be missed.
- Addressing your Save the Dates. When it comes to addressing your Save the Date cards, you can choose to be slightly more informal (you don't have to use "Mr. and Mrs."), however, it's still important that you're clear about exactly who the card is addressed to. If you just put "The Taylor Family," on that envelope, keep in mind that everyone in the Taylor immediate family is going to think they're going to receive an invitation later on. For instance, if you're choosing to exclude young children from your wedding day, you'll want to make sure that you don't just say, "The Taylor Family," on your Save the Date because then the Taylors have no way of knowing that they have to leave the kids at home. Instead, be sure to address your Save the Date cards to exactly who you are inviting - "Mr. and Mrs. Edward Taylor" or the more casual option, "Edward and Sally Taylor." If you're inviting an unmarried individual, and you're allowing him or her to bring a guest to your wedding, then you'll want to address the Save the Date (and the invitation later on) to "Sue Watson and Guest." If you do not include the "and Guest" on a Save the Date, then the recipient knows that he/she is not allowed to bring a guest to your wedding, so make sure that you're clear on the matter early on.
- Should they match? Your Save the Date cards don't need to match your wedding invitation or planned wedding decor. That's what's so fun about them! You can do whatever you want, really!
- What should I include on the Save the Date cards? If there's a question about what, exactly, to include on your Save the Date card, just remember that the more information you can provide early on, the better. You'll obviously be limited by the smaller size of your Save the Date card, so you won't be able to include every little thing, but that's okay. The essentials are obviously the wedding date you'd like your guests to save, your first and last names, wedding location (a venue is great, if you have it, otherwise, a city, state, country works well, too!), and a line referring to more information to come. This can be a simple "Formal invitation to follow," or a link to your personal wedding website where your guests can access more information right away. You may also want to include a "RSVP" line on your card; it's not customary to do so, but I know that I did, since I figured that it wouldn't hurt to get some "Yes" or "No's" early on for our destination wedding. Don't expect to get many RSVP's this way, since most people look for the RSVP response card with the actual wedding invitation in order to give their firm Yes/No, but it can't hurt, right?
Picks on Paper - Fun and Creative Save the Dates
Linda & Harriett via Martha Stewart Weddings | Martha Stewart Weddings | Michiemae Paperie | A Visual Concept | Lucky 8 Letterpress | Created by bride via The Brooklyn Bride | Martha Stewart Weddings | Benign Objects, photos by White Rabbit Studio via 100 Layer Cake | Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence via Elizabeth Anne Designs
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