Congratulations- you're engaged! You have your wedding date, your ceremony and reception plans, and an almost-finalized guest list. You want to tell the world...okay, maybe not the WHOLE world. How do you get your wedding onto the calendars of the people you love most, as soon as possible? Save the Dates! You could shorten this title (like many other wedding acronyms) to STD's, but I don't think your family and friends want one of those from you, so let's just call them Save the Dates. Here are some options:
- Create a magnet for your guests' refrigerators.
- Create a postcard to send to your guests (this is the least expensive option for something that can go via mail).
- Create an online video Save the Date like this one and email it to your guests:
or this one (freakin' adorable):
- Create a sticker for your guests to stick on their calendars (make sure it's small enough for the little date box, so they can put it right on the date of your big day)! Many websites make this easy, such as VistaPrint, Snapfish, Zazzle, Cafepress.com, Shutterfly, StickerYou.com, or just buy sticker paper and make them yourself!
...Or come up with something else that is creative and reflects you as a couple. Some tips:
- Make sure you include both of your first and last names (especially if some of your guests do not know you well), the date (including the day of the week), the location (city and state will do), and information about your wedding website (if you have one), including a password if needed.
- Your Save the Date is your first chance to give guests a glimpse into the tone, the theme and the feel of your wedding weekend. If you have a color scheme in mind, a theme planned, or an overall feel you're going for, find a way to tie that into your Save the Date. If your wedding will be a relaxed, outdoor, casual affair, show that with your color choice and design. If it will be a formal, black-tie affair, you'll want to go with a more traditional look.
- In any case, include a line that says "Formal Invitation to Follow" so that guests know another invitation is coming with more info as the date gets closer.
- Be sure that your Save the Dates have a RETURN ADDRESS on them. This is most likely your first mail correspondence of the wedding chain, so take advantage of the chance to confirm addresses before invitations go out. If something gets sent back to you, you'll know that there was a problem and can figure it out asap. This is especially important if you're sending postcards. Do not forget to find a place for your return address (a label would be super easy here). Otherwise, you'll never know who received STD's from you and who didn't (you dirty bride and groom, you). Phew.
- If you're not sure whether you'll be inviting those friends from ____ (fill in the place) or that girl from work who you think you really like, but you're not sure if you'll be close in ___ (fill in the number) months, or your 3rd-cousin-twice-removed and his 4 kids (or even all of these people), consider creating a 2nd list of invitees, and essentially having them on standby until you know whether your A-list guests can attend. This isn't mean if you do not give the impression that you'll be inviting them in the first place. Then if it works out that you can invite them (and you'd like to invite them, and they can come), it's a fun surprise down the road for everyone! Of course, once you send your Save the Dates, you are locked into inviting someone and you cannot ask them NOT to Save the Date once it's saved.
**Note: There will be another post about kids and weddings coming soon (I'm not against it, but I do have some thoughts to share), but for now, it will suffice to say that your Save the Dates should be addressed to invitees, and this is where you'll start getting questions about whether somebody can bring so-and-so and whether ____ (fill in the person, dog or lizard) is invited. Set a boundary, give your answer and stick to it... and if you decide to allow one (boyfriend, child, dog, lizard, goldfish), be prepared to fend for yourself when other guests ask why they couldn't bring theirs.
Represent yourselves as individuals and as a couple, and have fun! Your family and friends are already excited you're engaged- now give them a daily reminder and a celebratory, momentous date to put on the calendar.
I'd say most of the Save the Dates we've received have been either postcards or magnets. Both have been welcome additions to our home bulletin board or freezer door. As with anything, there are ways to save on this venture. Set a budget, know that you can design these yourself and order them online and visualize what you'd like to send your guests. Incorporate a shot or two from your engagement session, if you can. Here are a couple ideas:
Pencil it in!
Include your pet!
Taking the plunge- cute!
Ticket- great for a destination wedding
Pretty- decorate a tree
The front of a Save the Date postcard
The back (and a calendar sticker)
Another cute idea- timeline
Happy date saving!