Saturday, March 19, 2011

Step 22 - Send out "Save-the-Date" Cards

(9 Months to 24 Months before the Wedding)
You have booked the officiant, ceremony site, wedding reception facility, and caterer for your wedding. You have decided on where your honeymoon is going to be, you have checked in with all your "gotta be there guests" and if there is a music group that is a must for your wedding, you have checked that their availability jives with your wedding date.  You have just reached a milestone for your wedding, the status changes from targeted to official!

Your next step is "Save the Date" cards. These cards are sent to potential wedding guests ahead of formal invitations. Their purpose is literally to ask guests to "Save the Wedding Date" and not book another event on that date. Save the dates are sent out far in advance of the wedding once the wedding date is deemed official after wedding venues have been booked. Save the date notifications are important for destination weddings, weddings with a large number of "out-of-towners" or a wedding around a holiday. Save the dates provide guests with sufficient time to make travel arrangements and may include information about nearby airports, hotel blocks and provide information on area bed & breakfasts.

Whereas, as wedding invitations are formal and have strict guidelines to follow. "Save-the-Dates" are informal. If most of your guests are local, "Save-the-date" cards are not a requirement. Save the date cards could be made from a conventional post card, be a photo card, be a save the date magnet, be similar to a wedding invitation, could be a note along with a signature photo, or be on a business card. You can go crazy and make your own romantic or crazy card with your photo holding two cards stating "save the date" or "getting married" in the photo, or you can search for save the date cards off Craigslist, Ebay, or find an inexpensive one from a wedding website or even make your own off your computer. If the budget is not an issue you can go to a professional print shop, card store, or from a calligrapher.

As you are preparing your "Save the Date" cards you may also want to put a notification on your wedding specifics, how will you communicate with your guests and refer your guests to your wedding website or to Facebook. You want to update your wedding website and Facebook and update your communications mediums with the date and time of your ceremony and reception.

You can also put some fun into "Save the Date" cards. Besides magnets and cards with the couple's picture. If it's a beach wedding you might roll the documents with a piece of twine and create a "message in a bottle"; a winter wedding, you can create a snow globe with a picture of the two of you inside; a golf resort wedding, you might include your names and date of your wedding, imprinted on the golf ball; or if it's going to be a destination wedding, you can have a "Save the Date" card imprinted and post marked along with the town's landmark. You might even incorporate the wedding theme or color scheme of your wedding into your "Save the Date" cards.

The wording on a "Save the Date"  card doesn't have to be anything exceptional, formal, and in a particular format. It can simply state "Save the Date": (Bride and Groom's Names) are tying the knot on (Bride and Groom's Wedding Date) in (What City the Wedding is expected to take place), "Formal invitation to follow" at the bottom of the "Save the Date" card. Some couples include a separate couple's picture, or a "lovey-dovey" quote or note and other's include a short romantic poem.

If you send a "Save-the-Date" card, they "Must" be invited to the wedding. If you are unsure, depending on the circumstances, you must not send "Save-the-Date" cards. Save the Date cards are for guests on your "A list" and other guests that you are positively going to invite. It's deemed an insult to be sent a "Save the Date" and not be sent "A Formal Invitation". Don't Ever Ever Do It!!!

Fun & Flirty Invitation

He proposed ... she said Yes!
Bob and Nancy
Will tie the knot
July 4, 2012
Chicago, Illinois
Formal Invitation to Follow

So that's the story on "Save the Date" cards. Remember to keep a "Save the Date" card for your wedding album. They help increase the chance some guests will come to your wedding. Remember it's not a requirement but if you use them have fun with them! See you on the other side!

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