Choosing your Save the Dates

Designed by Hip Hip Hooray Design to Celebrate

First things first.  The purpose of a Save the Date card is to announce your wedding, the date, and the city to your intended guests so they can begin to make plans before the invitations go out.

Invitations are typically sent between 2 and 3 months from the wedding date, and there are certain circumstances where your guests need earlier notice than that.  If your guests live out of town or the country, if you would prefer they not bring their children, or if you would like them to dress in a specific manner, more time is necessary for them to ask off work, make travel arrangements, and even find formalwear or costumes appropriate to the stated dress code. Generally speaking, it’s not advisable to give people more than a month to reply to your invitation, as with too much time to respond they adopt the mentality that they always have more time to respond and don’t get around to it at all.  Sending a Save the Date allows them to begin making plans in a reasonable time frame without forcing you to begin the process of recording RSVPs.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Rogers Photography

Assuming that your circumstances lend themselves to sending a Save the Date, the next decision is whether to send physical or digital versions. For the newer digital version, benefits include quick delivery, ease of access to the wedding website, and the potential for the cards to be free of charge.  The detriments to going all virtual are that they’re perceived as less formal, they’re dependent upon correct email addresses that are checked regularly, there are limitations on free designs, and those that have a cost are sometimes just as expensive as their physical alternatives.

Designed by Bella Figura featured at Invited

On the physical side of the fence, paper Save the Dates can set a tone for the wedding theme as being more formal, alternative types of design – beyond the flat card – become possible, and they’ll reach everyone on the guest list with a physical address. To accomplish those things, though, the Save the Dates can be more costly, require current mailing address for each guest group, the guests must switch media to access travel information on the website, and there’s no tracking to make sure someone saw the information you sent.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Rogers Photography

If you’re having a tough time deciding between the two, it may be helpful to take a look at the current styles and trends in Save the Dates.  The most common style of Save the Date these days remains the standard sized card with engagement photo(s) to personalize them – and there’s nothing wrong with that!  It’s popular for a reason; your friends and family love to see your smiling faces telling them you’re getting married and that they’re going to be invited.  It’s also another way to make use of the engagement photos you took with your photographer.  If you’d like to move further from the more established style, some popular options are save the date cookies with an email follow-up (so they can eat the cookies!), fans or pinwheels, photo booth strips, non-paper materials like wood and metal, and even uber-unique options such as balsawood build-your-own-airplanes or Viewfinders with custom viewing cards.  Tech-savvy couples may look toward creating and sending a quick video, or making a comic strip.  When thinking outside the box, it’s important to remember to let your individuality and non-traditional nature have free reign.

Designed by CW Designs

Save the Dates are still the first thing related to your wedding that any guests see, and so present themselves as the perfect opportunity to give a little glimpse into what they can expect when they later attend your wedding.  Be creative or be traditional, but either way keep in line with who you are as a couple and you’ll make the right choice.

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