Who Needs them? If your guest list includes a number of out-of-towners, or if your wedding takes place during a holiday or other peak time, you are a prime candidate for save-the-dates. Since invitations don’t go out until 6-8 weeks before the big day, save-the-dates are the perfect way to give wedding guests a preliminary heads up so they can begin making travel arrangements. These days, however, more and more brides send these cards regardless of the time and location of their wedding. Why? Save-the-dates provide a fun opportunity to get the word out and foreshadow the style of your big event.
Timing Is Everything – Wedding invitations are generally mailed out six to eight weeks prior to the event, but save the date cards should be sent out four to six months ahead of time. This way, guests will be able to shop around for transportation, schedule a convenient flight, reserve a hotel room, and make other necessary arrangements. Major events are exciting social gatherings that everyone will want to attend, both family and friends from near and far. Sending them out well enough in advance makes it far more likely that all of your guests will be able to attend.
There are many types of save-the-date. Although a save-the-date is traditionally a card, it can also take the form of magnets, bookmarks, or wedding stationery. Any type of save-the-date can be a meaningful keepsake of your wedding day. They also serve the purpose of giving your guests the first indication of what your wedding will be like and what to expect at the wedding reception.
Trends & Ideas – These cards will be the first impression of your wedding festivities, so take advantage of this opportunity to build excitement amongst your wedding guests. If you already know the colors and/or theme of your wedding, now’s your chance to provide a sneak peak. Or try including a favorite love poem or quote that symbolizes your relationship. Here are some of my favorite ideas and trends: 1. Use vibrant colors that will ”pop” as soon as guests open the envelope. 2. Incorporate graphics that correspond with the season and/or location of your event. If you are planning a fall wedding, try including colorful leaves, or include seashells for a wedding on the water. 3. If the timing is right, turn your save-the-date cards into holiday greetings. Incorporate your engagement photo or another photo taken shortly after the proposal. 4. Who says they have to be printed stationery? Set yours apart by turning them into scrolls, pens, stickers, magnets or a creative calendar-marker. You are only limited by your imagination.
Save the date cards are miniature announcements that precede actual invitations, and their main use pertains to weddings. They’re informal, concise, and pave the way for the actual invitations, much later on. Since weddings are events that require participation and attendance of the extended families on both sides, it can be quite hairy to ensure that they’re all there. In order to allay any potential problems with attendance, save the date cards are sent from 6 to 9 months in advance, but 12 months is appropriate if the wedding coincides with special holidays and/or it’s a destination wedding.