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.
Save the date cards can take the form of any message medium, and often do. They sometimes correspond in style to the wedding invitations, or they take the form of refrigerator magnets, brochures, postcards, booklets, or tri-fold letters. The medium is up to you, but the shortness of the message usually lends itself well to magnets or small cards.
What To Include – When designing save the date cards, keep in mind that the only information that should be included are the date and the location. Travel and area information can also be included. This can be directions from the local airport, recommended resorts or hotels, useful phone numbers, and information on any group booking plans that have been made available. If you are using an online wedding planner, website, or some other online service, you may include that link as an additional courtesy to your guests. At the bottom, be sure to include the words.
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.
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.