The Sweet Christian Bride

Designing A “Save the Date”

by admin on May 28, 2013 in Invitations, Logistics with No Comments

In 2009, my husband and I had twelve weekends during wedding season that were booked with weddings, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and baby showers (yes, these are in this stage of life too, ready or not).  That equaled three months of weekend plans that were already booked for the year.  And in other years, we have had at least one day during the summer that had multiple weddings scheduled.

All that to say, if you are having a wedding during the traditional wedding season (May through October), then you might want to consider sending Save the Dates far in advance to those whom you desperately want to come to your wedding.

Wedding season gets crowded, and when you factor in the availability limitations of your venue, major event/travel weekends (graduation, prom, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.), the weddings of friends you want at your wedding (including their honeymoon time), plus the already-busy-schedules of the people in your wedding party, finding a date for your wedding can be challenging.

But consider it a fun challenge.  Remember that you are getting married!  You will get married whether all your guests can make it or not, and whether they are wedding-ed out or not.  Your wedding will be distinctly yours, making it a fresh and unique event.  Your friends will be glad to have come even if it’s smack in the middle of three solid months of wedding events.

To save yourself from some heartache of absent wedding guest VIPs, consider sending Save the Dates, especially if you fall under the following categories:

1)      Having a destination wedding

2)      Having a wedding in your hometown but are inviting guests from across the country or world

3)      Having a wedding the same year as all your friends

4)      Having a wedding on a Saturday

5)      Having a wedding (okay, I’m kind of kidding)

The best thing about Save the Dates is that they get you on the calendar of those whom you desperately want at your wedding without demanding you to have all your details figured out.  Invitations get you on the calendar too, but because you normally have to wait so long to work out all the details of timing, venue, travel accommodations, etc., you might not be the first one to reserve that special date in your families’ and friends’ calendars.

I had friends who specifically decided against sending Save the Dates because they felt they were anti-climactic.  They wanted their guests’ first impression of their wedding to be the invitation itself.  Otherwise the invitation, which they had put so much thought into, was somewhat redundant and, thus, unexciting.

They are definitely not wrong in their decision, and if you feel similarly inclined, then don’t send out Save the Dates.  And, in fact, if your wedding is small enough, local enough, far enough outside of wedding season (but be careful of major holiday/travel times), or separated enough from the majority of your friends’ weddings, then you might not need to.  Hey, less hassle and less expense, plus the dynamite effect of your invitations.

But if it makes sense given your wedding to send Save the Dates, there are limitless options for what you design.  They can be an elegant Save the Date like the jewelry box I’ve mentioned before, or they can be as simple (and free) as an Evite, Pingg, or Cocodot.  What you send will depend on where your personalities, budgets, purposes, and schedules intersect.

Some Save the Dates that I loved receiving:

  • Save the Date photo magnets (They are functional, and because I see them every day, I pray for the couple.)
  • Save the Date photo cards (Any time I can see the couple I’m celebrating, I feel closer to them.)
  • Save the Date postcards (My sister’s was a vintage postcard of Santa Monica pier that said, “Welcome to Santa Monica.” Because her whole wedding was in Santa Monica, the postcard got me excited for her wedding and for a weekend in Santa Monica.)

Save the Dates that I did not love receiving:

  • Anything with glitter (No matter how good it might look, your guests will have to clean their table or floor or clothes from sticky glitter pieces.  Not a good emotional reaction to have associated with your wedding.)
  • Anything that is boring (After the date is on my calendar, that Save the Date is going in the trash.  Sorry that you wasted your money when you could have just sent me an email with the same result.)
  • Anything so small that it gets lost in the envelope (Clearly, this defeats the whole purpose of making an announcement.)

Save the Dates that I have seen online and would like to receive:

  • Save the Date music CD’s with the Save the Date info on the label (Who doesn’t love free music?)
  • Save the Date calendars with the couple’s picture and wedding date on it (I always need calendars and, if I really want to, I can rip off the couple’s picture and still use the calendar when their wedding is over.)

As you consider where your personalities, budgets, purposes, and schedules intersect, also consider what resources you have at your disposal to help cut time and cost.  Do you have any friends or family (especially bridal party) who work in the stationery industry, who are excellent with Photoshop, who have time to research ideas or stuff envelopes, who are artists, who are photographers, etc.?  Ask them if they have the time to help you.

Do remember that the bulkier or larger your Save the Dates are, the more expensive your postage will be.  Definitely take one to the post office and determine the postage before going to the expense and effort to create them all.

Once you do get your creative ideas narrowed down, think about which design will be useful for conveying the information.  The information on a Save the Date is minimal so that you still have time to work out all the specific details.  All you need to tell them is names (first and last), event (yay! Getting married!), date, and city (good for travel arrangement purposes).

If you have the space, it is helpful to include travel information such as which airports are the closest or what hotels you have arranged discounts for.  Also, if you have a wedding website, feel free to include that; it will get people so excited about your wedding when they check out your pictures and your stories.

© Brennan Wesley –

Article was originally posted on April 4, 2011.

By Lindsay

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