SAVE the DATE cards
So! Congratulations, you’re engaged! Do you send Save the Date (S-t-D) cards and if so, when?
In my considered opinion they are not essential! Most of the people you are close to will know of your impending nuptials and if they were invited to an engagement ‘do’, can guess rightly or wrongly, they may be an invitee to your wedding (although that could be a little presumptuous on their part!) but don’t feel obliged or bad, that’s their mistake!
So how do you get around this and, ultimately, save yourselves a good chunk of money?
Believe me, as a Wedding Stationer, I don’t give this advice lightly; it has come from years of experience, horror stories and my desire for my clients to get the best for their money!
You will have mentioned it to those above a) because you’re excited, and b) because you’d really like them to be there.
Other people you decide you’d like to be there, will also become aware of the date in various ways, such as cropping up in friends’ conversation, or simply on the grapevine, family or other chat. Do be conscious, though, of not being over-zealous and inviting everyone you speak to!!! (Easier that you realise…) One of my friends’ daughters increased her guest list from about 70+ to over 100 because her spouse-to-be invited everyone in his sports club!
Then you should begin to think about the occupations of your guests: if you’re a teacher and have lots of teacher friends, some of whom you’d like to attend, they might benefit from a S-t-D so they can plan their holidays around your wedding date. (The same could apply to those with school-age children.)
Otherwise, you really only need S-t-Ds for guests in the Armed Services, the Emergency Services (who need extra notice) or elderly people who like plenty of notice to make and confirm travel arrangements. In these cases, I would suggest between 6 months and a year to send out S-t-Ds.
There is, though, one exception to this and that is if you are planning to marry abroad. Be fully organised and prepared before you send out your S-t-Ds and these should be sent out as early as possible, especially for your immediate entourage – you REALLY WANT them to be a part of your day, so all efforts should be made to ensure that they are able to attend. That’s not to demean the desire for the remaider of your guests, who must be extra-special for you to be inviting them abroad in the first place, but these should only be sent a short while (may be 7 -10 days) after your VIP guests to ensure that your A-list have all had their invitations first. This isn’t about favouritism or awaiting responses, it just a matter of courtesy.
Here is a synopsis of a wedding (save the date) horror story: A couple I made invitations for, sadly only came to me AFTER they had sent out their S-t-D cards. Unfortunately, after taking delivery of their invitations they told me of a major rift within the family that had occurred since sending out the S-t-Ds and that they now no longer wished to invite a whole chunk of people they had already sent S-t-Ds to. It would have been easy to just not send them but the bride was worried about possible repercussions… and rightly so, given the animosity behind the rift! So after much discussion and deliberation, in the end they still sent out the invitations but put in a note it to say that because they still wanted to fulfil their obligation of sending out invitations due to the fact that they had sent out S-t-Ds, they fully appreciated that it might make things awkward, and would fully understand should they prefer to decline; if not they would still be welcome at their wedding. If I remember correctly only one accepted.