More about save the dates, and, a few "Should or Should not" answers.
What are Save the Dates
You are planning your wedding, and considering your stationery needs... invitations, RSVP cards, programs... Save the Dates? Why and where did the "Save the Date" idea come from? How are they different from invitations? These are more informal notices sent out before the actual invitation to an event.
The main question people ask is: Do you need them?
The answer is usually no. Their main use is to provide extra notice to your guests, which is notably useful for some cases- such as destination weddings. Then why do so many go to the extra expense, you ask? Because, they are fun. Often, Save the Dates allow a more lighthearted tone than you want to go with for your invitations (without the invitation coming out tacky). These Save the Dates can be formal, fun and colorful, or both.
When should you send out Save the Dates?
The average American engagement is now 16 months; Invitations are only sent out 2-3 months in advance. Save the Dates just give your guests even more time to plan, especially those who are out of town. As soon as you have your date set, you can send out Save the Dates; Invitations wait until all the little details are nailed down. Generally, you will mail you Save the Dates out 6-9 months in advance. If your wedding is out of the country, you can bump that up to 10-12 months.
Do my Save the Dates have to match my invitations?
Nope! You probably havenít even picked out your wedding invitations yet, and might still be considering colors and/or themes.
What do you put on a Save the Date
Save the Dates can be simple: just the names, date, and event. On the other hand, while you can keep it simple, you can also really add in a lot of useful information (if you have it). Hotel information- addresses, rates, numbers. Flight information. Cruise information. Information about the local area you will be having the event- land marks, activities, festivals. Information about transportation in the area- buses, trains.
There are different ways to include this information. If you need something that is full of information, you can make a brochure. If you want something fun, like a magnet, but still want to include information, include a larger note, or a few relevant pamphlets from the area where the wedding will take place, along with the smaller magnet.
Mainly, you want to have two key pieces of information on your card or magnet: the date and event. Some things really should only go on the invitation itself. Such as the ceremony location and time. Very often you will also see a line 'invitation to follow' somewhere near the bottom of the card or magnet, just to insure that people understand that this is not the formal invitation.
Are Save the Dates just for weddings?
People send Save the Dates because they like toÖ and they are fun. Of course the idea was co-opted for other events. Save the Dates are not only used for weddings, but often other events, such as anniversaries, birthdays, bar mitzvahs (and bat mitzvahs), family reunions, and more. While I sell mainly Save the Date magnets, I also sell invitations, and, people can still include magnets with quotes, or as save the dates, with fun invitations. There are many possibilities.
Is it okay to send your Save the Date out with another mailing?
ďAnother mailingĒ being something like family newsletters or Christmas cards. Sure! Such a thing is perfectly acceptable. Remember, these are informal notices. But be careful to insure that your Save the Date isnít going to anyone you will not invite later on.
Using address labels
Return address labels are general considered just fine. But what about using labels for your guestís addresses? This depends on your outlook. There are people that really do not approve of labels on any personal correspondence. If you are someone who does not mind labels, certainly Save the Date mailings are informal enough for it; But if you hate labels in general, as many do, itís better to write out the addresses or, even print them directly on the envelope.
When considering whether to go with monograms, I can tell you that couples are really not supposed to use their a monogram on printed items before they are wed... but, many couples do go ahead with a monogram on their Save the Date's regardless. If you just love the idea of a monogram, but don't want to trespass on etiquette, you should see if you can find a good looking couples monogram (includes both your first names and no last name, or, both of your first and last names). I've made a few of these monograms and it is possible.
Should you put ďand guestĒ on the envelope
It is completely unnecessary for you to worry about whether to put 'and guest' on the Save the Date mailing. You don't need to worry about whether there is going to be a guest at such and early date. And, you donít want to promise anyone that they can bring a guest, when your budget might change later, because you cannot retract that promise.
To whom do you send them
How many do you need
These two questions relate to each other. You do not need to send Save the Dates to absolutely everyone. Your budget might change, your guest list might change, and, you should not mail out a Save the Date to anyone how will not receive an invitation later. Because of these concerns, you could stick to just the people who need a Save the Date the most- people who are out of town- and, the people you are certain to invite. Because these are informal mailings, you can send one per household, provided that you intend to invite the all of that house hold.
Despite the fact that this is an informal mailingÖ nix the idea of sending registry information. Not only would you be asking for a gift, not only is it early to be registered, but Save the Dates are NOT invitations!
Should you ask for RSVPís?
You might think that the earlier you get your RSVPís the better. But, these are Save the Dates, NOT invitations! This ties in with another common question- if your guest indicates that they probably canít come to your event after receiving their Save the Date, do you still send an invitation? Yes. You shouldnít send Save the Dateís to anyone who will not receive and invitation later.