You’ve set the date and booked the venue, and now you need to let people know all about the wedding. Should you send Save the Date cards, a practice that is becoming as popular here as it is in the USA, or will invites suffice? Are Save the Date cards just an added expense, or are they are great way of ensuring that your nearest and dearests are at the wedding?
Wedding experts Alison Tinlin of Glasgow-based company Plans and Presents, and Bisi Bordley of Love, iara Sanyang in Bournemouth, share their thoughts.
1. Is it necessary to send Save the Date cards, or are they an extra expense that a couple can do without?
AT: No, it’s no necessary to send Save the Date cards. But it is a good idea, and you should definitely send if you have a lot of guests that will have to travel to the event, or if your Wedding is held around a special holiday, or if you are having a Midweek wedding, as people would have to ask for time off work.
It is an extra expense, but these can be handmade if you are creative, or sourced cheaply from places like Vistaprint who have these in card or fridge magnet options.
BB: It is a good idea to send out Save the Date cards. In the past, the Bride’s mother would send out handwritten notes to formally notify friends and family of her daughter’s engagement. Today, some guests first learn of a couple’s pending nuptials from Save the Date cards. These cards serve the dual purpose of announcing the engagement and informing the recipient of when the wedding will be held. Also prior to sending the wedding invitation, it is a good idea asking potential guests to keep a particular date free.
Save the Date cards are generally less formal than the wedding invitation. It’s perfectly appropriate to have fun with the design at hardly any cost (remember your card is the first impression of your event if you want to make a statement).
Though you certainly don’t need to send Save the Date cards, they’re fun way to get everyone excited, and they’re especially helpful when some of your guest have to make travel and accommodations arrangements.
2. What information should your Save the Date cards include?
AT: The information should include the venue and the date.
BB: “Please save the date for the marriage of AAAAA & BBBBB. Saturday 19th July 2010. Formal invitation to follow.”
Although it conveys some of the same information as a wedding invitation, save-the-date card wording can be informal, just include a line indicating that an invitation and more details to follow.
3. How far in advance should you send them?
AT: This question is a bit subjective, but they can be sent as much as 12 months in advance, or whenever you have booked your venue and set the actual date.
BB: Post the notice about six months in advance. Anticipate any possible conflicts such as traditional holidays, mother’s day, football season etc. Ask your family and other essential guests if there is a date that won’t work for them.
4. Should you send Save the Date cards to evening guests or will they assume they are being invited to the day event (getting you into a tricky situation)? Do you have to specify that they are only invited in the evening?
AT: Probably not. It is much easier for a person to attend an evening event than it is to attend a whole day, especially if midweek. But if you do, you could say “please save the date for our evening reception”.
BB: Yes, send Save the Date card to evening guests as well, after all they need time to plan.
Evening guest usually require a seperate wedding invitation. A note should/could be placed inside the envelope with the wedding invitation, for example stating “owing to the small size of the church or venue it is possible to ask only very few guests to the service. We hope you will forgive this invitation being to the reception only”.
Please never make your evening guest any less important. If you are inviting them to one of the most important days of your life, make them feel part of that importance.
About the experts:
Alison Tinlin runs wedding and event planning business Plans and Presents, which was established in April 2009 and is based in Glasgow (where she lives with her husband and two children). She co-ordinates events all over the country, and her input for an event can range from simply finding a venue through to a full co-ordination service. She was recently nominated for the Mumpreneur award.
Alison says: “I’m a huge organiser at heart – I love to have everything in order! In my previous job in nursing, I had to make sure that I worked to very exacting deadlines and being organised was, literally, a matter of life and death. The skills of time management, crisis intervention, a good ear, and the ability to listen and act on peoples needs are great transferable skills.
“I am also a total people person, I like nothing better than a good chat, so the beauty of this career is that it is all about the client, and what they need, and add to that the fact I absolutely adore Weddings and parties and it is just a dream job.”
Bisi Bordley is based at Wedding and Floral design company Love, iara Sanyang. The Bournemouth business helps in all aspects of event design and planning, from supplier and venue referrals, etiquette guidelines, timeline preparation, invites and favours.
Access the stylish website at www.loveiarasanyang.com