WEDDING STATIONERY MADE SIMPLE: SAVE THE DATES
This is Part 1 of a 5-part blog series focusing on untangling your wedding stationery.
Who else gets a little overwhelmed when they are looking for wedding invitations? There are soooo many designs to choose from. And just so many decisions to make -- Which paper to print on? Do you need to hire a calligrapher? Do you really need inner and outer envelopes? (And what the heck is the difference between those, anyway?) When should you start ordering them? When do you need to mail them out? Do you need a Save the Date? How do I word the invitation? What goes on the RSVP?
Whoa, lady! Take a breath!
I know there are just a gazillion and a half decisions about your wedding invitations. And I’m here for you. Starting today we are going to go on a journey together to untangle the mess of wedding invitations and make your wedding planning even simpler.
For today, let’s get a handle on your Save the Dates, starting with what the heck they are.
WHAT ARE SAVE THE DATES?
A Save the Date is essentially a card you send out to your friends and family to announce your engagement and to put them on notice that you want them at your wedding. With everyone’s schedules getting busier and busier every day, it’s so important to let your guests know EARLY that they are important to you and your special day. Save the Dates allow them to mark your wedding date on your calendar so you get top priority that day.
Planning a Destination Wedding? Save the Dates are a necessity for you. They help give your guests plenty of advance notice that they’ll need to travel for your wedding. That way they can start planning & saving and ask off of work (often guests will use vacation time to come to your wedding or tack on a full vacation of their own).
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO KNOW BEFORE I SEND OUT MY SAVE THE DATES?
First - Book your venue and lock down your wedding date.
You need to know what date your friends and family should block off on their calendars and what city you’ll be in. Both of these details will be printed on your Save the Date.
Pro tip from my wedding planning friends - purchase wedding insurance prior to booking your venue. For more on wedding insurance - what it is and why you need it - read this blog post from my good friend ???.
Second - Start making your guest list & collecting addresses.
Only send Save the Dates to those that are also going to receive a Wedding Invitation. This is so important! Remember, by sending a Save the Date, you are tell that person that they should hold your date for your wedding. If they aren’t invited to the wedding, they don’t need to hold your date.
Third (Optional) - Take engagement photos.
Many couples opt to use their favorite engagement photo for their Save the Date - or even to plan a specific shot to use on the Save the Dates. I love this idea for several reasons, including:
- Your engagement photos should be shown off! You are a beautiful couple (and you paid good money for those), so why not use this opportunity to do just that.
- Plus, for many of your guests (say your mom’s best friend from high school that you’ve only met once, but she insists must come to the wedding) may only know one of you. Using your engagement photos makes them feel a personal connection to you as a couple.
- This is an excellent way to infuse your personality and make your entire wedding season feel customized for you. Any opportunity you have to make an aspect of your wedding your own, I highly recommend doing it. Heck, that’s why I ended up DIY-ing my whole wedding. I didn’t want it to look like anyone else’s.
WHEN DO I NEED TO ORDER & MAIL OUT MY SAVE THE DATES?
In general, I suggest mailing them no later than 4 months before the wedding. Ideally, they would be received around 5-6 months prior to your wedding date. If you are planning a destination wedding, plan on mailing them out no later than 6 months before the wedding.
I highly suggest ordering your Save the Dates about a month or two before you want to mail them. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time before mailing them to pick out your perfect Save the Date, receive them, address all the envelopes, stuff & seal them, add postage, and get them to the post office.
Want a custom design for your Save the Dates? Reach out to a stationer (someone who designs stationery) as soon as you are engaged to find out how much time they’ll need. Every designer is different and has a different process, but we are all friendly, so just ask. For my couples, I want to start designing their Save the Dates no later than 3 months before you want to mail them. This allows for plenty of time for revisions, printing, and assembly.
Meet Amanda. She just got engaged a few weeks ago and is excitedly planning her wedding. She’s already got her date (August 18, 2018) and booked her venue (a winery) and her planner (full planning). She found her dress (yay!). And now she wants to make sure everyone can make it to her wedding. She already has a guest list started and she’s working with her family and her planner to narrow it down.
Here’s a simple timeline for her Save the Dates:
Prior to November 2017 - Research stationers & hire one
Prior to early January 2018 - Order Save the Dates
January 2018 - Address Save the Dates & prepare for mailing
Mid-February 2018 - Mail Save the Dates
Amanda has a tool to help her stay on track with her wedding stationery (she keeps it on her fridge). And you can have it too!
BONUS DOWNLOAD - WEDDING STATIONERY TIMELINE
Grab your very own Wedding Stationery Timeline by clicking the image below. After you enter your email address, you’ll be able to download the timeline for the month of your wedding. It has everything you need to know when to order and mail all your wedding stationery from Save the Date to Thank You (and everything in between!).
Getting married in April? Download the April Timeline.
Getting married in September? Download the September Timeline.
Don’t have your date set yet? Download the General Timeline.
Grab YOUR Wedding Stationery Timeline below.
Download YOUR Wedding Stationery Timeline
Never have to guess when to order & mail all your wedding stationery - from Save the Date to Invitation to Ceremony Program to Seating Chart & Menu to Thank You. Click the button to grab yours now.