I finally found the perfect save-the-date cards. After months of searching for the PERFECT one, I finally decided that instead of ordering “cookie cutter” cards that I wanted to find someone, who would design the ones I wanted in the way I wanted.
Another factor in my save-the-date cards was the fact that, like everything wedding related, they are yet another expense. In talking with a coworker of mine, I found out there her husband owned a sign and graphics company in my community and would able to design a postcard-like save the date card that I really wanted to do. Working with a company besides a traditional wedding-inspired company gave me many options at a fraction of the cost. I wanted to ease of having my cards printed as postcards for all of our outside invites but also to cut back on the cost of postage. I submitted my ideas to her husband and he worked with me on the design to create a save-the-date card that was specifically what I wanted, sending me proof after proof until it was perfect.
Save-the-dates for weddings are getting so much more fabulous every day. I remember when a save-the-date was just a little card that literally said what date to mark on your calendar for the wedding. I thought I was super creative when I got married because I bought note cards from the boutique hotel that was my wedding venue and printed the save-the-date info directly onto them so guests would see where the wedding would be. But I had nothing on clients of mine these days. This crew is creative, and they put a lot of time and energy into announcing their big day to their families and friends.
Some people are just plain silly. They get their point across, but don’t overload you with information because in the case of a destination wedding like they’re having on Vieques Island, they absolutely need to have a comprehensive travel information packet sent out behind the save-the-date. The actual save-the-date is a flag for the calendar, the meat of the document will follow in a much more functional format.
Another popular way to announce the date of a destination wedding is with mock plane tickets or actual luggage tags that are filled out with your wedding information instead of the guests’ contact info for lost luggage (don’t forget to give them the real inserts too so they’re actually usable). I can’t even believe how madly popular the luggage tags and anything travel related have been – I’ve seen some amazing creativity!
Rosaleen Ortiz and Daniel Macht put a crazy amount of time and effort into the save-the-date for their Caribbean destination wedding last January with a full-length video of how they met including documentary footage of Daniel’s amazing proposal to Rosaleen, and how so much of it went very, very wrong. It’s hilarious. Not only did it give the info to their guests to block their calendars, but it also give a little insight for the guests into the person whom their friend/family member was about to marry. Because most of Rosaleen’s family still lives in Puerto Rico, and Dan’s family is from the West Coast, creating this special save-the-date video about their lives together in New York City was like an introduction for friends and family, who had never had the benefit of getting to know their loved one’s intended. Just watch it and see!
Finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing something very straightforward with your save-the-date – it can be a postcard or written like an invite or something creative and silly like a magnet. All of that stuff is available online and is relatively inexpensive to make. If you’re crunched for time, consider making your save-the-date and travel info packet one mailable package – it will save you postage and cut down on time. It’s perfectly fine to print out mailing labels for save-the-dates and travel info packets as long as you remember to hand address the actual wedding invitations.
What’s my take on doing the save-the-date online? I guess it’s okay. Given that people are sending out E-vites for far more important aspects of their weddings, I suppose an online save-the-date isn’t the worst thing ever. It’s just that I still believe there is supposed to be a little bit of ceremony and romance involved in this process. And unless you’re in a time crunch when email is absolutely your best timely route to reach people, I think it’s kind of sad if the bride and groom don’t care enough to want to do more than just send out an email that says to mark your calendar – like you would any other date for beer, dinner or party. If you don’t make your save-the-date look special, don’t expect folks to necessarily actually mark the date on their calendars. They’re going to treat it as importantly as you treat it. Think about it.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!
Sandy Malone is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a Caribbean destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island. A former Wall Street Journal reporter and public affairs expert, Sandy has executed more than 400 destination weddings on Vieques and Culebra islands, and writes a wedding planning column for the Huffington Post.
We finally sent out our save-the-dates! It’s making a bit more real now that they’ve been sent out and people have been calling to tell us they’re receiving them. I actually ordered our save-the-dates about six months ago when Shutterfly was having a 60 percent off all cards sale. I loved the way they turned out!
Along with the save-the-date, we also included little cards along with stickers that have our monogram on it as well as the date of the wedding. We sent the cards out so that they would arrive on January 2nd or 3rd, so the insert card was meant to wish everyone a happy new year and give them stickers to put on their new 2013 calendars!
I thought about giving a magnet, but the stickers were just as useful and went perfectly with the timing of sending the save-the-dates!
Did you send an extra reminder with your save-the-dates?
Every bride ends up doing an “A” list,” a “B” list and sometimes even a “C” list when they find themselves budget-challenged with their wedding invitation list the size of Rhode Island. To be fair, it can be a very good way to narrow down the number of folks you’re going to have to feed and water – but you can’t get caught! For a destination wedding, this is even trickier than navigating the same problem in your hometown.
Backing up a little, let me tell you about my own wedding guest list. My fiancé proposed on Dec. 20, 2003, and on Dec. 22, my mother emailed me a near-completed Excel spreadsheet with 150 “must-invite” guests, who were either relatives (regardless of how distant) or close friends of the family, who had invited my parents (and sometimes me) to all of their own children’s weddings. So, it was time for reciprocity.
However, nowadays most parents aren’t picking up the bulk of the wedding tab, and as a result, many engaged couples no longer consider their parents on the “A” list. Time for compromise.
If the bride and groom can afford a maximum of 50 guests at their wedding, odds are they don’t want to invite a bunch of people they haven’t seen in ten years. So, what’s a bride or groom to do? Here are 10 steps to help cut the guest list without losing friends:
1) Make your own list of “must-invites” before you and your fiancé do ANYTHING ELSE. The size of that list will indicate how many slots you can give to each set of parents to invite. Occasionally, the reality of the numbers set in and parents, who are able to contribute more, will so that they can invite their own friends.
2) If you’re getting married in your hometown, you can have two lists more easily than for a destination wedding – although you still have to be careful. You must remember that in order to do staggered invites, you must have guests broken up into categories. Focus on the personal list first. For example, you cannot invite your first cousin and her husband, but ignore her parents and your other 13 first cousins (unless, of course, you are hoping for long-term family drama that will bite you in the butt at every future holiday for the duration of your marriage). If you don’t have room on the list for the cousins, you can’t invite them.
3) Same rules with work colleagues. Set a limit for each of you (of course, this can be different based on your careers – if the bride works for a huge corporation, but the groom runs his own small real estate office with only four employees – for obvious reasons, that may decide his list is more critical) and stick to it. Don’t let the nosy 20-something girls from your office make you feel guilty that they haven’t been invited. When they get married, they’ll understand.
4) Manage guest list expectations with your parents from day one. Make your own “must-invite” list, compare notes and talk with your parents so that you can demonstrate that you’ve cut your own list and are in complete agreement with each other.
5) Before you start inviting anybody, you can do some elimination on the front end of the list by simply talking to your closest friends to find out if they can come. Work commitments, tiny babies or those, who are working on getting pregnant, will probably be able to give you an honest heads up allowing you to shave some numbers from the very beginning. Already married friends are the most honest and understanding.
We’re still at it, sports fans! In celebration of the Olympics, we’ve shared silver and gold bridesmaid dresses, wedding dresses, and cakes, and to close out the week we’re featuring silver and gold wedding stationery. So after seeing all of this metallic wedding inspiration over the past week, tell us: