Do You Really Need to Send Save the Date Cards?

By: Laura Wilson | Posted: 15th January 2010

Invitations, according to tradition, are sent out 6-8 weeks ahead of time. Save-The-Date cards are usually sent out about six months ahead of time to give guests advance notice of your wedding day such that intended guests don't plan vacations or parties, on the same day. Save-the-date cards also give guests plenty of time to plan their days off from work if they have a set number of personal days.

The importance of save-the-date cards grows in proportion to the amount of money you spend on a wedding. If your wedding is a grand affair, you want to make sure as many of the guests you budgeted for show up, and to do so, you want to give them as much warning as is necessary.

When buying save-the-date cards, it is a good idea to buy them together with your invitations and thank you cards. If you are having a black-tie affair that warrants the use of save-the-date cards, then you want to make sure that your wedding approach is top-notch from start to finish. Tie you cards into your wedding colors and theme, a coordinate them with your invitations and thank you cards for a clean and elegant presentation.

For a smaller affair, the invitation at the normal 8 weeks prior is usually adequate, and, if you happen to know far in advance, usually an email or a phone call will do as a reminder.

As an economical alternative, many websites allow you to customize electronic save-the-date cards that you can send to all your guests in one mass-email. This will alleviate the hassle of having to choose and buy a set of cards while still giving your guests the notice they need in a neat and classy message.

Another factor that determines the importance of save-the-date cards is the time of year the wedding is set to take place. Late spring, summer, and early fall weddings that are planned for six months ahead of time should use save the date cards because the months between late spring and early fall are typically chock full of vacations, graduation parties for high school and college, and, of course, other weddings.

Winter weddings typically don't need save the date cards as much because, other than Christmas parties, late fall and winter weddings and gatherings are generally few and far between.

However, save-the-date cards can be a great way to let your friends know that the date is official and the motion of tying the knot for a happy couple has begun. For this purpose, an electronic save-the-date card will also do.

Also, instead of sending an actual card, as per tradition, many couples are finding neat ways to send save the date messages that are just as exquisite as cards, but are more fun and useful than just a piece of paper. Refrigerator magnets are one example of this, and a well-designed magnet is something your friends will use and hold onto long after the wedding.

If you are classicist at heart though, and absolutely must send save the date cards, here are a few that are worth noting:

Simple Save-the-Date Card

The Simple save-the-date cards are printed on white matte cardstock in raised, thermograph process ink. While there are only a handful of fonts and styles to choose from, you can customize the font colors and the color of the envelope lining to match your theme—if you know it already.

5 x 6.625 inches, the Simple save-the-date cards is the most moderately priced, $66 for a pack of 100, including envelopes, and are a simple way to uphold a long standing custom without having to use up monetary resources you had set aside for the ceremony and reception.

Choose cool colors for the envelope lining and lettering to go with a winter wedding—shimmering blues, subtle grays, and velveteen purples work best. For a summer wedding, go with brighter colors—yellows and oranges—and use earth tones like browns and greens for spring and fall.

Couple Save-the-Date Card

For a little more fun and playful way to say, "hey, we're getting hitched," the Couple save-the-date card is a good choice. Also on white, matte cardstock, the Couple save-the-date card is printed with caricatures of a bride and groom surrounded by adorable crayon-drawn hearts.

A cute way to express your excitement over setting the date for your big day, the Couple save-the-date card comes in a variety of ink colors and envelope linings, and is written in a font exclusive to the Couple card package.

Because the cartoons of bride and groom appear to be dressed on the warmer side, this is also ideal for a winter wedding. Have the raised thermograph process ink done in black and the hearts set in red for a fancy February/Valentine's Day color scheme, as well as to coordinate with poinsettia centerpieces during the month of December.

Matt Dimler is a freelance writer who writes about weddings and save the date cards
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Tags: amount of money, phone call, top notch, hassle, time of year, invitations, wedding day, wedding colors, late spring, advance notice, graduation parties, spring summer