Top Tips to Organise and Style your Save the Dates

Once you’ve found a venue and booked a date, set the budget, and narrowed down the guest list, your next step is to send out save the dates.

Save the dates are like an advance notice of a wedding invitation (think of it as a pre-invitation) before you’ve been able to finalise all the details which are expected to be included on the full invitation. Brides frequently brides will launch straight into event management mode, keen to get the whole wedding together in such a rush that they don’t give thought to the overall theme of the special day.

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Tips to organise your Save the Date cards

  • Speaking from experience, you need to get your wedding date locked into your guest’s diaries as soon as possible, either with a save the date, or by sending the full invitation very early.
  • Especially if your wedding day is in peak season, is a destination wedding or you’re expecting many guests from overseas, it’s advisable to give as much notice as possible.
  • People will take an official save the date card more seriously and get booking flights/accommodation etc, than you just letting them know of the upcoming date.
  • Generally save-the-dates go out six months prior to the wedding day, or eight months for international guests/destination weddings.
  • It should go without saying, but Save the Dates are only sent to those who are definitely invited to the wedding.
  • It’s best to be clear about who exactly is invited, so if you’re anticipating giving your friend a “guest” or “plus one”, put it on the save the date.
  • A save the date can be designed to be sent via email to save on costs and be eco-friendly, but some guests (like Grandparents) may prefer a physical card, and it’s also a nice reminder for guests to keep on the fridge and as a keepsake for later.
  • If you’ve got a Wedding Website, the save the date is a great chance to share the website with your guests.
  • Save the dates should include the date and destination, but specifics aren’t necessary (location, time, dress, etc), and should finish “Formal invitation to follow”, so that guests don’t start calling you for more information.
Save the Date in Style
While save the dates officially announce the exciting occasion of your upcoming nuptials, they also indicate to your wedding guests what style of wedding yours will be: colour, theme, and feel.  As a designer I believe the wedding story begins with the save the date, and the other items that follow (invitations, rsvp cards etc) help to tell guests what to expect at the upcoming nuptials.

When I meet with couples I like to establish the theme in our first meeting, I then create a stationery design mood board that fits within their overall theme. I like to ensure the look and feel of the wedding stationery is a true reflection of the day the couple is wanting to experience.For a consistent look from the save the dates to the wedding itself (and thank-you cards!), think about the look and feel of the day, and how you can incorporate that in your guests’ first look.  In my opinion, it is essential the save the date design is carried across your complete wedding stationery collection.  Not only is this the first hint of the wedding day to come, but it’s likely to sit on the fridge for the next 6 months or more, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase your style and set the tone.

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Colour, Theme, Formality, Feel
Consider the following:

  • What colours do you have in mind?
  • Is it a Vintage, Rustic, Garden or Modern theme Wedding?
  • How formal will it be – will it be glamorous or casual?
  • How will it feel? Are you and your partner laid-back and down-to-earth or are you looking to Wow your guests?

If you’re planning a more classy and formal occasion, you might want to stick to the traditional save the date card matched to the formal invitation, menus and other wedding stationery.

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Paperweight Design designed the above stationery.

Other ideas for Save the Dates:
Photos
Couples often have engagement photos professionally taken shortly after getting engaged. Not only does it give you a trial run with your wedding photographer, but it gives you a great selection of images to use as part of a Save the Date postcard or on photographic paper.  If budget allows, you could even send a photo holder or magnet to hold the photo on the fridge.

Destination Wedding

destination wedding lends itself to all sorts of ideas: Save the dates designed like airplane tickets, a passport, map, or even a luggage tag Save the date.  You could handwrite them yourself or get them printed.  This is a great option if you haven’t finalised your theme yet as they can be very simple.

Theme
If you’re unsure yet exactly what style and feel of wedding you’re having, simply choose a style which suits your partner and you, keep it simple with a cute photo of the two of you with simple writing, or choose a timeless symbol like a heart or engagement ring.  Of course, Paperweight Design will handle all design of the save the date, and ensure to carry the look through the rest of your wedding.

Plain white envelopes are fine (they need not be custom-matched to the save the date as the invitation might be), but it’s a nice personal touch to handwrite the addresses, rather than print them from the computer.  It won’t take that long, you can ask your bridesmaids and friends involved, just be careful with spelling, it’s awkward if they get lost in the post!

Wording example:

Please Save the Date
Megan & Blair
Are getting married in Coromandel, New Zealand
20 February 2016
Formal invitation to follow

Head to the wedding planning page for an index of our content and if you haven’t already, check out the little white book wedding organiser and diary.

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