Traditionally, save the dates were an integral part of planning a wedding because it was only through the mail that some guests could be contacted. However, thanks to the rise of social media and the use of cell phones, are save the dates necessary anymore? All things considered, it can often seem like a save the date card constitutes an extra cost. That being said, every part of your wedding stationery offers you a memory or a keepsake to look back on. Let’s explore further.
Save the Dates Explained
Save the dates form a part of your wedding stationery. For those that don’t know or are unaware, a save the date is exactly as it sounds. It is an advanced invitation of sorts that is sent to all wedding guests that tells them the date on which you are planning to marry. Your guests can then ensure that they don’t make any other plans on that day. Your invitations then follow in good time with the rest of the information.
Save the dates tend to be seen as much more informal. In essence, it is a declaration of your intention to marry. They are brief because most of the information, such as the location, time and any other details like a dress code, RSVP processes and menu options then follow on in the official invitations.
Are They Necessary?
Realistically, this is not an easy question to answer, and in truth, the decision for whether or not to use a save the date relies entirely on the preference of the couple. Some couples like to, and some don’t. When you consider the scope of wedding traditions today, save the dates are probably something that can be skipped. Preparing for and planning a wedding takes a lot of time and effort; there are many different things that need to be taken into account, it can be easy to forget a few things here and there.
Save the dates are not mandatory, and therefore if you want to keep costs down or don’t feel like you need them, by all means, skip them. That being said, if you do decide to skip them, you need to make sure that your invitations are sent out in plenty of time. This is because save the dates are usually sent in advance to allow guests to start to make arrangements, whether that is travel arrangements, accommodation or even babysitters.
If you are throwing a weekday wedding, then your guests might also need enough notice in order to secure the time off work. Finally, it forces you to make concrete decisions about the guestlists early on in the decision-making process. The numbers that you come up with can then be used when it comes to finding a venue and deciding the menu. Deciding the numbers early also helps you to avoid confusion closer down the line.
Cost Saving Options
If you want to use a save the date card for your wedding but you are also working towards a budget, then there are a number of things that you can do to keep costs down. Wedding stationery is expensive, which is why a lot of people tend to want to avoid certain aspects like place cards, save the dates or individual menus. Luckily, save the dates need not be expensive.
Firstly, you could take advantage of technology and opt for a digital design. By choosing to have the designs made digitally or making them yourself if you are proficient in photoshop or design, you could save yourself some money. This is because you will only have to pay for the design once. You can then have them printed as many times as you need, and all you have left to pay for is the ink and the paper.
Another substantial cost when it comes to save the dates is the postage. Stamps are expensive. Instead of posting all of your save the dates out, why not hand deliver some? You and your Fiance could take a day out of planning to drive around and deliver all of the save the dates that you can to the guests that live locally to you. You can either leave them in the mailbox or stop in and visit with the recipients. As well as saving money, you might even find it fun.
The last cost-saving measure that you could employ is to create the save the dates yourself. As mentioned above, if it is within your skillset, you could create the design digitally. You could also put the save the dates together yourself if you are quite crafty. They don’t have to be ornate designs. In all honesty, making them can take some time, but it can also save you a lot of money. Think about all of the information that you need to convey and keep them simple. You can always go grander with the invites themselves.
Alternatives to Traditional Save the Dates
If you don’t want to send out traditional paper save the dates, then there are other options. These options can also help you to keep costs down, and they provide a great compromise if you aren’t sure whether you want to send one or not.
Firstly, you could go for a save the date email. If you are planning to create the design digitally anyway, then it makes sense to upload the design and create a mass email. Iif you want to cut costs further, you don’t even have to include a design; you could simply write out the info and send the emails. This may not work for all your guests as the older ones might not have or check their emails regularly.
You could also simply choose to tell people. When you see someone you want to invite, just let them know when you are planning to marry and where it is likely to be. You will need to find a way to keep a mental note of who you’ve told and who you need to tell as well as any RSVPs that you’ve had. This method can be more difficult to keep track of.
Text messages are also a great option. The likelihood is that between your Fiance and yourself, you will have the numbers of all the people that you want to invite. By using a service like Greenenvelope to create your save the date text, you can still incorporate a design as well as all of the necessary information. The text doesn’t have to be boring.
Finally, if you haven’t got everyone that you want to invite’s phone number, you will likely have their social media account information. You could put out a mass message on there. You could also choose to create a wedding group or event with all of your invitees. In doing so, you can often use the platforms features to track the response, which does make things easier for you. That being said, again, not all of your guests might be on social media, which could cause issues.
The Bottom Line
It is hard to say what category save the dates fall into. To some, they will be an antiquated custom, whereas others will see their value. The truth is that they aren’t necessary, but they do serve a purpose. In the end, it comes down to the couple. They can be a lovely gesture, and they can also provide your guests with a keepsake too.