Creating Your Save the Dates

September 22 • 2015

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It’s tradition that well before you send out the invitation for your wedding, you’ll need to alert your A-list guests with a save-the-date. Now, it’s not news that the save-the-date needs to be both functional and memorable. The whole point, after all, is to let your guests know when the ceremony is and imprint that event in their memory.

Some popular styles these days include a sticker that can be put on a calendar, a magnet that can be put on a fridge, or a miniature calendar with the date in question marked. Other couples take the save-the-date as an opportunity to poke fun at the pomp and circumstance of the tradition. One local bride and groom, for example, sent out a short DVD splicing together home videos with clips from the Chevy Chase movie National Lampoon’s Vacation so that the couple appeared to stand in for Clark and Ellen Griswold. The result was a funny send-up of suburban marriage that captured the bride and groom’s personalities and made clear that their wedding would be anything but conventional.

Plenty of couples opt for crazy, eye-catching colors to distinguish their save-the-date. And of course, using a photo taken shortly after your engagement always works beautifully. Whatever your style, make sure the basics are clearly spelled out: the date, the location (so guests can factor in travel as necessary), the names of the bride and groom, and your website URL if you have one.

When creating a save-the-date, make sure you avoid a few common mistakes. First, be certain that the people who get a save-the-date are in fact invited. What I mean is you don’t want to send the save-the-dates out immediately and then find out that something or other related to the wedding has thrown your budget off and you can’t in fact accommodate everyone who got a notice. Awkward. Second, if you do go funky make sure of course that you don’t offend anyone. Remember the save-the-date is heading to elderly relatives as well as old college buddies, so you might want to rethink using a cartoon of a party-hardy lizard in board shorts to announce your union. You’re playing to a diverse crowd, so err on the side of caution with whatever humor you employ. Because nobody wants to offend Nana.

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