Save the Dates - What to consider & BIG mistakes to avoid (yes I've made them too)

Save the Dates! I personally love cutesy stuff like this. I'm super into personal stationery, fun fonts, wooden stamps, and all things like that. Also, I was excited to get our loved ones hyped for the wedding. 

However, it was easier said than done. Besides agreeing on what kind of Save the Date to pick and what to write on it, we questioned so much in regards to who to send them to…   Should we put “& guest” on his envelope if we're unsure we will end up being able to give him a guest at the wedding? Do we send one to the distant relative we feel almost obligated to invite, but are not sure if we will end up having room? Should we send them to everyone at work, or only a few people we are closest with? She's not in a relationship and I'm on the fence about giving her a plus one, so should I put one on the envelope anyway? Who do we send them to and who do we not send them to????

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, I went through it too. Or if you’re like me, you’ll worry anyway! Hehe, but I do always feel better reading blogs and seeing other people’s experiences and then forming my own opinion. Our Save the Dates came out great, but I’ll admit I made mistakes along the way. I’m happy to help you by offering you my honest perspective while also giving you some tips to avoid any headaches. In my follow up post, I'll even show you what ours ended up looking like and give you suggestions on what to write on your Save the Dates to make the most out of them.

When sending out Save the Dates, there are important things to consider:

1) The confidence you have (or don't have) in your guest list. 

The most difficult part of wedding planning was determining and agreeing on the final guest list. We knew from the get-go that the majority of our guest list would comprise of family. George has a very large extended family, many whom of which we're extremely close with... cousins that are like brothers and sisters, and aunts that are like second parents. Of course, they were no-brainer-invites along with a handful of friends.

After that, lines of friendship and extended family became a bit blurry. We got some pressure from family about who we “had to” and “should” invite. It was hard and soon became very confusing and complicated. You end up comparing people to others and examining your relationships under a microscope like never before.

If you’re in a similar situation, I would recommend sending Save the Dates only to the people you are 150% sure you want to invite. I cannot stress that enough. Work friends you’re not close with, distant relatives you’re not sure you can squeeze in, people you haven’t spoken to in a really long time, people who come out of the woodworks (seemingly to score an invite to your wedding), and other people you're on the fence about are safer to leave off for now. You could always reexamine your feelings once it’s time to send out wedding invitations. Trust me on this one.  A lot can change with relationships in the time between engagement and wedding.

2) Plus Ones

PLUS ONES, dun dun DUN!!!!!! Who should get them? Who doesn't “need” one? That, my friends, is… a subject for another blog post. However, for Save the Date purposes, the best advice I can give is this… if you’re not sure about giving a person a plus one then don’t. Just for now, just for the Save the Dates. If someone questions you after they receive their Save the Date if they’ll get a plus one for the wedding, just reply that you hope to, but due to budgetary reasons you will have to reexamine it when it gets closer to the big day. Leave it at that. People don’t have to agree with your decisions, but they have to make an effort to respect them.

So, in my opinion, it’s best to just put your friend/cousin/single uncle's name on the Save the Date envelope for now, and to add their plus one to the wedding invite later on if you decide to give them one. It's easier to add plus ones once the invites go out, but not as easy to take them away.  Without getting too specific, we definitely made that mistake when we sent out our Save the Dates and are having some serious regrets. So trust me on this one too... don't put an "& Guest" on the envelope if you're not 150% about giving someone a plus one. 

3) Functionality

Save the Dates, if utilized properly, can serve as a phenomenal resource for guests. Many people wanted to know the little details about our wedding (hotel accommodations, location of the venue, transportation information, etc.) and we were excited to tell them! We ended up creating an amazing wedding website which we poured so much love (& time!) into. We wanted to use our Save the Dates to get our guests to actually go and see this awesome website we created. After all, it’s much easier to say the 4 sweet little words, "check out the website", rather than having to re-explain where the reception will be, the name of the hotel, what time the ceremony is, etc., to everyone every-single-time you see or talk to them (hands up if you feel me!). 

In an effort to not make this post super long...in my next blog post I will discuss:

  • How to get people to go on your wedding website through your Save the Dates
  • When to send them out to your guests
  • Where you can find some cool Save the Dates (& where to find coupons to save extra!)
  • Hidden postage costs to avoid
  • My honest answer to the question of "If I knew then what I know now, would I still send them out?"

Also, I'll show you what ours ended up looking like!

Oh, & for my Game of Thrones loving brides, in honor of last night's season finale...  ;)