Saturday, February 5, 2011

Save the- Oops! 6 save the date mistakes.

Hip!nk just wrote an excellent blog entitled "The Top 5 Wedding Invitation Mistakes".

It is well worth reading, and, it got me thinking. Extending that idea to save the dates... what are the most common mistakes I see couples making when they are ordering save the date magnets or cards? After 7 years primarily working with save the dates, there are a few things that come to mind.

Too Many!

When I get a request for 500 save the date magnets, I am not surprised when the number is later revised downward. A couple only needs to send one save the date per household- not to every single individual guest! Additionally, the couple doesn't even have to send one save the date per household. Many couples will send them only to the most distant guests.

Asking for RSVPs

"Can I ask for an RSVP with my save the dates"? The idea is that if a guest knows for sure that they can not attend, and they tell the couple, then the couple saves a little bit by ordering one less invitation to send out. The desire is understandable- but don't go asking an RSVP. Save the dates are just to notify the guest of the date. Save the dates are kind of like an engagement announcement. They are not the invitation. Asking a guest to respond that far in advance is a little too preemptive. The cost savings of a few less invitations is not really worth it. How many of your guests will even know for certain that they can not make it, that far in advance? And if they did... their plans could very well change; Guests who don't think they can attend might find themselves free by the time your invitation arrives.

& Guest

Deciding whether there will be a guest for that invitee so far in advance is also precarious, for both you and your invitee. It is a too early for you to decide with certainly on whether your invitee can have a guest- and how many they can have. Your plans may change as the wedding comes closer and the details come into focus. Your invitee shouldn't even be worrying about who their guest would be so far in advance.

TMI

This far in advance, couples do not need to give guests too much detail. Names & date; Possible a city/state. That is the basic makeup of a save the date. Don't give guests a map from the ceremony to the reception. Couples do not need to give their guests the time that the ceremony starts. The couple does not need to tell guests where the reception is. The guests do not yet need to know whether the children are invited. This is the save the date... not the invitation.

Timing!

Save the dates are fairly easy to deal with in this regard. Couples can send their save the dates, out 3 months before the wedding or over a year before. Save the dates for destination weddings and major events (like Christmas weddings!) should be sent out in the earlier end of the timeframe. In those special cases, it does make more sense to include information like hotel-blocks. However, couples do not want to send out their save the dates too early. When is too early? How can there be a 'too early, when these save the dates can be sent out pretty much whenever? 'Too early' is before the couple has nailed down a contract on the venue! Couples should not send out a save the date for their wedding before a location (and any must-have vendors) is booked for that date. To do otherwise sometimes leads to couples sending out a "change the date".


Small magnets.

Printed refrigerator magnets are fun to to send out as a save the date; Each year, the idea becomes more popular. Small 3.5x2 inch magnets are going to be the most cost effective size. However, they are also less than half the size of the smallest mailable envelope size with the US postal service. These magnets, with mini envelopes, make an excellent addition to a save the date card or packet. But if couples want to mail these magnets out alone, they need to think about getting (or DIY making) a holder to go with the magnet. After so many years, I have to recommend a mid-sized magnet if you are looking for a magnet alone, no card. On the 4.1x2.6 inch and 4x3.5 inch magnet sizes, couples have more space for wording and a nice design... and then they do not need to mess with a holder.



These are some of the issues I see cropping up now and then; If you are newly engaged, I hope they prove helpful! Often, couples will express to me their feeling that they could use some advice when ordering their wedding stationery. I also see the confusion when I look at the google searches that bring people to my main site or blog. It is understandable- those new couples have never had a reason to order so many custom save the dates or invitations.