Please check my thinking

beachratMarch 29, 2011

Recent engagement, date is set. I am thinking of NOT sending save the date cards. It seems to me that everyone who will be invited is close enough to me that I will call, write or at the very least, email with the news. If it is not important enough for them to make note of the date, it is probably not important enough for them to take the trouble to attend. What am I missing?

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I don't think you are missing anything. Sending save the dates is not mandetory and they are usually sent only to people who need to make travel arrangements. When my daughter got engaged, we notified out of town relatives in our Christmas cards, which we felt was more personal than a card.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 5:02PM
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Nothing, in my opinion. I am not a big fan of save the date cards, magnets, etc. It is very helpful for out of town guests to know the date as far in advance as possible, but as you say, it can be done virtually for free other ways. In town guests often find them pushy, and I also worry that, if the card gives a web site, and the web site has registry info, it doesn't look so nice. But I think that both of these are less true now that the cards have become so common.

My son and his fiancee are sending them, but most of the family already know -- if only because I told them when I contacted them for their current addresses for the cards!

Anyway, they are going out about 6 months before the wedding. That wasn't soon enough to really help anyone with any conflicts: a cousin and a close friend's daughter have already chosen (after DS did) the same date. I can't say whether they would have chosen differently had they known of DS's date (probably my cousin would have). But the point is that they had their dates set before DS and his fiancee sent out their save the date cards anyway.

That is probably going to be true of most conflicts that would come up: vacation and work issues, too, not just other people's weddings, graduations, etc. And no matter whose date your guests hear about first, they will likely choose their own sibling, say, over a friend or more distant relative. So a save the date card wouldn't help anyway.

I was in favor of just letting people know the date without a special (and expensive) mailing, too, but I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 5:10PM
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Thank you all so much. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't something about the process I was missing.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:29AM
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I don't understand Save-the-Date cards, anyway, and I think they're a fairly new practice. If it's important to let people know far in advance, why not just send the inviations then?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 11:08AM
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While we're on the subject --

This is really minor, but if I were sending out these cards, I wouldn't write "save the date!" on them. I'd write "mark your calendar" or "note the date" or something -- or even nothing, just the event and date without any introduction.

Admittedly, it's a very fine difference. But I have heard people (especially those who are in town) say that they don't like being "ordered" to reserve their time. And it sure felt sort of strange when that cousin who chose the same date as my son's wedding sent us all a "save the date!" card. But I can see how she felt that she ought to send it to us even though obviously we can't come (and already know the date). Somehow "note the date" or something wouldn't have been as odd; I mean, we still want to note their marriage and anniversary.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 12:21PM
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Ditto gelchom

I love you and all that but DON'T be telling me what to do!

It will get worse. In the future it will all be done on facebook.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 8:53PM
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I don 't think it has reached Facebook yet, but save the dates are now occasionally on YouTube. A recent trend is the save the date video. It is much like a commercial in length, usually 30 to 60 seconds and tells a "story" in that short time. One I have seen is a couple jumping off a dock (taking the plunge), followed by the date and location. I suppose if you have enough money or time, you can do just about anything.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 7:24PM
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Sounds like the kind of thing you would think was terrific the first time you saw one. And after that, you would just find it annoying and time-consuming.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:43PM
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We sent save the date (made by a friend on her computer) cards with a cute theme to the folks who would be coming from out of town. It was cross country for many of our guests, and I felt, since we live in a destination area, that people might like to plan a mini vacation around the trip to our wedding. Moreover, since a plane ticket is a major investment, I wanted to give more notice than a typical 6 weeks ahead invitation would. Almost all of the guests came from out of town as the couple went to college far away, had family and friends far away, and had met and still lived in a city far away. Yet, the bride wanted to be married at home, so we used save the dates. I think they did the job as we had a good turn out.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 5:00PM
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sheilajoyce, I think we all agree that it's good to give as much notice as possible to people who will have to travel. What some people are saying is that they prefer just using regular conversations, phone calls, Xmas cards, emails, and the like to special cards or magnets.

Do you think you would not have had as good a turnout if you had told your guests the date just as early, but not with a special save the date card? In other words, is it the method, not the timing, that you think encourages attendance?

I think that I would be at least as responsive to a note, email, or call to me individually telling me the date and that they hope I will attend than to a printed card or magnet without any personal message for me. But I doubt it would really make a difference.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:43PM
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I did not know most of our wedding guests. His family lives across the country in the South, and their little town of 50 to 70-plus year old parents travel to weddings of their youngsters all over in great numbers and have a good time doing so. (His family has lived there for generations.) He went to college and graduate school in yet two other states, and his friends were the kind who liked to travel to each other's weddings too. The young friends were all marrying, getting jobs, changing their names and locations. The bride and groom met and dated in yet a 4th state and had friends there. Save the Dates made it possible to inform everyone instead of a hit or miss grapevine situation. I think the method worked best, especially later on as we watched the groom's mother struggle with confusion and no computer skills, which led to no information upon her friends' request.

I really had a huge list of people I would have had to contact, and this was the best method. I knew that if they wanted to attend the wedding, that there would be considerable cost involved in getting to our area and in renting hotel rooms here. Moreover, hotel rooms here can fill up weeks ahead of an event. I also suspected that many might want to just combine something of a late summer vacation to visit our destination area with attending the wedding. Therefore, we sent Save the Dates to help our invitees do what they wished with the greatest ease of preplanning possible.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:44PM
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