The Evils of Save-the-Date cards

As those of you who’ve read my book, the Gothic Wedding Planner, know – I’m opposed to STDs. I mean Save-the-Date cards, although it never hurts to remind ourselves to practise safe sex. Practise a lot, if you’ve got the opportunity 🙂

Save-the-Date cards. I hates them. We didn’t send them out, and when my soon-to-be-wedded friends ask about them, I do my best to dissuade them from the STD madness.

What is a Save-the-Date card?

On their eternal quest to satisfy their “guests” every wants and needs, brides send out Save-The-Dates to everyone who they’re considering inviting to the wedding, around a year to nine months in advance of the date, to let all these possible future guests know the wedding date. Many couples think this is a great idea, as family and friends will be coming from other states/countries and need advance warning to plan their trip.

You’re thinking “that sounds reasonable, right? Won’t people want to know when my wedding will be? Won’t they want to plan in advance? Won’t they want a great little card that gets them all excited about the wedding and all the thought we’ve put into the theme and details?”

Urgh.

gothicweddingplanner inkylivie invites

Gorgeous Gothic Save the Date by InkyLivie (who also does beautiful invitations and stationary sets)

The sad fact of the matter is that NO ONE – including your parents, best friends, relatives, next door neighbours and manicurists – is as excited about your wedding as you are. To you and your betrothed, it’s the most wonderful, magical day of your life up until that point. For your guests, it’s a big party. A big party they may have to fly halfway across the country to attend.

Yes, Save the Date cards are totally cute. Yes, it may be useful for SOME of your guests to know in advance the exact date of the wedding. But before you start doodling designs and pricing up bulk fridge magnets, take heed of these points:

Save-the-Date cards cost money

If you’re on a tight budget, skipping Save-the-Date cards will cut out a huge chunk of your budget. Why? Save-the-Dates cost money to make, to print and to send. You could design them on your home computer to save money, but you still have to print them out and mail them off – with an envelope and a stamp for every one. For a wedding for 100 guests you might be looking at an extra $200 onto the budget just to send out these cards, more if you’re printing something fancy like fridge magnets. Couldn’t you spend that $200 on something more useful?

If people on your guestlist REALLY need Save-the-Dates, consider mailing one just to those people who need one. You can print a few extras and give them to friends, if you like, but try and cut down on your postage costs by only mailing Save-the-Dates to people who’ll NEED them. Or, you could email your Save-the-Date card – email is free!

Save-the-Date cards are just ANOTHER thing on your wedding to-do list

I read a lot of wedding blogs and forums, and brides are always stressing. A year out from the wedding, they’re stressing about booking a venue, finding a photographer, figuring out their theme, finding that dream dress, dealing with difficult family members … and their Save-the-Date cards. It takes most brides HOURS to design the cards (or source a designer), print them off, find all the addresses, address the envelopes, post them all off, and then field phone calls from confused guests. “Isn’t it a bit early to send invitations, yet, dear?”

Circus Gothic invites - mybluetulipdesign

Circus Poster Save-the-Date cards by Blue Tulip Designs

You only have a limited allotment of time (and sanity) at your disposal. Use it wisely, on things that REALLY matter. Think of how many tickle fights or jam sessions you could have had with your fiance instead of coordinating the Save-the-Dates.

Save-the-Date cards are bad for the environment

100 cards, 100 envelopes – all that ink and paper and dead trees. For what? It’s not as if your guests are going to keep your Save-the-Date cards preserved between the pages of their family album. You didn’t think they would, did you? Oh dear …

You’re going to be sending out invitations in a few months ANYWAY, and things may change between now and then – including the guestlist, the venue, the date or even the state or country the wedding will be in. If you care about wastage, I would advise against sending Save-the-Dates.

Save-the-Dates are an easy-out

Sending a Save-the-date card in the mail – no matter how personalized and cute it is – deprives you of the opportunity to ring around or visit your relatives and friends and TALK to them about your wedding plans. If you know some people will have to book flights/accommodation early, ring them up or skype them and discuss their needs, and catch up with their lives. In this crazy world of internet and movies and TV and iPods we don’t spend nearly enough time interacting with the people who make our lives worthwhile. Skip the impersonal Save-the-Date and go for a friendly phone call instead.

Save-the-Dates cause unnecessary hassles

Imagine this: you’ve sent out 150 save-the-dates for your wedding a year away. Unfortunatly, you have a financial crisis and have to postpone the wedding by a few months, and halve the guestlist. You send out the invitations with the revised date and now you’re innundated by phone calls from irate relatives and friends – “Which date is correct?” “We’ve already booked flights!”, “Why haven’t I recieved an invitation?” “What do you mean, I’m not invited now? I thought that card thing WAS the invitation?”

You could have avioded this whole mess by not sending Save-the-Dates. Plans change, dates move, guestlists get shuffled around. Don’t jump the gun on wedding things – or you may find yourself on the receiving end of some hostility.

Why do you need Save-the-Date cards? Is it because the bridal industry tells you so – right underneath their full-page glossy ad for personalized save-the-date magnets for ONLY $3 per person. Beware, gothic brides and grooms, beware!

For more wedding invitation advice, check out the Gothic Wedding Planner.