Engagement season is upon us here in New England, which means that soon your Facebook feed will be just full of rings and bling. So we thought it would be pertinent to offer up a little advice to those about to become engaged to help them sort through some of the unknown waters of wedding planning, at least as far as this humble Boston Wedding Photographer is concerned. Throughout the winter (when we're not blogging about boudoir) we'll be offering a little help in understanding different bits of wedding planning with suggestions, tips and radical interpretations of etiquette (and you're can always e-mail us your suggestions for topics or questions).
Today's topic: Save the Date cards and the most frequently asked questions about them.
Save the Date: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "Save the Date" - Basically Save the Dates (STD's for short and for laughs) is the warning shot for your wedding planning. Usually it's a simple card sent out to let people know about your wedding date so they can think about their plans and start to make arrangements.
Do I need them? - Not strictly speaking, but you probably should have them. They are a must if you're having a destination wedding or a wedding on a holiday (where people would have to plan well in advance to get the best deals and ensure their presence). But these days social networks aren't as limited by geography, so more guests are travelling to weddings and that means a heads-up would be considerate. But at the end of the day, it's your party and you can do what you want.
Who gets them? - It's just easier if you send them to everyone you are definitely inviting. You can always add people to the guest list when you send out invitations (and then claim that their STD must have gotten lost in the mail). You should also be as clear as you can about who should be saving the date on the envelope (or in the card if you want to personalize your messages), so people don't start to make plans based on wrong assumptions.
When should I send them? - Six months ahead of time. If it's a destination wedding (like say, you are flying your Boston wedding photographer to a castle in France) then you might want to have them out eight months in advance. More than that and it slips from the front of mind (or gets hidden under other stuff on the fridge) and less than that really isn't sufficient notice.
What information should they have? - At a glance your future guests should be able to tell three things: Whose wedding is it? When is the wedding? Where is the wedding? On that last one you don't have to name the venue, just listing the city and state should be sufficient if it's in the US.
After those three pieces, a wedding website (which we'll talk about in a later blog post, once I can get Squarespace to pay for it) is probably the most useful piece of information. You can also give people a personalized message on the card if you're feeling so inclined.
How do I get them? - If you're looking for something more personalized, you can pick up some STDs from your friendly neighborhood wedding photographer (phrasing?). We offer them in a variety of types and finishes (foil-pressed, magnets and more) for reasonable rates! If you're looking for something that doesn't feature your stunning engagement photos, you can order them from like a billion places like Etsy (for the creative and eclectic), to Minted, or Vista Print (if you like weird sizes).
What about postcards? - You can certainly set up your STDs to work as postcards. It could be really cute, especially if you're having a destination wedding. Of course a postcard doesn't offer the same thrill as tearing into an envelope, and if you're concerned about strange postal workers judging how cutsey you are then a postcard might not be for you.
Are there any alternatives? - Sure, you could do online Save the Dates. The real downside is that they're a little more ephemeral, where a well-designed STD can get a nice place on the fridge to keep your event at front of mind (I am obviously dead-set against them since they're much harder to do as an add-on sale for your Boston Engagement Session).
What if my wedding changes? - It's a little trite to say that things happen, but when you have as many moving parts as a wedding there are bound to be some bumps in the road. Thankfully you remembered to put your wedding website on your cards where you can direct people to the latest news about the number one event of the year. Though if there are big changes, you should let your guests know with a phone call to update them.
Ryan Richardson Photography is a full-service photography boutique based in New England that specializes in Wedding Photography and Portrait Photography. We proudly serve events and clients in Boston and Providence.