Monday, January 17, 2011

Inventing our Own Save-the-Date Etiquette

Tom and I reached a bit of a milestone with our wedding planning on Friday by sending out the save-the-dates, and so far we have gotten a bit of mixed reviews. My future mother-in-law likes the magnet, but keeps telling us that she has never heard of save-the-dates before. Several of our friends have thanked us for the invitation, and others have complimented us for the magnets and "being on top of things" by setting up hotel blocks. I am amused by the mixed reviews, and I would be lying if I said that I did not expect them. Save-the-dates are a new trend. I remember the first time I saw one, I was at a friend's apartment and she had two of them stuck to her refrigerator. I thought to myself, "what a good idea!" and filed it somewhere in my brain. When Tom and I first got engaged, it was the save-the-date magnets that I first started looking at before anything else. When our wedding moved from Missouri to Maine, which subsequently meant that the majority of our guest list would now be coming from out of state, save-the-dates went from being something fun to something necessary. 

In terms of wedding stationary, save-the-dates are definitely the new kid and they are still largely viewed as optional. Due to their novelty, there is very little established etiquette. Save-the-dates did not exist when Emily Post literally wrote the book on wedding stationary etiquette. That being said, Tom and I looked at the "rules" for wedding invitations, and "re-invented" them for our save-the-dates.

Etiquette Rules we Maintained:
  • Save-the-dates were only sent to people that would later receive an invitation to the wedding
  • We addressed the envelopes with formal titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss)
  • We provided hotel information on the save-the-date card as well as on the wedding website. This permits guests that do not use the internet access to the hotel information.
Save-the-Date Rules that we Invented:
  • We sent one save-the-date to each household, regardless if adult children lived their or not. Most households consist of one kitchen with one refrigerator. Our save-the-dates are magnets, it did not make sense to us to send multiple magnets to one household. Adult children will each receive an invitation in July. 
  • We did not include guests on the envelope. We included the names of people we actually know. For example, if my cousin Beth is dating John, the envelope was addressed to Beth only. The wedding is still 8 months away, things could change between Beth and John, and we want to avoid awkward situations.
  • We printed the addresses on then envelopes. The "correct" way is to write each address out by hand, but Tom and I both have horrendous handwriting. I opted to download a font that looks like handwriting. The end result was very nice looking, and legible.
So far, no complaints. We shall see if the proverbial "etiquette police" come after us. 

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