We get A LOT of questions about stationery early on in the wedding planning process. And rightfully so — stationery is a hugely important part of your big day. How else will guests know when it is, where it is, what time the festivities start, and whether they should wear their sparkly ball gown or their cowboy boots? (And – so you don’t think we’re crazy – stationery is spelled with an “e” when we’re talking paper goods. When we’re talking an hors d’oeuvres station that stays in place, that’s when stationary with an “a” comes in. See more here).
For this month’s #askTLT, we’re dipping into some common questions we get about save the dates. This is the first part of a two part series on stationery; stay tuned for May’s #askTLT, where we’ll tackle all your invitation questions!
Anyway. Let’s start at the beginning:
Uhhh, what do I put on my Save the Date?
Your names, your wedding date, your wedding location, invitation to follow, your wedding website (if you have one (and if you don’t have one, we highly suggest you make one)).
What’s the anatomy of a Save the Date?
1. Request language: Request that guests reserve your wedding date in their calendars. This can be something simple, like “Save the date, X and X are getting married!” or something more personalized and fun!
2. Your names: The names on the Save the Dates don’t have to be worded as formally as the invitation. We suggest using just your first names for a personal feel. If your wedding weekend will be formal, feel free to pop your last names in there, too.
3. Date: Our couples typically opt for a more playful or modern save the date, and include their date in a casual way, like “9.15.18”, or “September 15, 2018”. If you’re opting for a more formal affair, we suggest more formal formatting, which would read “the fifteenth of September, twenty eighteen.”
4. Location: List just the city and state where the ceremony will take place. Even if the reception will be held in a different place, it’s still most appropriate to list only the ceremony city and state. Remember – the purpose here is to have guests reserve your wedding weekend on their calendar. Further details will be listed on your invitation and on your website.
5. Invitation to follow: Let guests know that an invitation will follow the Save the Date. This gives them a heads up that they should watch for it in the mail and that more details will follow.
6. Website: This is optional, but we are pretttty strong advocates for wedding websites. It’s incredibly helpful to your guests to have a place to grab all of the must-know wedding details — and it saves you from answering tons of questions from your guests and bridal party as the wedding approaches.
How early in the wedding planning process should I order my Save the Dates?
Your Save the Dates should be one of the first things you start thinking about. If you’re working with a custom stationer, we suggest reaching out to them as soon as you’ve nailed down your date and location.
When do I send my Save the Dates?
Save the Dates should go out as soon as you have your date and venue selected (though we don’t suggest sending anything earlier than 12 months before your wedding). Why wait? You can never give enough notice. Nobody’s going to wish they had less time to plan. Trust us.
Traditionally, brides are advised to allocate 2 to 3 percent of their budget for wedding invitations and other stationery items. Does that still hold true?
Not really. We believe it should be more like 10%. It’s important to also budget for stationery items beyond just save the dates and invitations: things like ceremony programs, escort cards, table numbers, menus, and anything else you’ll have printed. Stationery is an area that can really showcase your personalities and contribute largely to the overall feel and mood of your day!
Something we always remind our couples when having the stationery talk is that your wedding day is just that: one day. A day that goes by so fast. Most of the moments you’ll have that day are, sadly, fleeting. It’s important to remember that, aside from photos, your stationery pieces are the only tangible things that will remain when your day is over. Holding your wedding invitations in your hands, running your fingers over your letterpressed dinner menus, seeing your custom wedding logo on your save the date – these tangible pieces will bring you right back to your wedding day every time you interact with them.
How can a bride cut costs on her wedding paper without cutting quality?
Great question! We asked Sam over at Gus and Ruby Letterpress in our latest #VendorsWeLove series, and she had an awesome answer (of course). Read that post here.