Ensure the special day is attended by special people

SAVE THE DATE

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By MIKE VALDES

Many weddings take more than a year to plan. Couples want all of the special people in their lives to witness their vows, and giving guests advance notice can ensure as many loved ones as possible attend the ceremony.

To be certain that guests have ample notice to clear their schedules, many couples now turn to save-the-date cards, which announce weddings well in advance of the actual wedding day.

Brendan Buttillo, from Bethlehem, PA and Ashley DeSantis, from Warwick, got engaged this past fall and are getting married this summer.

”We used save-the-dates because that just seemed like the thing to do.,” says DeSantis. “It was almost more like an engagement announcement for us, and since we are getting married at a relatively busy time of the year, we wanted people to have plenty of time to prepare.”

Save-the-date cards once were reserved only for weddings that required travel or special circumstances, such as destination weddings. But such cards have now become commonplace for all weddings. That’s because many people plan vacations or business trips anywhere from four to six months in advance. Busy people require plenty of notice to include this important date on their calendars, particularly when wedding dates fall during popular travel seasons or around the holidays.

“I have a lot of friends and family that are scattered across the east coast,” says DeSantis, “so it was important to us that people could prepare as much as possible so they knew whether or not they could drive, if they had to book a hotel, get a plane ticket, etc.”

Kleinfeld Bridal, a premiere New York bridal boutique, says that save-the-date cards are typically mailed six to eight months prior to the wedding, though some are sent as early as a year before the big day. Once a date and a location is secured, save-the-dates can be ordered and mailed.

It’s acceptable to mail save-the-date even if some wedding day details are still up in the air. Guests really only need to know the date and location of the wedding. Couples also can use the save-the-date card to direct invitees to a wedding website where guests can learn the details of the wedding as they unfold.

RSVP information does not need to be included on the save-the-date card. Save-the-date cards are much less formal than invitations, so couples can have fun with them. They can showcase couples’ clever personalities or funny quirks.

“Our save the date was admittedly a little quirky,”says DeSantis, “which fit us incredibly well, since we’re both that way in real life. Across the top it said ‘It just got real!’ with a picture of a little ring below it. It wasn’t fancy, but it got the message across in a way that was completely us.”

Keep in mind it is in poor taste to mention gifts or registries on save-the-date cards. There will be plenty of time to direct guests to registries later on.

Couples are increasingly turning to save-the-date cards when planning their weddings to make sure busy friends and family will have enough time to make plans to attend their weddings.

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