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  • Paulette Alkire, Wedding Planner

5 Tips for Your Save-The-Dates...

You've booked your dream destination wedding! What’s next? Many tasks are already on your checklist in the early stages of planning your wedding, but your save-the-dates are one of the most important beginning steps to your big day. Your save-the-date is the first official announcement of who, what, when and where. It gives your guests the heads up— a crucial step when planning a destination wedding— and the go ahead to mark their calendars, start checking out flights, and request time off of work. Here are five helpful tips when starting the process of sending your save-the-dates:

Decide to Send One

If you are on the fence about sending a save-the-date, don’t be! It is crucial to send a Save-The-Date for any destination wedding, as your guests will also have to plan to make the trip for your special celebration.

Nail Down Your Guest List

Decide on the details of your guest list together, and early on. We’re talking about a year in advance. Friends who have publicly declared their relationship by being married, getting engaged or living together should be invited as a couple. Friends who have been together less than a year, or don’t cohabitate, are a trickier issue, but ultimately the guest list is yours. What about children? Teenagers? Cousins you haven’t seen in years? These details may seem small, but they can and will effect your budget in a big way. If you are on a tighter budget, a good rule of thumb is to only allow plus ones for the singletons in your bridal party. Deciding on whether to allow your guests to bring their children is also a crucial decision: Stand firm in your choice if you decide no kids. Guests will ask you to make an exception, but keep in mind, come wedding day, this can possibly lead to other guests who respected your “No Children” rule to feel slighted. Offering up the idea of a romantic weekend getaway might help soften the blow that they have to leave the kiddies at home. While it is becoming more and more common to have a “No Children” wedding, teenagers can also be a bit tricky. There’s no clear rule here— although we agree that if the teenager isn’t family but is old enough to receive their own invitation (say, 13 and up), and their parents are invited, they should be on your guest list as well. Whoever you do invite, make sure you address the save-the-date to each of your invitees by name for everyone in the ‘group’ or ‘family’ that is invited, or make sure to include “and guest” or “and family” so there is no confusion come game day. As with cousins, if you invite one first cousin to your destination wedding, you should invite them all. Destination weddings at Chalet View Lodge many times also double as a family reunion of sorts, so make sure everyone is included!

What to Include

Your save-the-dates should include your names, the date of the wedding, and the name and location of the venue. Be sure to have your first and last names on at least the envelope so there is no confusion on who the save-the-date is from. Most importantly, we highly recommend creating a wedding website for your destination wedding, and launching it before you send out any announcements. Share your wedding website URL somewhere on your save-the-date so guests can get more information as you update. Creating an email specific to your wedding, and adding it to your save-the-date, can also be a useful tool in fielding questions about the big day from your invitees!

When to Mail

For a destination wedding, we suggest sending your save-the-dates out six months in advance. This allows your guests enough time to schedule with work, babysitters, make travel arrangements, and get excited about their future weekend getaway!

Set the Theme for Your Wedding

Your save-the-dates are the first thing that your guests will be receiving regarding your big day. Be creative but also make sure that they resemble the theme of your wedding as a whole. Tying your save-the-dates in with your invitations and reception décor is a very simple but elegant touch. A save-the-date is also a nice opportunity to break out one of those fabulous engagement session photos you’ve been dying to share with all your friends and family!

P.S.: Don’t forget to request hand-canceling at the post office when you send these out. If you’ve spent the time creating a gorgeous postcard plastered with perfectly spaced typography and photos of you and Bae, don’t let all your hard work go to waste by having the processing machine stamp all over it!

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