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'Save the Date' cards for your wedding: Are they really necessary?

I get this question all of the time. Do I really need Save the Date Cards? It's just another expense. My response to this question usually goes something like: Either you would like to do all you can to assist the people you've invited to your wedding in attending or you should take them off the guest list if it doesn't matter.

Look at it this way. You have spent the last 12 or so months of your life consumed with the planning of every intricate detail of this day, don't you want those people you invite to show? Everyone has things going on in their lives: birthdays, vacations, anniversaries, graduations, etc. The more lead time they have in knowing of your event, the more leeway they have in keeping the date clear of other engagements.

Don't overdo it
It is not imperative that you head to Crane's to have engraved Save the Date announcements printed. Use some creativity and you can save some dollars while your guests "save the date." Think about magnets that can be imprinted. Postcards can easily be created on your computer. Add a special note in with your Christmas cards. It couldn't be simpler. But do keep in mind that you are setting the stage for your event. You might not want a hand scrawled note if you are having a formal affair at the Ritz Carlton.

When to send them
Save the Date cards are typically sent out four months prior to your wedding date. This will give guests a two month "heads up" before your invitations arrive. Include the date of your event and the location. If you have done your homework, you can also include area hotel information for your out of town guests allowing them to book rooms early.

Wording
Wording is also simple, if you are going the formal route try this: "Please save the date of Saturday the Twenty-Second of August for the wedding for Miss Janie Doright and Mr Arnold Grissom." Include the names of the host and "Invitation to follow" at the bottom. For a less formal event, inject some of your personality try: "Sarah and Luke are tying the knot, Save the Date so that you can join us!"

Keep in mind that all you want your guests to do at this point is save the date. Don't give away all the plans you've made. Also, don't expect a response. Your responses will come on that pretty little postage paid response card you've had printed.

If you are planning a destination wedding, send your Save the Date cards at least six months in advance. Follow the card with a detailed mailing informing guests of information which will be crucial to their travel.

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