Modern Bride

A Date To Remember
How to create an attention-grabbing save-the-date card

To help ensure that your wedding is the MUST-ATTEND EVENT of the year, send out save-the-date cards. It's the courteous thing to do. Here's what's to consider when selecting your mailing.

It's about time
In the past, most brides and grooms sent out their save-the-dates about six months before the wedding. In fact, some couples often send them as far as a year in advance. Some to-be-weds have even opted to send two save-the-dates: a simple announcement with the names and date a year before the event, then a more extensive informational packet later on. If you're dealing with a short engagement (say, six months or less), it's generally a good idea to send your cards as soon as you set a date. The last thing you want is for far-flung friends or family to decline because the flights are too pricey or their vacation days are scarce.

More is more
When it comes to deciding what information to include on the save-the-dates, you could just stick to the obvious-your names, your date and the wedding location-especially if you have a year to go until your big day. But many couples are now opting to include logistical information, such as hotel suggestions or the names of airlines that fly into the area, on their cards as well. It's an especially good idea if your guest list is dominated by out-of-towners. "Couples should make sure that enough information is given to the guests so that they can make the appropriate travel plans, especially if it is a destination wedding or if there will be a weekend's worth of activities," says Carolyn Mason, owner of Love Notes Event & Occasion Specialists, based in South Orange, NJ. "But there should still be some surprises left for the guests to discover when they arrive."

Looks are everything
Once you determine how much information you want to include on your card, your next job is to decide how your save-the-date should look. Most brides and grooms style them in keeping with the overall wedding theme. "If you are planning a fun, quirky wedding, the save-the-date should not be an overly formal and stylized invite," advises Mason.

Your save-the-date is the perfect place to show off your personality. Even if you want to stick to a more traditional format for your save-the-date card, you can still make your mailing stand out from the crowd. "If the save-the-date is printed on hot-pink suede paper or orange Japanese paper, people will take notice," says Mason. "Similarly, if it's evident that you put a lot of thought into the mailing, if there is a caricature of the bride and groom or a funky graphic design, people will feel like the wedding is going to be an extra-special event."

The save-the-date card featured was created by Kardz by Kelleye