When it comes to planning a wedding, there are lots of first steps (apart from announcing the engagement, of course) that involve only you and your fiancé – like setting a date, finding a location, discussing the budget and browsing through inspirational boards on Pinterest.
Then comes the moment when you send out your Save the Dates and let everyone know when and where you are tying the knot and that you would be delighted by their presence.
For our Save the Dates, we knew we wanted something other than “just” stationery. I loved the idea of using a bookmark to “save” the date, so we decided to send out travel guides for the Provence region and place the bookmark between the pages that described the village next to our location. Together with my sister-in-law (the most amazing graphic designer), we designed our logo, patterns, font styles and more. The linen covers were sewn by ourselves (yep you read that one right) in many many hours of work. We also designed our “vintage” postage stamps in photoshop and used one of those scissors for children that create a corrugated edge to make them look real. Unfortunately, they were made for the size of 5-year-old hands… the only thing we had professionally done were the gold-foil, letterpress bookmarks and the matching banderole.
Another difficult decision that comes with sending out Save the Dates is the guest list. Naturally, there are dozens of do’s and don’ts when it comes to picking your wedding guests, and websites like stylemepretty.com provide plenty of guidance. If you ask me, some of those are just nonsense. There’s no one you should invite because you feel obliged to. That relative who you haven’t talked to in years? Nope, not at my party.
Save the Dates go out up to a year in advance, like in our case. But that far in advance, there will be a few people you are not sure about (yet). Don’t despair, you can still invite them later, when the final invitations go out.
Our rules for who gets invited in the “first round” were the following:
- We wanted to know them both, so we didn’t invite any new plus-one’s we hadn’t met (yet). If they’re important, their significant other will manage to introduce them within the year.
- No people we haven’t met at least once outside of the bigger group. There’s always people who you really like, but have never seen alone or in a double-date situation. Weddings are intimate – you might regret inviting people just because you have the same friends, at least so early on. Who knows, maybe things will change in the year to come, but you can never un-invite anyone.
- We asked ourselves – are we going to be friends with them in 10, 20 years? Are we and are they willing to fight for this friendship, even if they or we move away? It’s always hard, but we tried to distinguish between friends for now and friends for life. It’s a three-day weekend away after all – there’s no possibility to “just” invite someone for a part of the event when you’re doing a destination wedding.
- No need to invite the whole family. We didn’t want to host a 200-people affair, and we had seen enough weddings that just didn’t make a great party because of all the old people present. So we decided to only invite those family members that we are truly close to (that uncle who never calls on your birthday? Nope.). Instead, we decided to make the civil wedding a family event closer to home, which also spares them the travel.
I honestly can not wait to see what our invitations will turn out to be. We are planning on mailing those approximately 5 months before the wedding date. I know we are early birds, but actually, one of our friends already had to cancel because someone was even quicker than we were!
If you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment and I promise I’ll answer.