Postcard Save-the-Dates & 2019 Invitation Trends
At times, my role as a wedding photographer skirts the line into that of a wedding coordinator. (Which is completely fine by me! I love when clients ask for my two cents.)
This time of year, I get a lot of questions about wedding invitation etiquette, such as, "When do I send a save-the-date?" "Should my invitation match my wedding colors?" Or "What do I even write on a save-the-date?" I wanted to write a blog post to answer some of the most common questions I get, and to provide some tips I've learned from my years in the biz.
Why send save-the-dates?
Save-the-dates, though not necessarily required, give your guests a heads up about your plans that is much-appreciated. Busy schedules, children, and vacations tend to be planned about six months in advance, and if guests have a heads up about your special date, they are much more likely to attend!
I would recommend sending your save the dates out at least six months in advance if most guests are local to the venue. If it's a destination or most guests are coming from out-of-state, consider sending them 8 or so months in advance.
What to include on save-the-dates:
Save-the-dates should include the date of your wedding and a location. If you haven't booked a venue yet, you can write which town/county it will be in, instead.
It's also good to include a notice that a formal invitation will follow-- that way, guests won't be wondering if that's the invitation and whether they should figure out how to RSVP.
Pro tip: Include whether children or plus-ones are invited on the save the dates, since this factors into guests' abilities to attend!
Save-the-dates can showcase your personality and be less formal than invitations. Many Anne Mientka Photography clients use engagement photos on their postcard save the dates! (Don't forget that I can design them for you using one of your favorite session photos, or you can use postcard save the dates templates that are user-friendly.)
What not to include on save-the-dates:
You probably won't even know all of the wedding details yet, but don't fret. Leave the specifics off, if you don't know them. For example, you could simply write, "afternoon of May 5th in Stowe, Vermont" if that's all you know!
You also don't need to include the registry information quite yet. In fact, I would recommend leaving this off of your invitations as well-- IF you include a link for a wedding website on your invitations. Wedding websites are a great way to keep people in the loop, and they can find your registry there.
If you're thinking about designing a wedding website, I recommend browsing through Basic Invite's wedding website templates. It's fast and easy, and you can always customize it as you plan more about your day.
Though email save-the-dates are very popular, I have a few thoughts: For one, I like the feeling of receiving paper mail. It's truly special to receive a save-the-date in the mail, and it adds to the hype of your wedding!
Secondly, I always tack my save-the-dates up, or put them on the refrigerator as a reminder. That way, I'm thinking about my couples regularly (and, if I have guests over, they ask who that lovely couple is!). For these reasons, I recommend sending a postcard save the date. It's simple and straightforward, and you can always pop it in an envelope to elevate the formality.
Tips for Creating Epic Wedding Stationery
1. Order a sample first. Many websites, such as Basic Invite, let you design your invitation/save-the-date stationery suites and then order a sample for free. That way you can make sure you like the feel and design before you order 200 of them!
2. Don't forget to save one extra save-the-date, RSVP card, and invitation, along with their envelopes, for me to photograph on your wedding day! After all of this thought and effort, you'll want to have them photographed.
3. Use a company that will provide free address collections. Instead of awkwardly texting your friends, "hey what's your address?" you can create a link, have it emailed to your contacts, and have them fill out their addresses. And, Basic Invite will then print the addresses on the envelopes for you. Trust me, this will save you about 3 hours of hand writing addresses.
4. Give your guests the gift of swag. Immensely popular for 2019 are little extra gifts, such as personalized paper coaster wedding favors or magnets. Creating a "brand" for your wedding is fun and helps build the excitement! Consistent fonts and colors will make your wedding stationery and gifts stick out from the crowd.
5. Be sure to send all items (invitations, RSVPs, save-the-dates, magnets, etc.) to people you already know can attend. They'll want to feel included, and many people save invitations because it's a special occasion.
6. If you have a general theme for your wedding established, go ahead and incorporate that (for example, have you known for your whole life that light pink will be your wedding color? Go ahead and print on pink, or have a pink floral motif.) Some couples even make monograms. Making it fun will add to the hype of your wedding. We all want excited guests, right? Below are some of the most popular 2019 trends (courtesy of Basic Invite!), which you can play with and make your own!
Silver and golds are eye-popping and super luxe.
Romantic watercolors are not going out of style, so don't worry.
Wreaths, eucalyptus, and other subtle greenery adds a nature-inspired feel to your invitations (especially perfect for Vermont weddings). The delicate detail allows the focus to be on the lettering and content, without stealing the show.
Old fashioned prints
Vintage is always a classic way to rock an invitation suite.
A cool 2019 trend is minimalist and unique. The key is thin lines and cohesive colors.
Don't forget that designing these elements should be fun. If it's not, ask a friend or hire someone to do it for you!