January 08, 2011

Save the Date!

I have never seen a save-the-date.  I had never even HEARD of save-the-dates until I watched "Bride Wars" with my maid of honour a year or so ago and googled them.  They're little cards that have a photo or something, and the date of your wedding.  That's it.  Just the date.  No time or place or other important information, just the date.  Nobody I know has ever used them, I have never received one, and unless you're planning a destination wedding that your guests will have to save up for, I can't imagine why anyone would need them.

Originally, though, once I got over my "wtf" shock (which happens far too often), I thought they were kind of cute.  I considered having our engagement photos put on postcards, at least to send to our many out-of-town guests.  Slowly, as I begin considering costs and necessities and priorities, I came around to the other side.

I hate save-the-dates.  I really do.  I think they're stupid, wasteful, and nothing irks me more than people spending money on "traditions" that they "need" to avoid the complete and total "ruination" of their wedding experience.  Some of the reasons I hate save-the-dates are:

- They're unnecessary.  I find it more than a little obscene that this kind of trend rose to "traditional" status so recently.  Really.  It boggles the mind that in the great internet age, where everyone and their grandmother's grandmother has a facebook and a personal mobile phone, additional stationery somehow became "necessary" wedding paraphernalia.  Everybody knows your wedding date.  It's on your facebook, you have a wedding website, an announcement in the paper, an engagement party, people are asking you, other people are talking to each other about it, your invitations will go out more than two months in advance of the wedding, and anyone who needs more notice has a phone, an email address, and access to all of the online resources where you've posted the information.  How many avenues of notification is that?  I've lost count.  Don't tell me that it's realistic that anyone actually needs yet MORE notice and MORE paper to be sure that they'll put red pen to calendar.  It's not.

- They're expensive.  Stationery is not cheap.  Wedding stationery is even less so.  And there's so frigging much of it!  The invitations alone have an outer envelope, inner envelope, directions insert, RSVP card insert, RSVP envelope and who knows what else on top of the invitation itself, and then postage for the outer and RSVP envelopes.  Multiply by the average wedding's 120 guests and you're going to owe your stationer your firstborn child.  Then, on top of that, you want to send each of these people MORE paper?  More envelopes, more postage?  It's ludicrous.  Anyone who needs a save-the-date would be better off doing it online or a one-page mailout, because fortunately for them, save-the-dates can be as quirky and informal as you want them to be without offending the dreaded "wedding etiquette" police.

- They're tricky.  I have heard horror story after horror story about brides having one reason or another to cancel their weddings or simply change their date, who have found themselves faced with the Great Wall of Already-Sent-My-Save-The-Dates.  It's hard not to laugh at these poor women.  You know they're freaking out (because even the smallest glitch in a wedding is the end of the effing world) and you feel bad, but you just can't help but grin behind your hand.  It's hilarious.  Because they spent all that money sending redundant notice to everyone they know, and now not only has that money been double-wasted, but more needs to be spent to correct the error.  All issues that would never have existed if they had been satisfied with the two thousand other free methods they had of advising their guests about the date.

- They're binding.  "Wedding etiquette" requires that anyone who is sent a save-the-date must also be sent an invitation.  It's incredibly rude to send someone a card advertising the date of your wedding and then not asking them to actually be there.  "Here's the date of my wedding, be sure to write it down on your calendar - because then you'll be sure of which day you won't be coming".  Which I totally understand.  Except that in their wedding-planning zeal, many brides send these things to everyone they know, coworkers, family friends, cousins eight times removed, the mailman...  Then later, when uncle Charlie leaves his wife for some dude named Steve, or you realize that you can't actually afford to seat and feed the ridiculous number of people you sent save-the-dates to, you're not permitted to cross any of those people off the list.  Which means you have to deal with the drama or monetary crisis no matter what.  Why would anyone paint themselves into a corner like that so early on?

We will not be sending save-the-dates.  We will be advising our out-of-town guests over the phone or by email, and sending their invitations with plenty of notice.  That will be more than enough.


  1. While I dont think save the dates are necessary, I think they can be useful. Case in point - my husband and I are very forgetful with dates. We are being invited to 5 weddings this year. It is helpful to have the save the dates so we make sure we dont plan anything else during those times!

  2. And that's totally fine! If you had magnets or something. I just know that when I get paper like that (even bills, whoops) it ends up in a pile somewhere to never be seen again. I have a calendar on my phone to keep dates in, and all I need is to be told the date once, tap-tap-tap, and I'm set. Sending a save-the-date to me (or anyone like me, which up until your comment I assumed was everyone - people still use paper calendars?!) would be a legitimate waste of money.

    To each their own, of course, I'm not knocking you or your methods of keeping your shit straight. Just sayin'.