Do We Really Need Those?

Like a dutiful bride-to-be, after getting engaged, I immediately began researching what I needed to do and by when. I looked at a whole bunch of checklists and timelines from a couple different sources, eager to make sure that I wasn’t falling behind in the wedding-planning mayhem. Most of the items were straightforward, and I had no problem tackling them right away. Get a church? Sure. Book a reception spot? No problem. Pick your bridal party? Got it. However, one item kind of gave me pause, since I’m not fully convinced it’s a necessary step in wedding planning.

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Image via Wedding Planning Checklist

That item? Save the dates. For those of you who don’t scour wedding blogs like it’s your friggin’ job, save the dates are little cards sent out approximately six months before your wedding date. You send these cards to anyone who is invited to the wedding, giving guests a heads-up of exactly which date they should keep free on their calendars (in case you couldn’t figure THAT one out) and helping out-of-town guests get a head start on booking any travel or lodging accommodations they may need for the wedding.

Sure, sure, they sound practical and nice and all that jazz. However, here’s my dilemma. Pretty much all of our out-of-town guests (now called OOTers) know we’re getting married and where and when it’s happening. Most OOTers are college friends or relatives who are pretty in-the-loop with wedding stuff. Do I really need to shell out the time, money, and energy to create these cards so people can see information on a piece of paper that they already have in their brains? And if they are a bit hazy on the details, is it fair game to just email them and sort it out on a case-by-case basis? Maybe I’m a stick in the mud, or maybe I’m lazy, but a decent-sized part of me sees STDs (hee hee, I have the maturity of a five-year-old) as unnecessary time-suckers and money-wasters.

Buuuuuut on the other hand, I’ve recently discovered that STDs can be really cute and surprisingly not that expensive. If you go with a popular printing site such as Snapfish or VistaPrint, they are quick to make, too, since you pretty much pick a format, fill in the blanks, and *BOOM*—STDs!

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Image via Wedding Paper Divas / Photo by Photorange Photography

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Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Kristin Vining

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Image via Brooklyn Bride / Photo by Bright Fizz Photo

Maybe I’m getting sucked in by the wedding industry; while I still don’t think STDs are necessary in our case, I think they could be super fun and a cute little wedding project for me. What do you think? Should I let my clearer head prevail and scrap the whole STD phenomenon, or should I join the masses of other brides who fall victim to the excitement of kicking off wedding festivities many, many months in advance?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Snow Cone

Location:
Pittsburgh/Johnstown, PA
Wedding Date:
August 2011

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    olivemylove, Guest @ 5:51 pm

    I designed mine on VistaPrint. I spent $24 for 250 (although I did not need that many.) And it was kind of fun to send an engagement picture of us out!

  2. Member
    NauticalBride2011 878 posts, Busy bee @ 5:52 pm

    You know why I liked having save the dates? So people who are invited didn’t ask me over and over again when the date is hah. They have a handy dandy little magnet that I made through vistaprint. It was surprisingly cheap, and we sent it out about 10 months before the wedding. Also, it helped us to figure out our exact guest list far in advance which made it easier to plan everything else.

  3. Member
    Misslizzy 282 posts, Helper bee @ 5:52 pm

    I chose to do STDs because of my very popular wedding date 9/10/11. However, if all of your guest know when/where the wedding will be already… it might be something you can forgo… maybe spend some extra on a candy buffet or statement necklace :)

  4. Member
    crayfish 10384 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 5:52 pm

    You could always do a fun digital one that would be free!

  5. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:53 pm

    I did them, quite begrudgingly, only because some of Mr. H’s family members were trying to plan their vacations at the same time as the wedding. We weren’t quite as good as you at getting the word out!

  6. Member
    xtatic1 783 posts, Busy bee @ 5:55 pm

    I wasn’t sure about them either but after I saw our cute e-pics I knew I had to put them to use and made some easy STDs and printed through PS Print.

  7. Member
    knitting 1072 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:55 pm

    I didn’t do that and I’m really happy with that decision. However, if you think you’ll have fun with them, do them!

  8. Member
    angeebride 370 posts, Helper bee @ 5:58 pm

    I was against the STDs, and my reason was really awful, but I have A LOT of family that see our wedding as their personal family reunion, and I didn’t want to give them time to plan too far in advance. I know, I’m awful. My groom has a lot of OOT friends and we wanted to give them the courtesy of planning so I made a cute card and sent it to a few people on the guest list as a heads up. Long story short, people didn’t really pay attention to the email. They’ve lost it and are calling us to find out what the website is and when the date is again. So in retrospect, I do see some value in the physical card because people tend to stick it on the fridge until the date. For added pressure, it does seem to be part of your responsibilities as a “bee” to do an STD. :-)

  9. Member
    Melini 1078 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:58 pm

    STDs are the only thing we probably skipped (well, besides rings) in the end, but I bet if they came up later in the process after I’d lost my mind, we’d have had them too.

  10. Member
    Charcole2011 303 posts, Helper bee @ 5:59 pm

    I have to say, even friends we see on a regular basis (i.e. at least once a week) were asking about hotel, flight info, reminders of the date, etc. before we even sent our STDs (giggle) – and we mailed ours 9 months in advance because its a semi-destination wedding! I think the most helpful part was putting our website on them, so people have one resource to go to rather than constantly checking with us. It may not be NECESSARY, but I think it helps – it also probably depends on how large your wedding is. With the size of our guest list, I did NOT want every person emailing me two or three times for a “reminder” of the date, or a question on which hotel to book!

  11. Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:01 pm

    We did, mainly because a large amount of our invitees are OOTers.
    Then again, the less STDs floating around out there, the better. BWAHAHA I couldn’t resist

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    ashleyryan, Guest @ 6:02 pm

    I made a digital STD that I embedded into a mass email, cost = $0! And I still got to experience the awesomeness of designing it for a few weeks. Our guests loved it!

  13. Member
    Jenniphyr 3426 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:03 pm

    We’re doing them because 90% of our guests are out of town, and most of them aren’t really “in the loop” as far as wedding planning goes. Heck, even my immediate family (who I still live with) aren’t 100% in the loop — this I view as their own doing, though; when I got engaged (and right beforehand), my mom couldn’t have cared less about my wedding plans, and was always telling me to slow down, and I’d change my mind anyways, etc. etc., so I stopped updating them. Now she wants to go dress shopping! WTF!

    Anyways. Ahem. STDs. : D I really like them, because I’m in love with paper products. But when we were initially budgeting our wedding, we left them out because they really are extraneous, especially if your guests are in the loop.

  14. Member
    cinnamonbun 1116 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:15 pm

    I don’t think we NEED needed them, but we did them anyway because I thought it would be fun. It was how some of our far-flung friends found out the date of the wedding. If we hadn’t done STDs, we would have called or emailed. I just like sending mail!

  15. Member
    mzlouis2b 1106 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:17 pm

    Even though i did like the vistaprint STD’s, we decided it was not worth spending money on and digital was the way to go.

  16. Member
    Queen2bee 159 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:37 pm

    I’m doing them in lieu of an engagement announcement. However, no one in my family has ever seen a STD and they probably won’t care, but will appreciate the picture, I think.

  17. Member
    misssparkler 488 posts, Helper bee @ 7:18 pm

    I went back and forth on this too… but I think people get so excited about the wedding, and they really love seeing stuff like this in the mail :) That cookie STD is too cute!

  18. Member
    bacon 695 posts, Busy bee @ 7:24 pm

    We ended up doing them for 3 reasons: Lots of Out of Towners, an uber popular wedding date and I needed an excuse to send people our e-pics! They totally aren’t necessary though, so do what you feel is right for you and your guests!

  19. Member
    dreamocracy 1570 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:26 pm

    I didn’t do them, mostly because we can’t justify sending those out and then our invites, when we are getting married only 7 months after we got engaged. :P

  20. Member
    ajayler86 28 posts, Newbee @ 7:29 pm

    Save the dates are one of those things that I put on my checklist…maybe to do later. But yeah, we are at the 6 month point and we have no STD’s (haha).

    But, most of our family is local and the important ones know what day the wedding is. I’m planning on sending out a link to our website via email so the few oot-ers can start the travel plans :)

  21. Member
    mightywombat 5297 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:48 pm

    They’re totally unnecessary.
    But I did them anyway, because A) it was cheap; cost me less than $50 for the postcards and stamps, and B) it was really fun to design my own card. And it was really satisfying to get so many emails back telling me how great the design and picture were!

  22. Member
    irishrosie 9 posts, Newbee @ 7:55 pm

    I think they are somewhat necessary, because they are so common nowadays… it saves out of town people having to awkwardly ask if they are invited, or assuming that they are not invited and having to scramble for travel plans at the two month mark.

    Also, many people send save the dates to people on the “A” list but not the “B” list, and I wouldn’t want any of my friends and family what are invited to think they are on a B list! Now if everyone has been personally communicated to that they are invited, that’s another story entirely. :)

  23. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:03 pm

    We needed STDs because all of Mr. Pony’s family lives far away. And I ended up loving them, so it was money well spent.

  24. Member
    Sunlavender 567 posts, Busy bee @ 8:28 pm

    We didn’t do save the dates. I figured all the imporant people knew and we spread the word to friends and co-workers. Although they can be pretty adorable, I just couldn’t justify spending the extra time/money (not to mention finalizing the guest list six months in advance!!).

  25. Member
    futuremrshc 1063 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:35 pm

    I really don’t see a reason for them. Seems like just another thing the wedding industry makes Brides think is necessary.

  26. Member
    MissCasey 223 posts, Helper bee @ 8:44 pm

    Our wedding is planned for Memorial Day weekend… and we feel if we don’t send out STD’s, people will already have plans.

    I think we are going to send ours out with our Christmas cards to save postage!

  27. Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:48 pm

    We mailed Save-the-Dates mostly because we were excited to make them. ;) Even though we had a high % of OOT guests, we’re having a small enough wedding that we could have kept people in the loop via word-of-mouth (or a super cute e-STD like PaC sent!).

  28. Member
    labrat 468 posts, Helper bee @ 9:47 pm

    We totally failed at doing them… The 6-9 month time point came/went as I spent more time on the invites and trying to get those designed/made/out on time. As for us, all of our out of town guests that we really wanted at the wedding knew when it was & most showed with the exception of a few. While nice and cute, if you’ve already told your guests the date (in emails, phone calls, random chats) then STDs are just another project to get caught in keeping you from the big ones (booking vendors, making programs, making invites, planning favors, etc).

  29. Member
    LinzyJo 138 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:05 pm

    I am not using STDs and ALL of FI’s family is from out of town. I did to an online STD from The Knot that I sent via email. It worked out great! It got all the info out without costing me anything!

    Not only is there the cost of the save the date cards but the postage as well. Since we are inviting over 300 people, I decided we could skip this cost. : )

  30. Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:06 pm

    Best of both worlds: email them!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    lady brett, Guest @ 10:12 pm

    so, i’m not going to dog save the date cards because i am an avid fan of both anything in print on paper and of mail. they fit that bill, so i can see the draw.

    that said, another point against is that i have often heard from folks of an older generation (my mother, among others) that they seem presumptuous.

    we didn’t do them because, um, they were one more thing to do that didn’t get done and i wasn’t clear if we wanted. but i did contact some out-of-town friends and family otherwise to note the date in advance.

  32. Member
    Ms. Anemone 624 posts, Busy bee @ 12:56 am

    We are for-sure doing them – I just love the whole idea.

  33. Member
    yume1013 37 posts, Newbee @ 2:08 pm

    You can always create one and then send it as an email attachment :) We created one since our wedding date is in the summer and on a Friday. We wanted to make sure that people would actually make it :)

  34. Member
    gazelle 1019 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:56 pm

    Since so many of our guests have to travel to our wedding I did send save the dates out. It was also a great way to get the word out about our wedding website (i.e. where to stay, where we are registered at, things to do, fun pictures). It was also a great way to use engagement photos! We didn’t spend a ton of money on ours. Less than $40 including postage thanks to an awesome deal through Vistaprint.

  35. Member
    snowcone 1141 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:27 pm

    @angeebride: I’d be lying if I said my thought process on STDs in general wasn’t swayed by the bees :)

  36. Member
    droidlizzie 60 posts, Worker bee @ 11:43 pm

    I did them and people thought it was the invite >.<’

  37. Member
    MegHow 22 posts, Newbee @ 4:53 pm

    I didn’t do them mainly b/c I think they would have been a waste of money in our case. (But I think they can be so stinkin’ cute!) Everyone, for the most part, that will be invited to our wedding knew when it was right when we set the date….so why spend extra money on the STD’s and postage????

  38. Member
    anna4041 98 posts, Worker bee @ 3:56 pm

    I can’t justify these either. Only if it is friends parents who have to book places to stay. But I do love the idea of using our engagement pics…I just had a great idea of sending them out as our Christmas cards, even if it is 9 months before the wedding.

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    RedSergeSpouse, Guest @ 8:32 pm

    Nope! We’re STD free!! ….AND no save the dates either. XD

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