Laura Leigh of Alpine Creative Group

laura_leigh_savethedate.jpg

Courtesy of Alpine Creative Group

A save-the-date card is the first glimpse of your wedding that your guests will see. It will let them know where and when the wedding will be and can also inform them of travel and hotel accommodations you have arranged for them. Your save-the-date card, just like your wedding invitation, can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be. We asked Laura Leigh, co-owner of Alpine Creative Group for her advice on selecting and sending a save-the-date card. Here's what she had to say: —Anne Chertoff

How soon after you announce your engagement should you send a save-the-date card?

Out of courtesy to your guests six to eight months prior is a good time to send out save-the-date cards. It allows guests to take into consideration the wedding date while making their vacation/travel plans as well as what kind of wedding it will be; destination, weekend extravaganza or simply themed. The save-the-date card reflects the kind of wedding it is going to be.

Who should receive a save-the-date card if you're having a destination wedding or if you're getting married in your hometown?

Irrespective of the location or type of wedding all guests should receive a save-the-date card. It is common courtesy...

There's more!

and the best away to avoid confusion and having guests feel like they are left out or uninvited.

What information must be included in a save-the-date card? Should you let guests know that an invitation will follow or is that understood?

For a destination wedding the save-the-date card includes information on the location, hotel, travel arrangements, etc. A weekend wedding save-the-date may include the itinerary for the weekend. For example: cocktails on Friday night, wedding on Saturday and Sunday morning brunch. The save-the-date will give the time and location for each of these events and sometimes even includes the dress code giving guests an opportunity to plan activities and their wardrobe.

The recent trend of creating a wedding Web site has lead to couples including the Web site information on the save-the-date card, giving guests easy access to information about the couple and the wedding. The amount of information you want to include will dictate the type of save-the-date card you order: It may be a simple card, a tri-fold, a pocket with stepped inserts or even a full presentation sized folder.

And always let guests know that an invitation will follow.

Does your save-the-date card have to match the rest of your wedding stationery? If they don't match exactly how can you have your save-the-date card, invitation and other stationery elements complement each other?

First and foremost a save-the-date card is meant to get family and friends excited about the upcoming wedding, so it does not have to match the rest of the wedding stationery. The easiest way to have all the elements of the wedding stationery match is to repeat and carry through a certain motif, color or design in the entire invitation ensemble.

What are some new trends in save-the-date cards?

Some save-the-date-card trends for 2009 include:

  • Some of the more interesting save-the-date cards are postcards setup as a calendar with the date circled and a magnet attached so that it can be placed on a fridge or board as an easy reminder.
  • Incorporating photographs makes your save-the-date a wonderful keepsake. The bride and groom can follow up with a wedding day photo thank you note completing the circle. This gives the guests a before and after making the whole affair very personal.
  • Venue-themed illustrations. Unlike traditional save-the-dates there is an increased attention to detail with venue-inspired illustrations rather than a smaller icon of the theme. The illustrations and colors are carried through the entire ensemble including the envelopes whether it is a California surf theme or a legendary New York venue.
  • Unusual text layout and scripts which compliment the overall design of ensemble.

For more save-the-date inspiration visit the company's Web site, AlpineCreativeGroup.com.

And check out the Brides.com Save-the-Date Card Gallery for more ideas!

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