Southern Weddings {Save the Dates}

I thought about whipping up a whole post discussing the do's and don'ts of Save the Dates, but then I figured I should leave it to Charleston wedding stationer-extraordinaire, Scotti Cline Designs!  Located in Charleston, Scotti assists Lowcountry brides in creating all of their swoon-worthy wedding paper needs and, lucky for us, she's sharing a few must-read pointers on creating personal and informative Save the Dates!

"It's hard for me to write about why I think save the dates are important because my OWN MOTHER thinks they're silly. She's a little old fashioned about these sort of things but having been in the wedding industry for going on 5 years now, I think they have earned their place and aren't going anywhere. In a time when there is rarely a "hometown" wedding and destination weddings have become more popular and accessible, it's important to make traveling fun and as easy as possible for your guests. A save the date informs guests of all the pertinent information and hopefully you can convey some excitement about the wedding and their destination with the design of the save the date. That's where I come in..."
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"I usually recommend brides include accommodation information and their expiration dates for room blocks in addition to their wedding website. Particularly for Charleston weddings, hotels book quickly and many guests don't understand that the room blocks do not guarantee they can book a room the week before the wedding. Guests may not even visit your website until after the room blocks have expired."
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"For send out, I highly recommend sending out in the 6-8 month window. Yes, even for destination brides. Unless you have a large number of guests traveling internationally, none of your guests will be making travel plans any earlier than that. I understand brides are excited to share a first glimpse of their wedding with family and friends but sending out a year in advance is overkill. It will also make you want to send your invitations out unnecessarily earlier which will really diminish your RSVP return."
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" Also, a word to the wise for European save the date recipients, always include the wording "formal invitation to follow". Save the dates are understood in the United States without that wording but if you don't include it for Europeans, you will be receiving some very strange phone calls about how to RSVP to the "invitation". Not kidding."

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"For save the date design, there are so many wildly different options out there I would never go as far as suggesting what someone "should" do. I only suggest you should make yourself happy. Save the dates have a little more room to be fun because they are not as traditional as the invitation. I have some brides who come up with some really interesting ideas (I'll begrudgingly admit it's always the brides who have the best ideas, not me). Incorporating your destination, as many of my Charleston brides do, is a great way to get people excited about traveling there. I've done a ton of oak tree and iron gates for Charleston because it is such an iconic look for the city and very Southern."
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 "I'm personally not a huge fan of photo save the dates strictly because I don't want to put the picture of you almost making out my fridge to see every morning before coffee and I kinda doubt people who know you do either. I've received and done some photo save the dates that are awesome though. I had a bride this year who included a photo booth strip tied to her save the date which incorporated an oak tree and a pattern that we will carry into the invitation. This way, the picture didn't dominate the save the date and we had plenty of room for design and information (and who doesn't love a good photo booth strip?). I recently received a photo save the date of my friends holding up signs (with their wedding date) like they were taking mug shots (he's a detective) and I laugh every time I look at it, it's great. I think that's the perfect save the date, make it about you and make your guests smile."