Post # 1
I am seriously considering eliminating some of this mail from my wedding. I don’t think it is necessary to send an engagement announcement and a save the date. I probably won’t be sending an engagement announcement at all (just engaged) and we are planning for a 2014 wedding. What is the etiquette on this? Also we considered sending out a photo thank you (taken on our wedding day). Is a general thank you message printed on it ok or should they be written out?
Post # 3
@sabirch: I think nixing your Save-The-Date Cards and anouncements is totally ok. However, I think you should add a little personalized note to your thank you notes because-In my opinion- its just a sweet gesture. I decided not to do Save the Dates and announcements as well, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do a general thank you card. We went to vistaprint while they had one of their “free” sales and bought cute cards we could write inside of. We only ended up paying shipping for them.
Post # 4
Save-the-date cards are a new invention of the last few years, and are not considered proper by traditional etiquette. Furthermore, if I had a penny for every bride who sent out Save-the-date cards and then regretted it when the realities of budget and venue began to shape her actual guest list, I could use them to by even the most expensive beverage Starbucks has to offer! By all means, omit them from your plans! For the few people whose presence is truly essential to your happiness on your wedding-day, proper form is to hand-write a polite informal note letting them know of your planned wedding date and your hope that they will be able to accept the invitation you will be sending.
Engagement announcements are optional. Their practical purpose is to ensure that all the other hostesses in your social circle know you are engaged so that they do not commit the solecism of inviting you or your fiance to social events as “singles”. Traditionally engagement announcements are not mailed out individually, but only published in the social pages of the newspaper. The modern equivalent of the newspaper social pages seems to be Facebook, and it is only polite to update your Facebook status so that other hostesses are not kept guessing. By traditional proper etiquette, if you feel that some individual “engagement announcements” need to be sent, you would write the same kind of hand-written informal note mentioned above, and the modern equivalent to that seems to be a personal email or Facebook personal message.
Thank-you notes for any gifts that you receive should be sent immediately: preferably before you go to bed on the day that the gift arrived. The most proper notes are written on your personalized plain stationery, not on a card with the word “Thank-you” stamped on it. But most modern guests appreciate photo-cards, as long as they have a hand-written note and do not cause a delay in sending out the notes. So if you want to use the photo-cards for gift thank-you notes, you will need to have an alternate plan for gifts received before the wedding, and an assurance from your photographer that your photocards will be ready and waiting for you when you return from your honeymoon.
Thank-you notes for just attending the wedding are properly sent from the guest to the hostess of the reception! — not the other way around! But etiquette has no edict against sending thoughtful notes whenever you want. So if you just want to send out a photocard in addition to the hand-written notes you will write to people who gave gifts, you may certainly do so, and although it is a little impersonal, a pre-printed note on those cards would be inoffensive.