Post # 1
Hey I could really use some advice on this-
Do you usually send out the STD’s before an engagement party? We already know our wedding date but haven’t had an engagement party yet. I know that if we have an engagement party before sending the STD’s people will ask us the date and we will tell them- thus nullifying the STD’s. Do you think we should try to send the STD’s first? and is it okay to send like like 3 weeks before you send an invite to an engagement party? Has anyone sent a STD and engagement party invite in the same envelope? Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
This early stage in the planning process is the perfect time to take the long view! You are very wise to look for advice first, before getting caught out by making commitments that may have later repurcussions.
“Save the Date” cards are NOT REQUIRED, and are actually rather frowned upon in by formal etiquette. The reason for this is that they are a practice borrowed from convention-trade event planning, where advance advertising is important to attracting the paid attendance that makes conventions and trade shows profitable. Anything that makes a formal social event look commercialized detracts from its formality and elegance. “Save the Date” cards are also a potential pit-fall: if you haunt wedding boards for a couple of weeks you will see numerous posts from brides who sent out too many advance cards, to people that they later wish to avoid inviting. So be cautious!
The most formally correct form of “STD” is to send a hand-written note, only to the people whose absence at your wedding you simply cannot imagine, or whose presence is important and who might have to travel from a distance. Don’t send to those who are mere casual friends or distant family, even if they have to travel; or to those who can be reasonably expected ton manage to attend even if they don’t get long-advance notice. Remember, you can always send invitations to someone who did not get a “Save the date”, but you cannot neglect to send an invitation to someone whom you have asked to plan their holidays and expenses around your coming wedding (which is the effect of sending an “STD”)
As far as engagement parties go, you will need to exercise considerable tact here, too. There are different sorts of engagement parties, and they create different expectations. The traditional sort is not advertised as an “engagement” party. It is simply a “party”, hosted by you or by your family, where your engagement is announced for the first time to your social circle. You do need to make some sort of an announcement, because it becomes obligatory for all hostesses from then on to invite you and your fiance together, and how are they to fulfil that obligation if they don’t know about it. You also need to write letters to out-of-towners or post an annoucement in their local newspaper (or since this is 2011, post your status on facebook). The other traditional sort, is a family gathering to allow your immediate family to meet his immediate family; and usually is simply called “dinner” rather than a “party”. The modern invention, is a party advertised as an “engagement party” and seen as a “pre-wedding event” which creates an obligation for you to issue wedding invitations to all attendees of the engagement party, down the road when you actually start planning your guest list.
Post # 4
Wow thank you for all the info!
Most of our friends do already know we are getting married so the surprise party would be kind of ruined, haha. Our wedding will also be pretty informal and will be outside at my families ranch so it seemed like a fairly relaxed get together for all the family to meet and all the bridal party to get to know each other (guys and girls that is) would be really fun!
Good advice on the the save the date, I will be very thoughtful on who to send them to!
Post # 5
All “proper etiquette” aside- we sent out our STD cards in January for our July wedding. This seems to be the common timeline for most of the people I know who have gotten married. It’s a great way to let your guests know to “Save the Date”, but also to put information such as your wedding website (if you have one).
It seems that your wedding date is April of next year, so I would maybe send out STD cards around the beginning of November. You won’t send out your invitations until February anyway.