Eight months before their Sept. 29, 2013 wedding at the National Museum of American Jewish History, Laura Frank and David November snail-mailed everyone on their 210-person guest list a Save the Date magnet.
Some of the 26-year-olds’ wedding invitees were impressed that the couple went to the time and expense of mailing magnets to everyone. Others got a kick out of placing the magnet on their refrigerators where they could see the couple’s faces every time they went to open the fridge. Frank says it was fun to hear people say that the Save the Dates had become part of their guests’ homes.
Frank and November were able to affordably design their Save the Dates by using the website, Wedding Paper Divas (www.weddingpaperdivas.com ), just as some of their friends had done. They also used the magnet to pay homage to their hometowns: November is from Bucks County and Frank grew up in Seattle, Wash. Aware that some of her family members had wanted the wedding to be held in Seattle, Frank and her fiancé placed an image of the Space Needle on the magnet adjacent to one of the Rocky statue and one of the smiling couple. Happily, about 175 of their invitees responded that they would attend the nuptials in Philadelphia.
Once only done for destination weddings, Save the Dates like the ones Frank and November sent out have become common for weddings and B’nai Mitzvahs. After all, no one wants to find out that some of their most important guests won’t be able to attend because they had prior commitments.
Of course, no one is obligated to send Save the Dates. However, those who do so should cover the basics: what the occasion is, who is being fêted, the date, the website to go to for more information and the promise that a full invitation will be forthcoming.
Once the basics are met, Save the Dates can be as simple or creative as the people who send them. And that’s where the fun can begin. Did you know that Save the Dates can be paperless and emailed, turned into a short movie available online or on DVD, made of metal and hand-delivered or even printed on an object such as a wine cork or flip-flops?
Sarah Sheffer, owner and designer of Sarah Schwartz Mitzvah Paper Co. in Malvern (sarahschwartz.com ), estimates that about 75 percent of the B’nai Mitzvah families she works with provide their guests with advance notice of their celebrations. This month, her company began offering an interactive option to their Save the Dates — a move prompted by teens’ love of connecting with each other through smartphones, tablets and social media. Families who select the option can make short iPhone videos that their guests can access from a website or by holding their own smartphones over a QR code incorporated into the Save the Date. Sheffer imagines children shooting funny or serious videos, perhaps talking about their mitzvah projects, which could then be accessed by their friends on the school bus, at school or on the go. Sheffer will also offer B’nai Mitzvah families the option of sending her a story about their children’s mitzvah project and some photographs which she will upload to a website. Stickers promoting the interactive features will help draw the recipients’ attention to them.
Meanwhile, adults planning weddings are also ramping up their innovation game and sharing their ideas on Pinterest, Instagram and other sites where they will theoretically live forever. In addition, some Save the Dates are being created with the idea that they will have lasting value long after the event they announce is over, notes Phyllis Jablonowski, owner of Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants. She says, “Many hint at something special for the couple, such as wine carriers or corkscrews for the wine enthusiast couple or the couple marrying at a vineyard, private label oils for the foodie couple, photo frames with the Save the Date or a fun bag of favorite candies announcing the sweethearts’ plans.”
How about a Save the Date that you can’t bend, twist or break? About a year ago, My Metal Business Card in Fullerton, Calif., began offering Save the Dates and invitations in addition to its traditional line of metal business cards. CEO Craig Martyn says his company (www.mymetalbusinesscard.com ) has sold thousands of the stainless steel Save the Dates and invitations, which can also be made into magnets. Martyn says demand has been driven by people’s desire to send something different “that will make people say ‘wow’ when they get it.” Costing more than $4 apiece and sometimes delivered by hand for a grand flourish, metal Save the Dates give off an undeniably
“wow” vibe. One recipient was so impressed that she put the metal invitation in her china cabinet with her other prized possessions.
Now that’s a keeper.
Gail Snyder is a freelance writer who lives in Chalfont. Her nephew’s Save the Date for his April wedding was printed on an envelope containing “kiss and tell” seeds that should yield beautiful flowers next summer. This article originally appeared in Simchas, a Jewish Exponent supplement.