By Elizabeth Keys
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Save the date Saturday to chat face to face with local vendors who can meet your expectations of a dream wedding — and you may be a lucky bride winning fabulous door prizes.
The Stillwater NewsPress Bridal Showcase at Oklahoma State University’s Wes Watkins Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. features approximately 40 vendors, so you can virtually plan an entire wedding in one day, said Jill Hunt, bridal showcase co-coordinator. Tickets are $3 in advance and are available at the NewsPress, 211 W. 9th Ave.; Colonial Florist, 401 S. Washington; or Consumers IGA, 6th Avenue and Washington Street. Tickets are $5 at the door. A style show at 2 p.m. will feature Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority modeling fashions designed for your big day. Guests can browse the booths, checking for ideas on the latest trends.
One trend more brides are embracing is utilizing save-the-date cards to give guests adequate notice that there is a party on the horizon. Save-the-date cards do more than let guests know when you’re getting married. The cards are a preliminary way to keep guests informed and let them know they are, in fact, on the guest list. These cards haven’t always been popular, but have risen in popularity due to longer engagement periods and a growing number of destination weddings.
“Brides getting married in a different state need to let guests know in advance so people have time to make travel plans,” said Jonna West of Dearinger Printing and Trophy. “Considering people often plan business trips, vacations and other excursions several months in advance, save-the-date cards help secure a greater number of attendees at your wedding.”
Save-the-date announcements can vary in many ways. They may be postcards or magnets that can be attached to a refrigerator door. If you desire a cohesive theme to your wedding stationery, select the save-the-date cards at the same time you choose your wedding invitations, West said. This way you can ensure that either the patterns, fonts, colors or style of the cards will match. It will also help convey the tone of the wedding. Guests often take their cues regarding the level of formality of the wedding from the type of stationery couples choose. She said she has seen many Oklahoma State University students choose a western font to represent their Cowboy traditions.
Bride-to-be Molly Vich designed her own save-the-date postcard with Dearinger’s working with her on printing her own creation. She and her groom-to-be, Ryan Johnson, have also ordered notepads and commemorative pens to leave at the tables for guests.
“We are encouraging everyone to write us a note during the wedding reception and place their message in a bottle — a mason jar,” Vich said.
She and Johnson plan to read the words of wisdom on the way to their honeymoon. Wedding guests will keep the pens as a memento from the couple. Vich said she’ll save the notes in a scrapbook — a project which may have to wait until after she and Johnson graduate in May with degrees in biosystems and agricultural engineering.
West said she can help a bride make their save-the-date stationery coordinate with any theme. They have printed maps, RSVP cards — “anything and everything you can imagine,” said Tom Dearinger whose company has been a fixture in Stillwater for more than 53 years. Since they print many items in-house, they have more control over the final product.
“It’s great to get ideas off the Internet but I like to talk to someone face to face,” Vich said. “The personal help at Dearinger’s and to see what you’re working with has been important to me.”
Another local stationery company, “I DO,” can also create custom orders, said owner Sarah Little. She said it’s easy to get wrapped up in having an extravagant wedding so she encourages brides to know their budget and stick to it. With any vendor, brides should ask for references so they won’t be shutting down over night and ruining the best-laid plans. Little’s family has been in the area since the turn-of-the-century. As a graphic artist, Little can help brides customize their wedding stationery to the couple’s personalities. Two hang-gliding instructors wanted to incorporate their vocation with the colors orange, pink and green so “you couldn’t find anything like that out of a book,” Little said. Little can coordinate everything as much as the couple desires.
She recommends brides mail out save-the-date announcements six months in advance for a standard wedding. If the wedding requires travel or extended overnight accommodations, you may want to mail them out eight months to a year in advance to give guests the time to investigate flight costs and hotel arrangements, she said. A wedding also may necessitate planning a vacation or personal time off from work, so ample advanced notice is advisable.
Save-the-date cards are a relative newcomer to the industry of wedding invitations, so etiquette rules are much more relaxed for these announcements than they are for the formal invitations. Although save-the-date cards are not a necessity, they help guests plan time off for a wedding – and allow the couple to set the tone for their special day with the first public expression of the romance.