Save the Dates

Memorial Day hasn’t yet arrived, but our summer calendar is filling up faster than dirty dishes find their way into my sink. Between birthdays, graduations, Father’s Day, neighborhood get-togethers, summer camp, and sundry other events and occasions, we remain busy throughout the summer months. I hesitate to complain; it all means we’re loved and have good friends, relatives and neighbors who desire our fun-loving company at their parties and shin-digs, right? I hope so!

The truth is, we’re your typical family of four with two active kids, full-time jobs, and extended families who enjoy our presence at family functions. And although I’m loath to resort to clichés, times seem to have changed since we were kids. Twenty-first century families just seem to be busier than we were when I was growing up. Maybe that’s just my perspective, but I will say I don’t remember quite so many camps, traveling summer sports teams, etc., when I was young.

Here is where I point out the importance of Save the Dates. I don’t recall these when I was young (but who knows – I was probably far more interested in my Easy Bake Oven to take much notice of impending social engagements), but I feel our family would be lost without them now. My good friend Anna’s Save the Date magnet took up residence front and center on our fridge door for a good number of months before the wedding rolled around. It was penned onto the calendar page well before we had time to commit to a T-ball tournament, assisting friends with a garage sale, or reserving the weekend to go to the cabin. In the lives of hustling and bustling families, Saturdays are high demand calendar real estate, so the sooner we can reserve the spot, the better! And who wants to miss out on a good friend or relative’s wedding because reservations are already made for the yearly summer family vacation??

Save the dates typically go out six to twelve months prior to the event and are followed by a formal invitation about eight weeks before the event. Invitees are afforded the opportunity to literally “save the date” well in advance and make any necessary plans to attend the wedding. These become invaluable to guests who must travel lengthy distances, make arrangements for small children, or who simply (like us) have a lot going on.

Save the dates started with weddings, but these little heads-up cards and magnets have found a new calling by announcing up and coming corporate events, anniversary parties, and other fanciful celebrations. Some proud parents-to-be have even employed save the dates to announce they’re expecting and share their due date with family and friends. Carlson Craft even has options to allow parents to kick-start their picture sharing of baby by including an ultrasound image!

Some might argue that save the dates can easily be replaced by an email or Facebook posting, or other such techno-savvy option. Here’s where I’m not in complete agreement. A family member of mine recently sent out text message invitations for a party. Imagine my discomfort when, in simple conversation, I asked my brother if he would be attending the following day. His furrowed brow and look of general confusion led me to believe he had no clue what I was talking about. “Didn’t you get the text message?” I asked. “I’m horrible at checking my messages,” he replied. “I check them about as often as I check my Facebook account.” Yikes. I rest my case. Emails get overlooked and text messages can be lost or deleted. But we all seem to look thoroughly through our mail, and who doesn’t love getting some happiness among the bills?

I spent a good deal of time perusing Carlson Craft’s latest selection of save the dates. They are wonderfully fun and could they be any more creative? What’s your style? Traditional and elegant? Modern with a colorful twist? Playful and picture-filled? Story-telling and info-packed? Crisp, clean and to the point? Believe me, you’ll find it. Whether brides and grooms are looking to make a statement, set the tone for their nuptials, or simply become the lovely faces adorning the front of large kitchen appliances, Carlson Craft save the dates offer such a wide variety of styles and designs, the only problem couples face will be choosing just one!

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