Should We Send A Save The Date Survey?

...And get people's opinions about our wedding?

Q: What are your thoughts on save the date surveys? I would like to have one to get a good idea of costs (we are paying for the whole thing ourselves) and also to reduce waste. For example, a lot of my family doesn’t drink or even eat cake. Would that be rude to ask those questions in a survey? This would inform the size of cake we have and our bar expectations. We also want to gauge interest in getting a hotel block or if people even want a paper invitation. As a guest, if I could opt out of receiving paper invitations and avoid the guilt of throwing out beautiful and expensive paper, I would be so happy.

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I’ve only seen one post about save the date surveys, and the author seemed to be insulted by it. I just want to communicate with my loved ones and make this an event with things people want. I also don’t want to end the day with half a huge wedding cake (which has happened at a few family weddings).

Is a save the date survey a good idea or bad idea? Are there some questions that should not be asked?

—Anonymous

A:  Dear anonymous,

Don’t ask any questions.

Not because it’s rude, but because you really, really don’t want that many opinions. That clamor won’t provide any clarity. Instead, it’ll make each decision even harder. And once you’ve given people the idea that they get to weigh in, the opinions will not stop. “I said I didn’t drink. Why is there booze?” “I know you didn’t ask this, but I really think you should serve steak.” Opinions from the peanut gallery are one of the worst parts of planning any wedding. To start your planning by encouraging them? That’s going to bring on tears and frustration, not easier decision-making.

You’re bound to make choices that some folks won’t be happy about; that’s just the nature of throwing an event for a crowd. Try not to get hung up on it.

I know it sounds tough, but just buckle in and try to make choices that reflect your ideals while remaining conscious of what your guests might like, just like every couple has before you. If the wasted card stock will keep you up at night, skip the paper invitations (just make sure someone informs Grandpa in case he doesn’t check email). Reserve the hotel block; it doesn’t cost you anything.  I promise you are qualified to make these decisions without any input (which you’ll still receive unsolicited, anyway).

And get ready to bring home some leftover cake.

—Liz Moorhead

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