Weddings.  Is there anything more fun, more exciting, more intimidating, more nauseating, more awe-inspiring, more nerve-wracking, more awkward, or more  beautiful than a wedding?  I could stop writing right now (at least one audience member: “Oh please God let him”) and you could spend the next couple of minutes developing the nascent mental images begot by the above descriptors.  My guess is you’d have a mix of fond and not-so-fond memories, some comical ideas and probably at least one cheesy movie plot.  But today I want to talk a bit about what I consider to be one of the most casual – yet simultaneously most important – aspects of a wedding: the Save The Dates.

Now that many of my friends are beginning to pair off like those “twitterpated” animals in Bambi, I am receiving each year at least a few “Save the Date!” cards, whose purpose of course is to get you to commit to somebody else’s wedding before they even commit to inviting you.  I have a few of these cards stuck to my bulletin board and fridge right now, and all examples have essentially the same format.  Warm rosy colors, classy font, can’t-miss-unless-you’re-not-looking date, and a photo of the betrothed.  These photos contain pictures of the couple looking at each other, looking at the camera, cuddling, kissing, etc.  The images portray a couple deeply in love, and beckon you, too, to come and be deeply lovely with them.

Really? Guys, this is the best you can do?  “We’re so in love!  We’re getting married!”  EVERYONE KNOWS THAT! I think we can safely assume that if you weren’t in love you wouldn’t be getting married.  Don’t waste any more paper to tell me in photographs what I already know.  What I want to know is: is your wedding going to be awesome? I want to see explosions on your Save the Date, or a pop-up that plays music.  It’s no small feat to attend a wedding, especially if you’re not having it within walking distance of where I live.  The least you can do is try to woo me into coming with a sweet action pose on your announcement.  Here are some examples of the kind of thing that could be adapted into good wedding announcements and the kind that will be thrown away nigh-instantaneously (edit: I guess not everyone realized that the “YES”s and “NO”s are links, but you can click them):

YES. This is exactly the sort of thing that’s going to convince people to come to your wedding.  Holy party pants, Batman!  How will we spot the Penguin amidst all the tuxedos?

YES. This is so awesome.  “Til Death Do Us Part”? Everyone deserves a giant snake at their wedding.  This is one Date that quite literally needs to be Saved, and the question is: ARE YOU UP TO THE TASK?

YES. Even something as simple as this little poster could work (change “were” to “will be” and away you go) to grab people’s attention and force it to look at your wedding.  “Save the Date OR ELSE”

NO. I misplaced these buttons the day I got this thing and “E&B” makes me think of how all throughout high school my dad tried to get me to become an accountant.  I can’t get over my aversion to lack of capitalization enough to commit to attending your wedding.

NO. I know you’re getting married because you already told me the day after you asked her to marry you and you’ve constantly referred to her as your fiancée for the past three months.  I don’t need to know again!  And why not just send the invite AS the Save the Date and save paper?  Weddings already cost way too much.

This tirade probably means I’m never getting married, but if I ever do, boy oh boy will my Save the Date be clutch.  I’m thinking about something like “POP QUIZ HOT SHOT: WHERE YOU GONNA BE AUGUST 23RD?” and then some sort of confetti cannon thing, maybe with a little sound bite.  Who knows, I’m still working on it.  My point is that anyone can put on a tuxedo and a white dress and smile and be in love.  When you get married, don’t just be anyone, be that couple. The ones whose wedding announcement is STILL on my fridge ten years later because it is just too cool.  The ones who commanded me to give my presence at their wedding by the sheer magnitude of their Save The Date.

I mean, it’s that or an open bar, either one will work.