Time to save the date – Behind The Bride

Last week we received a Save The Date for a wedding 14 months after our own. Are we really late in getting these out? Or is my fellow bride just more excited than me? Probably. 

Every wedding magazine has a wedding timeline with everything you need to get done, you can almost hear the impatient tick-tock as you read through it. I hold my hands up and admit to being completely panicked every time I read another ‘essential to do list’. How many things can be essential? Well, turns out invites definitely are. 

We made our own Save The Date cards over 2 months ago during a puppy nap. After umming and aahing for far too long, we settled on flocked card and a date stamp – simple yet effective. 


Tall Hungry One made envelope inserts (putting his engineering skills to the test with some expertly measured paisley rectangle-cum-triangles) and I stamped and wrote names and dates on each guillotened square. The list has been edited, re-written, confirmed and adjusted; stamps have been ordered in bulk; clear address labels bought; and, addresses hunted down and added to a meticulous excel sheet. The date was saved to send the Save The Dates and I was ready to get envelope licking and sticking. 

“I’m going away the day of the wedding”


That’s a statement you don’t mind hearing from a guest who only just made the full day cut, but to hear it from the groom is far from ideal. 

And so Save The Dates were put on hold as we scrambled to work out whether we could move the wedding, would our insurance cover it, could the church change the date, or maybe he had mixed up the date and all was fine? None of the above happened. The venue could do one day but the church another, he hadn’t forgotten the date, and although the insurance would cover it I sulked as I looked at the big “10th” circled on my calendar. 

Peril number 74 in organising a military wedding: the groom might be sent away. 

When we get news about a new deployment date or perhaps an exercise is scheduled on that week we’d been saving for maybe going away, we’re allowed 24 hours to sulk and (in my case) have a long bath and a cry. Then we plan and move on. It’s our life, deal with it. 

And so, in true form I ran a bath and sulked for an hour sipping, allegedly, calming tea and imagining my wedding on a new date at a different venue, or maybe over Skype. As I called suppliers, a vicar and the venue, he negotiated with his current wife and came to an arrangement. The wedding could remain on our pre-arranged (and, may I note, paid for) date, the groom would be present and all would be well – he’d just leave a few days later.

And so the Save The Dates were back on the schedule. I can confirm a paper cut lip is more painful after eating olives, and that halfway through checking names, sliding into envelopes and sticking on stamps you’ll consider a group text instead. But getting to keep your wedding date and overcoming military intervention makes it all worth it. 

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