Save the Date Quick Guide
Here is a quick and easy Save the Date guide to help answer the most basic questions. What you need to know with easy to understand explanations or just skim our 5 simple steps if you need answers quickly.
- Decide if you want to send one (they are not absolutely necessary but can be helpful)
- Include four things:
- names of the bride and groom
- date of the wedding
- location of the wedding
- wedding website address (if applicable)
- Create your guest list
- Mail out 6 to 9 months before the wedding
- Remember the invitation is still the star of the wedding stationery show. The invitation contains much more information and guests are accustomed to replying about their attendance. If you can only send one, send the invitation
Are Save the Dates Really Necessary?
Whenever I have a consultation with couples they are surprised by my answer. After all I do create Save the Date cards for couples are part of my stationery business. However, the truth is they are not absolutely necessary but in certain situations they are helpful. Save the Dates are a very recent addition to wedding stationery when you think about it. Your parents probably didn’t have a Save the Date card and people have been getting married for thousands of years without one. That being said, there are circumstances where Save the Dates are good idea. If you are having a destination wedding, or a number of out of town guests that need to make travel arrangements a Save the Date gives them time to prepare. This is why so many Save the Dates feature the location of the wedding like my Chicago designs. Also, if you are getting married on a holiday weekend you may want to send a Save the Date to prevent guests from making other plans. However, if you have a tight budget skip the Save the Date because the invitation is the star of the show.
What Should the Save the Date Include?
This is the easy part of my Save the Date Quick Guide because they do not contain a lot of information. The names of the bride and groom, the date, the location, and if you have a wedding website, the web address. The wedding website can be updated with information as time goes on but should at least have basic hotel and accommodation information for guests who want to start making plans.
Who Should I Send the Save the Dates to?
Save the Dates may be fun to do but they force you to work on your guest list earlier than those couples who chose not to send them. They should be sent to all the guests on your A List if you are doing an A and B List. If you are not doing an A and B List then they should be sent to all guests. This includes your family and wedding party that probably already know the date. Remember that the Save the Date is also a keepsake of your wedding.
How Should I Address the Save the Dates?
Address them the same way you would address the invitations. Which means singles that will be allowed to bring a guest should have theirs addressed as “and guest”. Children under 18 that are invited should have “and family” added to their parent’s invitation. This allows guests to clearly know who will be invited. You can be slightly less formal on the Save the Dates than the wedding invitation by listing the first names of couples instead of the traditional “Mr. & Mrs. Harold Smith”. However, I advise keeping the addressing formal. You cannot go wrong with formality. It is also easier to use the same list or spreadsheet for both the Save the Dates and the Invitation instead of having to make adjustments.
When Should I Mail the Save the Dates?
If you look on the internet you will see various answers to the question of when Save the Dates should be mailed. Earlier I mentioned that Save the Dates are a fairly recent thing in the world of weddings. They were not included in the early books of etiquette. Since the invitation will be mailed 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding, mailing them too close to the invitation seems rather pointless. The Save the Date should be sent out 6 to 9 months before the wedding. If you are having a destination wedding you can send them out a bit sooner. Read more about Destination Wedding Save the Dates here.
Do I Still Need to Send Out an Invitation?
The invitation should still be mailed out 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. Guests are familiar with the wedding invitation and will send back a reply regarding their attendance. This is not customary with the Save the Dates. The invitation includes more details about the time of the ceremony and reception, addresses, accommodations, and possibly directions or maps. If you can only send one, send the invitation.