So you’ve finally said “Yes!” and the ring is on your finger, now how do you get your friends and family in the loop about your wedding plans? By sending out Save the Date cards of course! Save the Dates are a great way to officially announce your upcoming nuptials and let guests know to start clearing their schedules. But inevitably there will be questions that come up (as they do with just about every part of planning a wedding): Do I need them? When should I send them? What is the etiquette? Well we’re here to answer those questions as well as show you a few of our favorite designs from the last couple of years.
Do I need to send Save the Dates?
Generally, sending a Save the Date card to your guests is a good idea. It’s a courtesy to allow guests to plan ahead so they can actually show up for your wedding. However they aren’t required in most cases. The exception, however, is if you’re having either a destination wedding or your wedding is over a holiday weekend. Both of these types of weddings are a special case as they require additional planning and clearing-of-calendars. It’s also a good idea to send them out if you have a large amount of out-of-town guests who will need to plan additional travel time. In these cases, you should definitely send out Save the Date cards to your guests.
When do I send out Save the Dates?
Traditional etiquette says you should send out Save the Date cards approximately 6-8 months before the wedding. Again if you’re having a destination or holiday weekend wedding, you should err closer to the 8 months before range. This way it gives your guests plenty of time to save up the money for travel expenses and make sure they don’t have any conflicts for the date of your wedding.
What should I include on my Save the Dates?
Here’s the best part: Save the Dates are super simple! They don’t have all the nuances of wording like the invitation itself, so you can have fun and get creative. They’re also a really great place to show off those adorable engagement photos! The most important parts to include on your Save the Date are the couple’s names (of course!), the wedding date and city. Traditionally the line “Invitation to Follow” or “Formal Invitation to Follow” is also included. If you’ve got a wedding website, you can include it here as well.
What SHOULDN’T you include on the save the date? Registry information and RSVP requests. Save the RSVP for the invitations themselves as with the extended cushion of time, guests are more likely to forget to reply. Registry information should be saved for your wedding website or to be passed by word-of-mouth, never included on your invitations or Save the Dates. It’s also better to not include specific times, as these may change.
Who should I send Save the Dates to? How many Save the Date cards do I need?
These two questions go hand-in-hand. You shouldn’t send Save the Dates to absolutely everyone you know, nor should you only send them to a few people. Anyone who makes your final guest list to the wedding should receive a Save the Date, and you should never send a Save the Date to someone to whom you don’t intend to send an invitation to the wedding itself. However, if you have a large guest list, you can send just one card per household provided you clearly address who is invited (see the next question for more clarification on this).
Do I need to add “and guest” or use formal names?
While Save the Dates are more informal, it is usually a good idea to be clear up-front about who is receiving the card itself as it does work as a sort of pre-invitation. For example, if you’re sending just one card per household but you’re having an adults-only wedding you should clearly address it as “Mr. and Mrs. Tom Smith” or “Tom and Brenda Smith” versus “The Smith Family” as this implies that children are invited as well. Also if you intend to allow your cousin Emma to invite her boyfriend you should address it as “Emma Rodgers and Guest” or “Emma Rodgers and James Duluth.”
Have you received any Save the Date cards for weddings this year? We’d love to see your favorites as well. Show us in the comments, and follow us on our Social Media pages to see other great designs for all of your wedding and special event stationery!