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You are finally engaged and now you are well underway towards planning the perfect wedding day.  You’ve booked the perfect location, and have locked in some of the other big ticket items. Now it’s time to start sharing the date with your family and friends who have been asking if you set a date.  The question is, do you actually need to send a save the date or can you just share it to social and call it a day?

burgundy romantic photo save the date
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Do you Need to Send Save the Dates?

If you are really on the fence, unfortunately the answer isn’t a simple yes or no.  What’s great is you’ve got me on our side and I can totally help you figure out what is going to be the best answer for you.

Before we get into the answer for you, let’s first take a step back and look at the purpose of a save the date.

photo save the date postcard
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Purpose of a Save the Date

The purpose of a save the date is actually two-fold.  While on the one hand it’s a way to tell your loved ones that you’ve set a date and maybe clue them in as to where, it also does another important thing.  It gives them a heads up that they are going to be formally invited to your wedding.

While posting your wedding date to Facebook and/or Instagram or your other favorite social app lets everyone know your wedding date, it doesn’t distinguish between who is and isn’t going to be invited to your wedding.

This means if you are going to send save the dates, you need to have your guest list finalized BEFORE sending them because you should never send save the dates to people that won’t be invited to the wedding.

That brings us back to the original questions, do you need to send save the dates?

As a general rule, save the dates are not considered a required piece of wedding related stationery you need to budget for.

The only time they are absolutely necessary is if you are planning a destination wedding or if the majority of your guests will have to travel.  The reason for this is so that you are giving your guests as much time to begin making travel arrangements, getting time off work, etc. as possible.

delicate wreath save the date card
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So Why bother sending Save the dates if you don’t need to?

Save the dates aren’t required (except for situations mentioned above) but they are always a good idea.  Even when your guests won’t need to travel, giving them a heads up to begin making arrangements for child care, marking the date so they don’t make other plans, and giving them advanced notice that they will be invited is a good idea.

Save the dates are also a great way to show off some of your engagement photos.  While not all do, many photographers include an engagement session in their packages so why not take advantage of these additional photos?

In general, save the dates are affordable.  While some options, such as magnets or bookmarks, can cost more, simple cards with envelopes or postcards are a great option that won’t break the bank.  The added benefit of a postcard is the savings on postage!

frosted branches save the date
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When do you order save the dates?

If you plan to send save the dates then the first thing to consider is that when they should be mailed.  As a general rule, save the dates should be mailed out 6-8 months before the wedding or up to a year in advance for destination weddings.

That means that for most save the dates you should plan on ordering them 2-3 weeks before you plan them out.  You should always check with the company you plan to order from to find out their turn-around times but for most save the dates, turn-around times can be as little as a few days meaning they won’t take long.

Just be sure to give yourself enough time to address your envelopes if you are not having them printed or ordering custom labels.

hand drawn branch save the date
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Do you Need Save the Dates and When Do you Order Them?  (a recap)

Save the dates aren’t required except for destination weddings or where a lot of guests will be traveling.  Even when weddings don’t fall into those categories, they are still a good idea. You can show off some of your amazing engagement photos and give your guests a little advanced notice that they will be invited to your wedding.

If you do plan to send save the dates, you don’t need a lot of advanced planning because most save the dates don’t require long production times.  As a general rule, give yourself 2-3 weeks to get them ordered and ready to mail to your family. They should be mailed out 6-8 months before the wedding.  

Once you find the perfect design, some designs can be ready to ship in as little as a couple of days.  Just always double check with your stationery company to make sure you know their average production times so you can plan accordingly.  

Looking for the perfect save the date design? 

Check out our brand new 2020 save the dates and all of our classics. 

Shop save the dates.

do you need save the dates and when do you order them