Before we dive into the top five questions I get asked about save the date etiquette, let’s cover just one quick thing; what save the dates are. Ok, for most, this may be obvious, but lately there has been some growing confusion about save the dates (some actually calling them save the date invitations) so let’s make sure we’re all on the same page, shall we?
A Save the Date is a simple, sort of “pre-invitation” or a “heads up”, that is simply meant to alert your invited guests that they will be invited to your wedding, what the date of your wedding will be and the general location of your wedding and letting them know that you’ll be following up in the future with more details via the actual invitation.
Stationery companies like Raspberry Creative are inclined to say “yes” because we sell them and want to sell as many products to our customers as possible but really they are not a necessity. They do however serve a great purpose, and if you are planning a destination wedding, a wedding around a major holiday, a wedding on a week day, or during high travel months (think summer vacations), save the dates are a courtesy that couples should consider.
Save the dates allow your guests time to prepare including taking time off work, saving up money, making childcare arrangements, travel arrangements, etc. Save the dates can also give you peace of mind that you’ve given your guests enough notice that they’ll pencil you in and actually be able to attend. You wouldn’t be inviting them if you didn’t want them to share in your special day, right?
Couples should plan on sending out their save the dates somewhere between 6 and 12 months before their wedding. I personally think the 8 month mark is the sweet spot but the sooner the better for weddings where many guests will have to travel, fall around a holiday or on a week day where guests will have to take time off work, etc.
Sending them out after 6 months sort of defeats the purpose and instead I’d tell couples to skip the save the date and opt for sending their wedding invitations out a little earlier.
This is a common area of confusion for couples so here’s the straight and simple answer. Your save the dates should be simple and not include everything that you include on your invitations. Save the dates should include your names, your wedding date, an instruction line (“save the date”, “save our date”, “consider yourself booked”) and a line indicating that you’ll be sending a formal invitation in the future.
Optional additional information includes a city and state (you shouldn’t include your venue) and a wedding website that includes more specific details about your wedding.
The simple answer is no! You, of course, have the option to have your save the date and wedding invitation match but it’s not necessary. Save the dates can be a fun opportunity to spread the word about your wedding in a way that showcases your style and personality even if it doesn’t exactly match your wedding invitations or even your wedding theme and colors.
Some couples like to sprinkle in some hints of their wedding into their save the date through colors, design elements, etc. but it’s not required. Have fun and get creative with your save the dates!
Your save the dates should ONLY be sent to the people on your final wedding guest list. No exceptions! The purpose of sending save the dates is to give the recipients a heads up that they are invited to your wedding and that they should expect to receive an invitation in the future. You should never send save the dates to people that you are not inviting to your wedding.