If you’ve chosen your date and booked your wedding venue (well done by the way – that’s huge!), the next step you might be considering is sending your guests a Save the Date. And while not everyone does this, it can be a very valuable step to include in your plannning. A save the date is essentially a (very pretty) informal notice sent to your list A-list guests (the ones you’re absolutely certain you’ll be inviting!), before the official invitation, to inform them of your wedding date and the location. But simple as this seems, there’s more to consider than you think before you pop it in the post. Here we’ve put together a handy guide to save the date etiquette from who to should get one, to dos and don’ts.
Your Save the Date Guide
Why Send a Save the Date?
You might be asking – what’s the point in sending a Save the Date, will an invite not be enough? Obviously you’ll have checked on your immediate family’s availability before booking your date and venue, but save the dates are a brilliant way of earmarking your wedding date for the other people you really want to be there. Ultimately, everyone appreciates the extra notice, especially if you’re planning a destination wedding at a peak travel time. Not to mention, if other people in your circle are getting married around the same time, it’s wise to lock in your date first, for fear of a clash. It’s also the first touch point your guests have with the wedding to come – it’s a great way to set the tone of the day!
Who to Send a Save the Date to
Even if you’ve received a verbal ‘yes’ from your immediate family and friends, still include them on your save the date list, even if just to stop them from messaging you repeatedly to double check. This includes your immediate family members, the wedding party, key wedding participants (the neighbour who you’d like to do the ceremony music, for instance) and close friends and family that you would absolutely want there on the day.
When to Send
Since you’ll be sending two wedding notices – a Save the Date and an official invitation – you want to keep the two far enough apart. We suggest sending out your Save the Date six to eight months in advance of your wedding day. Any earlier and you run the risk that there could be unforeseen changes to your wedding venue or even the date itself. Naturally, there’s a special exception for a destination wedding since there are so many other factors involved; planes, trains, and automobiles! Your guests will need advance notice so as to book their flights and reserve hotel rooms, so aim to send your Save the Date nine months to one year before your wedding.
What to Send
The best thing about Save the Dates is that you’re usually sending a smaller number so you can choose really quirky, fun options. We’ve seen everything from tea bags, to Christmas decorations, fridge magnets and pencils, so for inspiration, we suggest you check out our post with 40 Unique and Unusual Save the Date ideas. These novelty options can be great if you haven’t decided on your wedding aesthetic yet, and aren’t sure what direction your wedding stationery suite is going to take. Of course you can get gorgeously fun and chic Save the Dates from the stationers on our recommended suppliers list too if you do know what you have in mind.
The Ins and Outs
If you’ve decided to send out a Save the Date, you’ll want to keep it simple. Essentially, all you want to do is notify people of the date without giving away the timings, or other details, as that’s for your official invite. Keep it short and sweet!
- Your names (obviously!)
- The Venue, but city will also suffice!
- Your Wedding Website (if you have one)
- Your Gift Registry
- Plus Ones
- Requests (Adult-only, unplugged ceremony, cash gifts please… etc)
Can you Email a Save the Date?
The short answer is, yes! This is a budget-friendly, more sustainable and simple way of doing things and you can even make it pretty by using an e-invite tool like Paperless Post. But remember you still have to get everyone’s correct and up to date email address, (if they have one – don’t forget your older guests!) and you might fall victim to a spam filter. But there’s also something so lovely about receiving something cute in the post, as your guests can pop it up on their notice board, and it really gets the excitement going. However, always remember, this is just a guide, so you choose whatever save the date suits your vibe and budget!
Need help with your wedding invitations? Take a look at our guide on wedding invitation wording and for any other wedding questions, explore our wedding planning FAQ.