Though they were typically meant for destination weddings just a few decades ago, save the date cards have become increasingly popular in the era of personalized nuptials. However, since sending save-the-date cards is still a relatively new practice – barely a generation old – the etiquette guidelines can be a little fuzzy. It’s more than likely that your mother did not send out save the dates for her own wedding.
Generally, six to eight months before the celebration is considered an appropriate time to mail them out – earlier if the ceremony is held overseas. Often people need a good amount of time to take vacation days, and may prefer to get ahead of booking flights and other accommodations. Even if certain guests are not traveling, it's a good idea to send save the dates to everyone in order to avoid confusion or cause people to think they aren't invited. You’ll want to decide if you and your partner want to send formal or informal save the dates – typically, this decision will match the tone of your wedding; however, this is also an area where you can choose to go more offbeat and personal.
Photo by Chris J. Evans Photography; Planning & Design by Unveiled Hawaii
But what information actually goes on a save the date? Take a look at the necessities to include, below:
- Your names, of course, should be on the save the date.
- The location (at least the city, if not the venue) and date of the wedding should also be mentioned.
- Include your return address in case it is not deliverable for some reason. You want to make sure everyone you send a save the date to actually receives it!
- Your wedding website if you have one, so guests can find information on accommodations. Or if you prefer you can include those details on the save the date itself.
- “Formal invitation to follow” should be noted somewhere on the card... You’d be surprised how many guests will mistake a save the date for the actual invitation!