With a wedding on the horizon, congratulations are in order! There is plenty to plan and do, including sending save the dates. Your loved ones may lead busy lives, but they’ll want to celebrate your upcoming wedding with you. That’s where save the dates come in.
If you don’t know much about these announcements, this guide to save the dates will help. We’ll answer everything from, “When do you send out save the dates?” to “Who gets a save the date?” Find the answers to your questions and inspiration for your announcements below!
What Are Save the Dates?
Save the dates go out before your invitations. In a way, they’re like an informal invitation letting your invitees know when and where your wedding will be. As the name implies, these announcements let your guests save the date of your wedding and keep it in mind to avoid scheduling conflicts. Potential guests don’t RSVP to a save the date, but instead, they use it for their own convenience. They can clear their schedules and make arrangements well in advance to ensure they can be there on your special day.
Who Gets a Save the Date?
Mail a save the date to everyone you’re definitely inviting to your wedding. It’s useful to have a budget and venue ideas in mind for this process. You’ll know how many guests you can invite, and that’ll translate to how many save the dates you send.
If you have a B-list, you shouldn’t send them save the dates. They’ll assume they’re invited to the wedding with the first round of guests, and you could get too many positive RSVPs for your venue. Send save the dates to your A-list only. You’ll also send save the dates even if you know certain guests will attend, like your parents and the wedding party.
With one save the date going to a household, be sure you specify who you’re inviting to your wedding from the household. If someone has children who you’re inviting, add the parents’ names followed by “and family” on the save the date. You could also use your save the date to specify whether a guest can bring a plus one. Addressing your invitees directly can help you avoid having to answer questions from all your guests. It also makes it easier to plan, especially if they have kids they have to arrange a babysitter for.
When Do You Send Save the Dates?
Try to send your save the dates around eight months before the wedding. The sooner you can send your save the dates, the better. But you should have everything confirmed, especially the date of your wedding. You’ll know when to send save the dates once you nail down when and where your wedding will be.
When you send your save the dates will also depend on when and where your wedding is. If it’s a destination celebration or your wedding date is during a busy travel time, give your guests plenty of notice. That way, they can arrange travel and accommodations before things get too busy or booked. Think about your guests, as well. If many of them have to travel from out of town, have busy jobs or young kids, they’ll need time to sort their schedules.
If you aren’t sure what to say on save the dates, consider the key details first. You’ll obviously put your name and your spouse-to-be’s name. Other than that, your loved ones will expect to see information like this in your save-the-date wording:
- The wedding date: This part is obvious given the name of these announcements. But you’ll want to have your date nailed down and confirmed before sending save the dates as a courtesy to your guests. Consider making this information the biggest part of the save the date, since it’s the most important.
- The location: You don’t need to provide the exact venue and address of your wedding in your save the dates. You should at least say what city your wedding will be in so anyone who has to travel can make arrangements.
- Your wedding website: Most couples create websites for their weddings now. The site serves as a hub for information leading up to the wedding. Offering the URL on your save the dates will give guests access to more details as your special day nears.
Besides those essential details, you can jazz up your save the dates with personalized quotes and design touches that fit your wedding’s theme. As far as what to say on save the dates, some couples keep it simple with, “Save the date,” or, “Please save the date,” printed at the top of the announcement. If you want to put your personality or your wedding’s tone into the announcement, consider save-the-date quotes based on your preferences:
- Something cute or funny: If you and your spouse-to-be are always laughing, pick a lighthearted message for your save the dates. Consider a simple, “Be there or be square,” or go with a cute saying like, “Free food, free cake — need we say more?”
- A literary quote: Perhaps you and your spouse-to-be are literature fans or your wedding is fairytale-inspired. Choose a literary quote that reflects your relationship to add to your pre-invitation for a sophisticated and romantic touch.
- A movie quote: If you and your future spouse are fans of cinema, add a quote from your favorite romantic movie to your save the dates. Your quote can be anything from fun to sentimental, depending on your preference and what you select.
- A quote about romance: There are many elegant, romantic quotes about love. For your save the date, you might consider a quote about finding true love or your soulmate — something beautiful yet simple to reflect the tone of your wedding.
- Something unique: If you want save-the-date quotes that no one has ever seen before, put pen to paper and create your own! Have fun with what you write or be sentimental and express your love for your spouse-to-be.
Save-The-Date Etiquette and Tips
You might think save the dates aren’t necessary, especially if you’ve already announced your engagement and talked to most or all of your potential guests about the wedding. But you should consider save the dates an essential part of the wedding planning process, right up there with the invitations themselves. With that in mind, remember that creating and sending save the dates doesn’t have to be a challenge. Follow the save-the-date etiquette tips below to create perfect pre-invitations:
1. Set the Tone With Your Save the Dates
Save the dates can be anything from a casual note to a beautiful, formal announcement that precedes the invitation. You should base your save the dates on the tone you’re aiming to have at your wedding. Some couples prefer an intimate gathering with a small guest list. In that case, you could keep your save the dates simple in design. For a grand wedding, make the save the date sophisticated to match.
2. Make Them Personal
Other than sentimental quotes and design touches that match your wedding theme, an engagement photo will add the perfect personal detail. Many couples design their save the dates so one side features an engagement photo with a few decorative details. The opposite side will include the details of your upcoming nuptials. The addition of an engagement photo creates a personal save the date that your guests can keep after your wedding.
3. Keep Things Simple
While you want beautiful save the dates that complement the invitations and wedding to come, you don’t need to go overboard. Save flourishes like wax seals, ribbons or dried flowers for your invitations, especially if you’re trying to conserve your budget. Simplify your save the dates to convey essential information your guests need to know.
4. Be Careful if You Go Digital
Many couples forego mailing physical save the dates for digital ones sent via email. Some people on your guest list may not be as tech-savvy. You also run the risk of your announcement going to spam or having guests who don’t check their email that often. So, while email may seem like the convenient choice that could work for casual or smaller weddings, you might want to select the physical option instead.
5. Alert Your Guests of Changes
If for any reason you have to change your wedding date or location, let your guests know as soon as possible. Send out “change the dates” with the corrected information and make updates on your wedding website. You can contact members of the wedding party directly to let them know of the new date or place for your celebration, but send them a change the date, as well. The sooner you send these corrections, the more guests you may get positive RSVPs from.
6. Don’t Include Registry Information
Your save the dates aren’t formal invitations, so you shouldn’t include anything about your wedding gift registry. Instead, give out registry information through your wedding website, shower invitations or word of mouth.
Now that you know when to send out save the dates, who they go to and other tips, it’s time to get creative! Put your personality into your save the dates and remember to have fun with it — your wedding planning process should be as stress-free as possible, after all. Designing your save the dates is an opportunity to create unique announcements while expressing your excitement for your upcoming wedding. Create something unique with these save-the-date ideas:
- A magnet: Creating a save-the-date magnet allows your guests to display this item on their refrigerators or whiteboards. They’ll see the reminder every day, and that will keep them on the lookout for your wedding invitation.
- A postcard: This save-the-date idea is charming if you’re having a destination wedding or like to travel. You could also use a postcard save the date if you traveled anywhere for your engagement celebration and photos. Use the back of the postcard for your wedding information and your recipient’s address to complete your unique announcement. As a bonus, it’s cheaper to buy postage for a postcard than it is for a letter.
- A calendar: Your save-the-date calendar doesn’t need to be the entire year. Instead, label the month and year if your wedding is next year and have the days of the month. Mark the day of your wedding with a heart or colorful shape. This announcement gives guests a visual of when your wedding will be.
- A coaster: Give your guests something they can have as a reminder on their coffee tables with a coaster save the date. Your announcement is sure to stand out if you choose this unique alternative.
- A candle: Send a practical and unique announcement with a candle that has your wedding details on the label. This save-the-date style will certainly cost more than other options, so consider this if you have a small guest list.
- A Polaroid: Go vintage with your save the dates and have a Polaroid-inspired announcement. Get an engagement photo printed with a Polaroid-style border. Handwrite information on the white border or add text before printing the photos.
Other Save-The-Date Questions
For advice on your save the dates and information on other questions about these announcements, find the answers below:
1. Do Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations Have to Match?
While we’ve suggested matching your save the dates to your wedding’s theme and the invitations, you don’t have to go that route. Some couples don’t really have a theme for their wedding, and others don’t know what they’ll do when they’re sending out their save the dates. Instead, you can stick with something simple or personal, depending on your preference. Choose classic wedding designs like white and off-white colors and florals. Or consider a color scheme that complements what’s in your engagement photo, if you’ll be adding one.
2. When Did Save the Dates Become a Thing?
Save the dates became popular in the early 2000s and have taken off since. As people’s lives become more hectic with work, family, travel and personal obligations, save the dates become more necessary. They’re now considered a courtesy to your potential guests.
3. How Much Should You Spend on Save the Dates?
How much you set aside for your save the dates will depend on your budget, how many people you’re inviting and how you want the announcements to look. Remember that if you choose a professional design, print and mail service, you’ll have a higher cost than doing it yourself. You may spend about a dollar per save the date if you do it yourself, not including postage. Some couples spend anywhere from $50 to $200 on their announcements, so it depends on your situation.
4. Can You Send a Save the Date and Not an Invitation?
Save-the-date etiquette recommends sending these announcements and invitations. Send out your invitations about two to three months before your wedding. Because save the dates are an informal announcement of your wedding, your guests won’t RSVP until they get their invitations. You need to send invitations to get a headcount for your venue, catering, seating chart and other plans.
Find the Perfect Wedding Dress at Alexandra’s Boutique
During your wedding planning process, you’ll have something else to consider along with your save the dates — your wedding dress! Do you dream of gracing the aisle in a romantic Essense of Australia gown? Want to feel like you’re walking the red carpet on your wedding day in a glamorous Stella York dress? Have a beautiful gown by another fabulous designer in mind? Find what you’re looking for at Alexandra’s Boutique.
At Alexandra’s Boutique, we know shopping for your wedding dress is a special moment. We strive to create a memorable experience for our brides as they search for their dream gown. So whether you picture yourself in something classic and timeless or current and unique, we’ll help you find it.
Make an appointment with Alexandra’s Boutique today to find your dream wedding dress.