Save the date cards are the perfect way to tell your family and friends that you have chosen a date and place for your wedding. They have probably been asking you a million questions since you got engaged anyway, so this is a fun way to spread the word. And since this is a busy time for engagements and booking wedding dates, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some advice with you on this topic.
You may be wondering when is a good time to send them out? Generally, I say the earlier the better (because I tend to get excited about things!), but here are some guidelines to follow when trying to figure out your save the date timing:
One Year Prior
1. Holiday Weekends.
If you are getting married on a holiday weekend, you want to give your guests as much notice as possible. Some people go on vacation during the holidays, so you want to let them know so that they can plan accordingly, especially during the summer months.
2. Out of State Guests.
If a good part of your guest list is from out of state, you want to give them plenty of time to make travel arrangements. They'll need to take time off from work, and possibly book flights and hotel. As you know, this can get expensive, so giving them a year's notice will allow them to budget for all of this accordingly.
3. Destination Wedding.
So you're going to Aruba to get married - awesome! Destination weddings are absolutely amazing, but again, your guests need time to make travel arrangements, budget their finances and take time off from work. You definitely want to send your save the date out a year in advance if possible.
8-10 Months Prior
1. If your wedding guests are mostly in the same state, usually 10 months is a good timeframe to send out your save the dates. It tells guests when the wedding is, but it's still far enough out that they don't quite need to make plans yet.
A few side notes:
1. Anyone who receives a save the date MUST receive an invitation. It is in poor taste if you tell someone this way that you are getting married, but then don't invite them to the wedding.
2. Invitations generally get mailed out about 2 months before the wedding. If you wait less than 6 months to send out a save the date, it's kind of pointless at that stage. They will receive an invitation not long after that, so you might as well wait at that point.
3. Save the dates do not need to contain elaborate details about the wedding. They should simply have your names, the date and city/state where the wedding will take place. The phrase "Formal invitation to follow" is also a good thing to include so that they know this is NOT the invitation and they will be provided with more details later. If you have a wedding website setup by the time they go out, it's a good idea to include that on there as well. If guests would like to get information about hotel accommodations or specifics about the wedding, they can take a peek at your wedding website for now.
4. Have fun with it! A save the date doesn't have to be formal or even match the theme of your wedding. Include a picture of yourselves, or a fun background or design.
I recently had a client ask when she should send her save the dates for her October 2020 wedding. I told her a super cute idea would be to combine them with her holiday card! Why not? Save on postage and have a memorable and unique holiday card.