Although save-the-dates are not absolutely necessary, these cards have increased in popularity with the rise of destination weddings and modern guest lists spread over the country. Since they are a relatively modern concept, no real rules apply – a fact which sometimes causes confusion for brides when planning their wedding stationery. We’ve sorted through the information that’s out there to bring you the real ins and outs concerning save-the-dates…
Who Needs Save the Date Cards?
If your guest list includes a number of out-of-towners or if your wedding takes place during a holiday or other peak time, you are a prime candidate for save-the-dates. Since invitations don’t go out until 6-8 weeks before the big day, save-the-dates are the perfect way to give wedding guests a preliminary heads up so they can begin making travel arrangements. These days, however, more and more brides send these cards regardless of the time and location of their wedding. Why? Save-the-dates provide a fun opportunity to get the word out and foreshadow the style of your big event!
Save the Dates – Rules & Etiquette
Again, few rules apply. The only information you must include is your names and the wedding date, although we suggest including location information as well so wedding guests can begin their travel plans. Aim to send save-the-date cards soon after you secure your date and venue, or about 6 months prior to your wedding. Remember, everyone who receives a save-the-date also receives an invitation, so have your guest list finalized prior to sending them. Although formal replies are not required, you can get preliminary attendance estimates through word-of-mouth.
These cards will be the first impression of your wedding festivities, so take advantage of this opportunity to build excitement amongst your wedding guests. If you already know the colors and/or theme of your wedding, now’s your chance to provide a sneak peak. Or try including a favorite love poem or quote that symbolizes your relationship. Here are some of our favorite ideas and trends:
- Use vibrant colors that will “pop” as soon as guests open the envelope.
- Incorporate graphics that correspond with the season and/or location of your event. If you are planning a fall wedding try including colorful leaves, or include seashells for a wedding on the water.
- If the timing is right, turn your save-the-date cards into holiday greetings. Incorporate your engagement photo or another photo taken shortly after the proposal.
- Who says they have to be printed stationery? Set yours apart by turning them into scrolls, pens, stickers, magnets or a creative calendar-marker.
The content of your save-the-dates should be short, sweet, and to the point – providing a basic who, what, where, and when. There is no standard wording; they can be as formal or as whimsical as you’d like. In any case, make sure to include “Formal invitation to follow” somewhere on the card.
Save the Date: [bride & groom’s name] are getting married on [wedding date] in [city, state]
Here are some other wording samples you might want to consider:
Please save the date:
May 4, 2006 for the wedding of
Mike & Ansley in Charleston, South Carolina