Save the Dates 101

Save the Dates are a relatively new concept, having only become popular in the last 10-15 years. They’re used to notify your nearest and dearest that you’ve set a wedding date – and that they’re invited! So what do you need to know about Save the Dates?

There’s less wedding etiquette around Save the Dates, so it’s your chance to have a little fun if you want to – or you can match your wedding stationery, giving guests a hint of what’s to come. Amanda from Be My Guest is giving us a beginners class on Save the Dates today.

Why send Save the Dates?

Save the Dates are an optional extra, and are usually sent when you’re worried your wedding guests might need the extra notice to save for travel or to keep the date open (due to a holiday weekend, or a weekday wedding perhaps).

They are sent out around 6 months to a year before the big day. Sending much more than a year after is not that helpful; people forget, flights can’t be booked yet, circumstances change… on the other hand, sending your Save the Dates too close to a wedding can cause confusion too.

What needs to be included on Save the Dates?

Since you’re usually sending them out well in advance of the wedding, keep the details vague, so you have plenty of flexibility to make changes without a heap of hassle. Stick with the main details:

  • A message to save the date, and that it is for a wedding
  • Who it’s for (your names)
  • The wedding date (Don’t bother about the time, it might change)
  • The general location. I’d avoid naming the venue (just in case it does change) but giving a location means guests tell whether they need to travel.
  • A statement “formal invite to follow” so guests aren’t confused by the lack of detail
  • Your Save the Date is also a good place to include your wedding website address, if you have one set up
  • If you’ve got a chocka block guest list and you’re running a B-list, then you could ask guests to notify you if they definitely won’t make it. That way you can invite others when the actual invites go out. There’s risk to this though – these guests might have a change of plans and be able to make it after all – adding to the guest list and potentially putting  you in an awkward position.

Who do you send your Save the Dates to?

Wondering who to send your Save the Dates to? Wedding guests is the obvious answer, but I suggest being very very sure about your guest list. It’s hard to be certain on your guest list this far out, but if you want to send Save the Dates, you don’t have a choice.

If there’s any doubt, don’t send them one – you can still send them an invite when you send those out. It’s better to do that than to have to uninvite a guest from the wedding because you ran out of money or you had a falling out. A bonus is that you can save a little money by only sending Save the Dates to your absolute closest guests.

But wait, there’s more!

There’s a few traps to watch out for with Save the Dates. We covered this in an earlier article. Check it out here: 5 common Save the Date mistakes.

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