Save the Date Etiquette

Wedding Save The Date Etiquette

Bride-to-be sitting at desk in floral robe writing invitations.

You’ve announced your engagement, set a date, and booked the venue—now it’s time to make sure all your friends and family will be present for the wedding! If you’ve taken a peek at our wedding planning timeline, you’ll know that sending save the dates is key for giving your guests a heads-up to clear their schedules for the big day. The rules for save the date etiquette are a bit different than those for your actual wedding invitations; we’ve created a guide to keep it simple.

When Should I Send Them?

The first step is figuring out when to send save the dates. Our simple answer? Send them at least 6 months before your wedding day! Since save the dates are less formal than actual invitations, you don’t need to worry about matching the design and colors to your wedding theme (so it’s okay if you haven’t made those picks!). The 6 month timeline gives guests who are coming from out of town or who need to arrange childcare plenty of time to make accommodations. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll want to send them a bit earlier—around 8 months before the big day. (Note: if you’re having a short engagement, you can forego save the dates and just send your wedding invitations!)

Who Should I Send Them To?

You should send them to everyone you’re going to invite, but you can limit it to one save the date per household. If you have an A and B-guest list (Not sure what that is? Find out here!), only send them to those on your A-list. Once save the dates are sent out there’s no going back, so make sure you’re only sending them to the people you truly want at your wedding! You’ll want to address the save the date to everyone in the household who is invited (including kids and plus-ones). If you’re not sure who will get a plus-one yet, that’s fine! It doesn’t need to be established until the actual invitation gets sent out.

What Kind of Save the Date Should I Choose?

Traditionally, you would mail save the date cards, especially if you’re planning a more formal wedding. For something that feels a little more casual, consider postcards or digital invites (extra points for being environmentally friendly!). If your guest list is small and you want to send something personal, an individual letter or note is a sweet alternative.

What Information Should I Include?

What’s the difference between a “save the date” vs the wedding invitation itself? A save the date is simply a confirmation that someone is on the guest list for a certain date and more details are on the way. That means save the date information can be less in-depth than your actual invitations. The main things to include are the date (naturally), your name and your partner’s name, the location/venue, your wedding website and/or hashtag (if you’ve got them!), and a note to say that a formal invitation will follow. If you’re planning on having a destination wedding, you may note any additional details like hotel or transport! (Note: this is not the time to include your registry info; save that for your actual invitation!)

Sample Save the Date Wording

Rule #1 of save the dates is: don’t overthink them! Think of them as a preview of what’s to come with your actual invitations and the wedding itself. Whether you want your save the dates to be elegantly elevated or casual and playful, here are a few ideas to get you started:

Traditional Save the Date

Casual Save the Date

Unique Save the Date

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