Sharing your wedding news with your family and friends would have to be one of the most exciting moments in the lead up to your day. It makes the whole thing feel real, and allows your nearest and dearest to start counting down the days right alongside you. So let’s talk about where it all begins: sending your save the dates!
Your save the date cards are going to be the very first point of contact with the people you have chosen to celebrate with. So it’s important to follow the proper etiquette when it comes to the information you include and the wording you use – because once they’re sent, you can’t take them back!
Along with the verbiage of your save the dates, you also want to make sure they set the right tone, create excitement and reflect the amazing wedding that is to come. Who knew there was so much to think about for such a small piece of paper?!
Luckily we’re in the wedding biz ourselves, so we have a few helpful tips when it comes to crafting the perfect save the dates for your own big day. Read on for our do’s and don’ts, along with some examples to get you started!
What to Include
So what exactly do you need to include on your wedding save the dates? It doesn’t require as much information as your wedding invitations will outline, but there are a few basic details your guests will need to know from the very beginning.
Keep in mind that the whole point of your save the dates is to notify your guests of the upcoming wedding and allow them to mark it in their calendar. Depending on the location of your wedding, and the location of your guests, they will also use your save the dates to start making any necessary travel arrangements.
With this said, your wedding save the dates should include the following details:
- Names of the bride and groom
- The wedding date
- The city where your wedding will be held (and state or country if you are planning a destination wedding)
- A link to your wedding website (if applicable)
- A note that a formal invitation will follow
What Not to Include
Save the dates are generally short and sweet, so you don’t need to get into specifics when it comes to the information you provide. Don’t forget that you’ll be sending a formal invitation shortly afterwards, or alternatively you’ll have a wedding website for your guests to refer to.
There are some pieces of information that just aren’t necessary at this early stage. You can leave out the following details when it comes to your save the dates:
- The exact wedding venue or address
- Specific timings for your ceremony and reception
- Gift registry information
- RSVP details
- Dress code
- Request for dietary requirements
- Any pre or post wedding activities
- Details of your bridal party or parents of the bride and groom
Basically, any information that you plan to cover in-depth through your invitation or wedding website can be left out from your save the dates. You want to keep it brief, so that you can elaborate on these details closer to your wedding.
Wording & Verbiage
So now that you know what (and what not) to include on your save the dates, how do you actually put this into words? It’s your wedding day, after all, so you still want to give your guests a sense of excitement and set the tone for the big day!
Although it may only be a few short sentences, don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your save the dates to reflect your personalities.
You can also use your save the dates to reflect the kind of wedding you are actually planning. Is it a more casual affair or a glamorous dinner? Your wedding vision will be a great starting point when it comes to the wording and verbiage of your save the dates, so it can be helpful to define this first.
For example, if you are planning a fun and relaxed style of wedding, consider something like the following:
We’re getting hitched!
Chris & Lauren are tying the knot.
Join us on the 21st April 2018 in beautiful Byron Bay.
Or for a more elegant, high-end affair, you might want to make your text more formal:
Please save the date
For the wedding of
Chris Smith and Lauren Thomas
21 April 2018
Formal invitation to follow
Your save the dates are like a snapshot into the look and feel of your wedding, so play around with your wording until you feel like it matches your wedding vision. As long as you include the right information, the tone of voice is completely up to you!
Save the Date Do’s and Don’ts
Now that you’ve got the wording of your save the dates down pat and you know exactly what to include, it’s time to talk about etiquette! From timelines to addressing your guests correctly, there are some definite do’s and some absolute don’ts to keep in mind.
Do: Send your save the dates at the appropriate time!
Deciding when to send your save the dates will depend on two things: your wedding location, and the time you have allocated to plan your big day.
If you are working on a 12-month wedding planning timeline, you should aim to send your save the dates at the 4-6 month mark. Your invitations will then follow at the 10-12 week mark.
If you’re planning a destination wedding, the timeline will be a little different. With more organisation required from your guests, you want to give them the heads up as soon as possible. Don’t forget they’ll need to book flights, accommodation and arrange for time off work.
In this case, send your save the dates at the 8-10 month mark. Your invitations will follow at around the 6-month mark.
And for those planning a wedding only a few months in advance… get those save the dates out ASAP or go straight for a formal invitation!
Don’t: Send your save the dates before you have confirmed your venue
This is a big one! You might have locked in your wedding date but if you haven’t actually secured your venue then it’s crucial to do this first. Your venue and your wedding date go hand in hand, so it’s important to sign off on these details one-hundred percent before you send your save the dates.
Remember – you can’t take them back once they’re sent, so get those contracts signed and your date secured.
Do: Confirm the turnaround time when you order your save the dates
Whether you are ordering your save the dates online, or commissioning a stationery artist to complete them for you, the turnaround time may vary for different suppliers. It’s important to check with your supplier when you can expect to receive your save the date cards, so you can ensure they will arrive in plenty of time!
If your save the date cards are being custom designed or handwritten, it goes without saying you should expect them to take a little longer. The same rule applies when ordering online from an overseas supplier.
Don’t: Mention your gift registry
As mentioned above, it’s a detail that definitely does not have a place on your save the date cards, under any circumstances.
It can come across as a little tacky to provide registry information before you have even outlined the venue. Trust us on this one!
Do: Personalise your save the date design
Although the wording might be simple, the design of your save the date cards doesn’t have to be! Feel free to include a sweet photo of the two of you, and have fun with colours and patterns if this ties into your wedding vision.
If you want to send your save the dates out quickly, it doesn’t necessarily need to be sent by post. If you would prefer to send your save the dates digitally, this is a totally acceptable option that is completely up to you!
Don’t: Send your save the dates before finalising your guest list
If you haven’t finalised your guest list then hold off on sending those save the dates! Every guest that receives a save the date is expecting their formal invitation to follow, so this will leave you in a sticky situation if you need to reduce your guest numbers due to budget or venue restrictions. Try using our guest list management tool to help you figure out exactly how many people you want to invite.
Do: Address your guests appropriately
Personalise your save the dates to ensure each and every guest has been addressed appropriately. If you have allocated a plus one for certain guests, this will also need to be noted.
For married guests, one save the date addressed to both of them is completely fine. For single guests, address it to them individually or add “and guest” to let them know a plus one is welcome.
Do: Use a wedding website
A wedding website is the perfect companion for your save the dates. Having a link to your wedding website handy from the very beginning will allow guests to start planning and preparing for the big day!
Creating a wedding website is actually a quick, simple process, so aim to get this up and running before your save the dates are sent.
It All Starts Here
It might only seem like a few short sentences but as you can see, there is quite a lot to think about before putting pen to paper for your save the dates!
So keep the above tips in mind, and you’ll be able to start your wedding planning journey on the right foot with perfectly crafted save the dates. Just imagine the squeals of excitement when they are received by your friends and family!
And our final thoughts… your wedding save the dates are the first small step in your wedding planning process, and it only gets busier and crazier from here (sorry!). But on the other hand, it means you are one step closer to marrying the love of your life – and that can only be a good thing.