Your Wedding Save-the-Dates
This guide to save-the-date cards includes rules, etiquette, trends, and save-the-date wording samples.
Although save-the-dates are not absolutely necessary, these creative reminders have increased in popularity with the rise of destination weddings and modern guest lists that include addresses from all over the world. Since they are a relatively modern concept, no real rules apply – a fact that 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…
Wedding Save-The-Date Tips
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 six or eight 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.
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 six 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.
Trends & Ideas
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 peek. 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. See Unique Wedding Invitations for Every Season for motif and color suggestions.
- Use an image of you and your spouse-to-be holding creative signage, chalkboards, etc. that share your wedding date and location.
- 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.
Basic Layout for Save-the-Date Cards:
Save the Date
[bride & groom’s name]
are getting married on [wedding date]
Formal invitation to follow
Please save the date:
May 4, 2012, for the wedding of
Mike and Ansley in Charleston, South Carolina
Fun and Cute
We’re tying the knot!
Justin popped the question, and Katie said yes.
Please join us on October 2, 2012
Orange County, California
He asked her
she said yes
now there’s a wedding
will you be our guest?
[include names, date, and location]
For a Destination Wedding
Please join us in paradise on June 17, 2012
when Lisa & Jay say “I do”
in Maui, Hawaii