One of the first big steps in planning a wedding is sending out the save-the-dates. Once these cards are sent, the countdown to the big day begins! So why exactly are save-the-dates important? Most importantly, a save-the-date card gives guests the chance to start planning travel, accommodations, and taking time off work for your wedding. They are also a great way to get guests excited about your wedding – and a nice opportunity to share your engagement photos if you choose! If you are getting ready to send out your physical or digital save-the-dates, here are all of your questions answered.
A Checklist of What Needs to Be Done Before Sending Save-the-Dates
Before sending your save-the-dates, there are a few key things you need to get done:
- Set the wedding date: This one is pretty obvious. Before sending out your save-the-dates, you’ll need to have your date finalized – which likely means you’ve also signed the dotted line with your venue.
- Establish room blocks with local hotel(s): Guests who like to plan early will likely want to book their hotel room soon after receiving their save-the-date. Make sure you’ve worked with your local hotels to establish your room blocks.
- Create your wedding website: This doesn’t have to be completely fleshed out at this point, but you’ll want to make sure you have the basic info (such as reception and venue location and any info that will help guests as they are creating their travel plans) available on the site. You may also want to have your registry up and running at this time as well, although it isn’t absolutely necessary.
What info should be on the save-the-date?
There is the obvious: the names of the couple and the date. You’ll also want to include the location and the wedding website info. You may want to include an itinerary for the weekend if there is more than just one event (this will be particularly helpful for guests who’ll need to plan multiple outfits). For destination weddings, you can also include travel and accommodation info. However, the wedding website will have more of the nitty-gritty details, so don’t feel the need to cram everything on the save-the-date card. It is a good idea to write “invitation to follow” (or something similar) at the bottom so that guests know to expect a formal invite.
Keep in mind that the RSVP card will come with the actual wedding invitation, so you don’t need to include RSVP info here. The purpose of the card is to give guests a heads-up – this one doesn’t require a response. You also don’t need to put registry information on the save-the-date. It will be on your wedding website.
When should we send the save-the-dates?
You should plan to send your save-the-dates around 6 months before the ceremony. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests or will be throwing a destination wedding, you should plan on sending out save-the-dates around 8 months to a year before the date. The same goes for weddings that are scheduled on or around a major holiday. It is important to give guests ample time to request time off work and plan their travels.
Who gets a save-the-date?
Everyone who you are definitely going to invite should get a save-the-date. Don’t send save-the-dates to anyone on your “maybe” guest list. If a guest gets a save-the-date, it means they’ll be expecting a formal invitation. It is also important to be very clear on the invitation who is actually being invited to your wedding. If, for example, you are inviting a couple but not their young children, write “Mr. and Mrs. Brown” on the invitation, rather than “The Brown Family”.
Should we include plus-ones on the save-the-date?
If you are certain you’ll be giving certain guests plus-ones to your wedding, you can write their name “and Guest” on the save-the-date. That way, they and their guest have ample time to plan. That being said, if you aren’t sure if you are going to give a guest a plus-one, don’t include “and Guest” on the invitation. You can give them a plus-one at a later date when you are certain you have the space.
Can we send a digital save-the-date?
It is possible to send a digital save-the-date, and it is a great way to save some money and create less paper waste. Many wedding website platforms allow you to send out digital save-the-dates that lead to your wedding website. Of course, if you want to send out digital save-the-dates, you’ll need to get the email addresses of all of your guests. When gathering this info, you can let guests know to expect a save-the-date email from you (just in case it goes into spam).
Does the save-the-date stationery have to match the wedding invitations?
No, you don’t have to match the save-the-dates to your wedding invitations. In fact, there is a good chance that at this point you haven’t even nailed down your color scheme! View this as an opportunity to play with an aesthetic you are considering for your wedding, or just go with an option that speaks to you. Save-the-dates are typically less formal, so you can have some fun with the design.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!