Save-the-Dates can be a fun way to give your guests a glimpse into you as a couple, and the kind of wedding you’re planning. However, sending them can be a bit intimidating because it means your wedding plans are getting serious! So, what do you need to know about save-the-dates before putting them in the mail?
For many engaged couples sending a save-the-date makes upcoming wedding seem “real” as it’s the first time the wedding date and place-appears in one spot. It’s a sign that families and friends can start making plans to attend, booking hotels and vacation dates.
Along with sharing need-to-know details, it’s a great way to get people excited.
Here’s what you need to know about save-the-dates before sending out that first official piece of mail!
What You Need to Know About Save-the-Dates
Decide to Send Them
Wondering whether a save-the-date is needed? It is especially if you’re planning a destination wedding, a wedding that falls on a three-day weekend, or a summer wedding – especially in Maine. Scheduling conflicts occur, but if you give your guests a decent heads-up, the chances of them being able to attend will be significantly higher. Besides, part of what makes your wedding day special is having so many of your friends and family together in one place!
Don’t wait too long to send them out
I recommend aiming to send save-the-dates four to six months before your wedding, this is especially true for destination weddings so that guests don’t have to scramble to make travel arrangements.
Since I’ve mentioned the phrase “destination wedding” twice now in this post let’s go off on a brief tangent: What constitutes a “Destination Wedding”? There are a thousand-and-one definitions but I define it as a wedding celebration where more than 50% of the guests are from out of town, e.g. having to make special travel and lodging arrangements to attend.
Back to the logistics of sending save-the-dates: If you wait longer to send them then your date might go on the backburner and be forgotten (not that I’m most people but I already have non-work related plans for 2021!).
However, if you’re having a small wedding and most attendees are local, mailing invites six to eight weeks ahead offers enough notice and chances are you don’t need a save-the-date at all.
“If plus-ones and kids are invited, remember to specify “and guest” or “and family” when addressing save-the-dates.”
Only send them to people you intend to invite to the wedding
Everyone on your guest list-even, your immediate families and wedding attendants, should receive a save-the-date. If plus-ones and kids are invited, remember to specify “and guest” or “and family” when addressing save-the-dates.
Address save-the-dates accordingly-which means waiting until your guest list is set. There’s nothing more awkward (and rude) then having to call people after the fact to tell them they can’t bring their kids or boy/girlfriend.
Include the Basic Details
You don’t, and shouldn’t, wait until your entire wedding is planned to send these out. Just make sure invitees are aware of the basics – when and where the celebration is taking place. Even if you haven’t booked a venue, listing a city or state will suffice. You can include the exact location and address on your invites and on your wedding website.
Your save-the-dates should also include your first names and the wedding date (duh! But you’d be surprised how many couples accidentally leave this off). Make sure to include your last names somewhere, like on the envelope. This is important especially if you have a lot of friends and/or relatives getting hitched in the same timeframe as you are.
You should consider including the phrase “formal invitation to follow” or “invitation to follow,” but it isn’t a must (although I strongly encourage this detail). Don’t forget to include your wedding website-if you’re going to create one.
PRO TIP: it’s best to launch your website in time for the save-the-date mailing.
Get Creative (if you want)
This is the fun part! Your save-the-dates can match the rest of your wedding stationery, or you can go totally left field and dream up something super creative. Play with fonts, prints, colors, and wording to reveal the tone of your wedding and a little something about the kind of couple you are! Announce an elegant soiree with an ornate script, or a seaside celebration with dusty hues of blues, greens, grays, and creams, or a prim nautical motif.
Magnets are a popular choice because they go (and stay) right on the fridge (or any metal surface). A garden-inspired save-the-date might come in the form of a seed packet, or a luggage tag could help guests keep track of your destination wedding date and their suitcase.
PRO TIP: If you do go the creative route, e.g. mini easels, messages-in-a-bottle, paper airplanes, etc., make sure the processing machines at the post office don’t crush them. Keep in mind that the larger and weightier your save the date is, the more postage it will require, which effects your wedding budget.
So, there you have it – what you need to know about save-the-dates! Sending these announcements of joy isn’t all business, they can be a fun way to give your guests a glimpse into you as a couple and into the kind of wedding you’re planning!
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