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The Ultimate Guide For Save The Date Etiquette

July 21, 2015

The ring is on your finger and the wedding planning has begun! With checklists to get through and schedules to stick to, it can be undeniably stressful. But, before you decide to elope, we’re here to help. Once the guest list is complete, it’s time to send a save the date. A save the date is a courteous way to let guests know the date and location of your wedding so they can plan to be there. With save the dates being a relatively new tradition, the etiquette can often be unclear. Today, we want to clarify the save the date etiquette with our comprehensive guide.

The Ultimate Guide To Save The Date EtiquetteWho Gets A Save The Date?

Only send a save the date to the people you want to attend your wedding. Once these are in the mail, there’s no turning back. They have been invited. Even if you have gotten a verbal confirmation from certain guests (bridesmaids, siblings, parents, wedding photographer) you should still send them a save the date.

Formal vs. Informal

If you’re planning a formal celebration, you should match your save the dates to your formal invitations to create a classic, coordinated look. For an informal wedding celebration, a photo card or magnet might be more appropriate to set the tone. Alternatively, if you are planning a destination wedding, a custom luggage tag or postcard would be perfect!

How To Address Save The Dates

First you must decide whether you want to address your save the dates formally or informally. Proper etiquette suggests you address the envelope based on the age of the guest. However, we recommend using a more formal address to be respectful of all age groups. It’s really up to you though!

Use the same etiquette rules for how to address wedding invitations for your save the dates. This will help clarify whether or not children are invited. If you want the recipient to bring a guest, be sure to include “and guest” on the envelope.

At this point, an RSVP shouldn’t be expected. However, it does give time to the invitee to figure out what their RSVP will be when the formal invitation arrives.

Setting The Stage

Save the dates are not only a great way to announce your wedding day, but also generate buzz and excitement among your wedding guests. They tend to set the tone of a wedding, reflect the theme, and set the formality. Each guest that you send a save the date too, should also receive a traditional wedding invitation as the wedding date gets closer.

If you’re unsure how to match your save the dates with your wedding’s overall style, skip the stress, and simply choose one both you and your groom love. They key is to stay authentic to who you both are. We absolutely love when our couples include photos from their engagement session on their save the dates.

What To Include On Save The Dates

  • Couple’s Names
  • Wedding Date
  • Location City
  • Wedding Website
  • Notice of “Formal Invitation To Follow”

When To Send Save The Dates

Save the dates are typically sent 6-8 months before the actual wedding date. The timing is super important, especially if it is a destination wedding, or close a holiday or sporting event. Guests need time to book travel accommodations, buy gifts, and arrange for child care if needed. If save the dates are sent any earlier, they may get lost or thrown away.

The Timeline:

  • Choose your location and set the date.
  • Take your engagement photos with a photographer you love.
  • Design your save the date cards with the engagement photos.
  • Mail your save the dates 6-8 months before the wedding
  • Follow your save the dates with formal invitations 8 weeks before the wedding.

Make sure your date and location are set in stone before sending them out. It can get messy if you change your minds. In the event of unexpected plans, pick up the phone and start spreading the news to your guests. Even better, update the informations on your wedding website if you’ve created one. A personal, verbal notice is the best way to avoid confusion.

Electronic Save The Dates

Email invitations are tacky. Although one may argue that it is more environmentally friendly, it conveys a “cheap” factor to your guests. We stand by the old school stationary for formal invitations. Reserve virtual invitations for bachelorette parties and post wedding brunches. We highly recommend scheduling an engagement session with your wedding photographer. You can use your engagement photos to create a beautiful save the date.

Wedding Registry Information

Gifts are not required. Therefore, it is in bad taste to include this information on your save the dates. Guests will know to ask your parents or bridal party for that information. Once the formal invitations are sent out, you can include an insert that includes a link to your wedding website. It is perfectly acceptable to list your registries on your wedding website.

What’s next on your wedding planning list?


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