Although save-the-dates are not absolutely necessary, these cards have increased in popularity with the rise of destination weddings and modern guest lists spread throughout the country. Since they are a relatively modern concept, no real rules apply – a fact which sometimes causes confusion for brides when planning their wedding stationery. I’ve sorted through the information that’s out there to bring you the real ins and outs concerning save-the-dates.
Do include photos that are relevant to your wedding; and use colors that relate to your wedding. For example, if your wedding venue is to be decorated with white and pink decorations, then use the same color theme for your cards as well.
Getting your guests’ attention – Some brides-to-be really want these cards to be eye catching so that they truly standout and serve as a visual notice. If this is what you have in mind, look for something unusual, such as scratch-off cards or magnets (that can be posted on your guests refrigerators). Maybe you will want to make your own cards, incorporating one or more of your wedding colors, a graphic design, or a photo.
Rules & Etiquette – Again, few rules apply. The only information you must include is your names and wedding date, although I 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 4-6 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. You can, however, always add guests later (there is no rule that says everyone must receive a save-the-date card). Although formal replies are not required, you can get preliminary attendance estimates through word-of-mouth.
Who Needs them? 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 6-8 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.