Timing Is Everything – Wedding invitations are generally mailed out six to eight weeks prior to the event, but save the date cards should be sent out four to six months ahead of time. This way, guests will be able to shop around for transportation, schedule a convenient flight, reserve a hotel room, and make other necessary arrangements. Major events are exciting social gatherings that everyone will want to attend, both family and friends from near and far. Sending them out well enough in advance makes it far more likely that all of your guests will be able to attend.
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.
You should send save-the-date cards to all of your intended guests when either of these circumstances fit your situation. Even friends and family members who you already know will attend should be sent a card.
The sole purpose of save-the-date cards is to give the people you intend to invite to your wedding plenty of advance notice. If, for example, you are planning to marry during the holiday season or a holiday weekend, you’ll want your guests to reserve you wedding date on their calendars months in advance. If you will be inviting guest from out of town who will need to fly in for the wedding, they will need time to make the necessary travel arrangements.
If you are creative and want to save money, you can create your own save the date cards using either card stock paper or regular paper. This will save you money since you will be printing them yourself. You can be real creative when you design these. You can include a picture on the paper and include any other personal details you would like.