Save the date cards is the best way to announce your wedding plans to family and friends. You want to make sure that everyone you invite has plenty of time to plan for the event. It doesn’t matter if your wedding will be local or if they will need to travel, they need to be prepared. Save the date cards help everyone to do just that. You don’t want to send them out too early, but at the same time if you are going to use save the date cards, you need to send them out soon enough for them to do any good. It’s recommended that you send them out about six months before your planned wedding day.
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.
If you know what your theme or colors are going to be, you can incorporate that into your save the date cards as well. You can also include your engagement picture if you have one. You can have these cards made at a bridal shop or stationery store. You might be able to get a discount if you order the save the date cards when you order your wedding invitations.
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.
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.