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.
On the other hand, if you are not sure whether a particular person or couple will be invited to the wedding, don’t send them a save-the-date card. And there is really no reason, and it’s a waste of your precious money, to buy and send these notices when all of your guests live relatively nearby or the wedding will not occur during a busy time of the year.
When you decide to include photos in your cards, it is advisable to use photos that were taken after your engagement. It could be about how your life has changed, or how the both of you have walked thus far.
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.
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.