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.
Since save the date cards are a recent phenomenon, it’s helpful to include an addendum along the lines of ’invitation to follow’. That way, invitees will not mistake the card for the actual invitation because the real invitation will have more details, be more elaborately designed, and more prestigious in general. In other words, your guests won’t think you and your spouse are cheapskates that are as scant on information as you are on cash.
Photo strips are the ’in’ thing nowadays. Instead of just having one photo on your save-the-date cards for weddings, it is trendy to include a few photos that capture your personality as a couple.
Planning and Sending – Once you know all of the basic details about your wedding plans, place your order with your stationer. As with invitations, having these cards printed can take up to several weeks, so give your stationer plenty of time. You can mail these cards out up to six months before the wedding date. Save-the-date cards can be designed to match the rest of your wedding stationery and ordered at the same time, or they can have a completely different look.
You may also consider doing customized printing on objects that will grab attention. For example, a pinwheel or a fan.