Save the date cards are miniature announcements that precede actual invitations, and their main use pertains to weddings. They’re informal, concise, and pave the way for the actual invitations, much later on. Since weddings are events that require participation and attendance of the extended families on both sides, it can be quite hairy to ensure that they’re all there. In order to allay any potential problems with attendance, save the date cards are sent from 6 to 9 months in advance, but 12 months is appropriate if the wedding coincides with special holidays and/or it’s a destination wedding.
Although wedding save-the-date cards are not part of the etiquette for a wedding, it is wise to make use of them. It allows your guests to be able to set aside time for your wedding in advance. Generally, people would like to know about your wedding as soon as they can, especially if they are keen to attend. Also, if travel arrangements need to be made, then it is best to be informed early.
What Not To Include – Save the date cards should not be used to provide detailed information about the event itself. This is not the time or place to discuss the rehearsal dinner, the reception, or the ceremony. It is inappropriate to include registry information as well. Guests who are interested in registry information can contact you themselves, or they can wait until the actual wedding invitations are sent out. Response requests are also not included. These notices are merely a courtesy ’heads up’ to your long distance guests and others who may require, for personal, professional, or medical reasons, some advance notice.
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.
What you should do – Since this will be your first written contact with most of your guests, it’s important that they make a good first impression. Make sure that you spell each guest’s name correctly. If you are unsure about the spelling of someone’s name, look it up or contact someone reliable.