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.
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.
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.
Save the date cards are simple cards that give limited information. You can announce your engagement and announce the date of your wedding. It doesn’t have to list the location unless it’s going to be out of town for part or all of your guests. There are a couple of options you have when you use save the date cards. You can have postcards printed and spend less on postage or you can create a card to insert in an envelope.
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.