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.
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.
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.
What To Include – When designing save the date cards, keep in mind that the only information that should be included are the date and the location. Travel and area information can also be included. This can be directions from the local airport, recommended resorts or hotels, useful phone numbers, and information on any group booking plans that have been made available. If you are using an online wedding planner, website, or some other online service, you may include that link as an additional courtesy to your guests. At the bottom, be sure to include the words.