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.
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.
Save the date cards can take the form of any message medium, and often do. They sometimes correspond in style to the wedding invitations, or they take the form of refrigerator magnets, brochures, postcards, booklets, or tri-fold letters. The medium is up to you, but the shortness of the message usually lends itself well to magnets or small cards.
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.
Brides tend to favor the idea of sending out save-the-date cookies, but make sure that you include an additional slip of paper so the information does not get eaten up with the cookies.