There are many types of save-the-date. Although a save-the-date is traditionally a card, it can also take the form of magnets, bookmarks, or wedding stationery. Any type of save-the-date can be a meaningful keepsake of your wedding day. They also serve the purpose of giving your guests the first indication of what your wedding will be like and what to expect at the wedding reception.
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.
The sole purpose of save-the-date cards is to give the people you intend to invite to your wedding plenty of advance notice. If, for example, you are planning to marry during the holiday season or a holiday weekend, you’ll want your guests to reserve you wedding date on their calendars months in advance. If you will be inviting guest from out of town who will need to fly in for the wedding, they will need time to make the necessary travel arrangements.
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.
To save yourself time with licking the envelopes, you might consider stickers. You can purchase round stickers with your last initial or a rose or heart. These can be found at the stationery store or where you are purchasing your invitations. Another option is to purchase glue sticks to seal the envelopes.