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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo strips are the ’in’ thing nowadays. Instead of just having one photo on your save-the-date cards for weddings, it is trendy to include a few photos that capture your personality as a couple.