What is a save the date? Why do I need a save the date in addition to an invitation?
A save the date is a card that you send prior to the invitation to tell your future guests that they will be receiving an invitation to your wedding and what date the wedding will take place. Some people do not send save the dates, but as peoples’ lives become more hectic and travel requires more forewarning, many couples choose to send these so that their guests will have ample time to plan for the event. This is especially helpful if your guests need to ask time off work to travel, buy plane tickets, schedule a baby sitter, etc. If you do send them, you MUST send an invitation to everyone you send a save the date to.
When should I mail my save the dates?
Because save the dates are a new concept of the past decade or so there is no steadfast rule on this, but its usually a good idea to send them anywhere from 6 to 10 months prior to the wedding.
What does the save the date need to include?
Many couples may not know all the details of their wedding at the time they send the save the date, and that’s perfectly ok. The only information that absolutely must be included is a) your names (surely you could have figured that out) b) your wedding date and c) the city and state where the wedding will be held. Many couples also like to create some sort of wedding website and include the link on the card. It is standard for to say “Invitation to follow” at the bottom of the card so that the guest knows they will be receiving a formal invitation and more information at a later time. If your wedding falls on a holiday weekend or coincides with another major event in your city it might also be a good idea to include information about possible hotel accommodations so that your guests can book early.
Do my save the dates have to coordinate with my invitations and the look of my wedding?
No. Because these are sent early on in the process many times decisions about design and style will not have been made yet. Your save the date can be anything you want and does not have to use the same color palette, graphics, fonts, etc as your invitations. Even couples who have more formal invitations tend to do something more fun and casual for their save the dates. Many couples like to incorporate their engagement photos or use some sort of phrasing that is personal to them.