This post covers everything you need to know about Save the Dates – How, when and why to send them! Read on below for my pro tips:
Once you’ve figured out two crucial wedding planning pieces – Location and Date – it’s time to start thinking about sending Save the Dates! (Note: If you’re early on in the wedding planning process, I highly recommend creating a wedding inspiration board – check out my previous post on how to create one here.)
Do I need to send a Save the Date?
The short answer: Yes! There’s a number of reasons why sending a Save the Date card is a good idea. First off, it’s a great way to get your guests excited about the big day to come. It gives them a tangible reminder of the event that they can hang on to – they might put it up on their fridge or bulletin board as a helpful visual that will keep the date top of mind.
Secondly, unless you and your fiance are from the same town AND you’re having a hometown wedding, it’s a good bet that many of your guests will have to travel. You’ll want to give your guests plenty of time to make arrangements, set aside money for plane fare, and just generally plan their trip.
To sum it up, a Save the Date card is a courtesy to your guests and the perfect thing to let everyone know well in advance what you’re planning. Read on below for how to get them done beautifully and within budget!
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When to Send a Save the Date
Simply put, you’ll want to send Save the Dates at the latest six months and up to nine months in advance. With less than six months notice, your guests may not have enough time to make travel plans. Sending them too early (or before you have the location & date information nailed down) is also not ideal; your card might get misplaced or not seem as important.
One exception to the 6 to 9 months rule: if you are celebrating your marriage in a far-flung locale – basically any destination that requires a passport – you can send them from nine months up to one year in advance. Essentially, sending it extra early is a nice heads up for your guests, and lets them know to start planning their travel accordingly (and possibly renew their passports).
What kind of Save the Date should I send?
A printed Save the Date card (or postcard) is the best way way to let guests know – it’s something they can keep handy as a reminder of your big day; it’s lightweight, affordable to mail, and relatively cost-efficient and fast to produce. Most stationers (including Fine Day Press) offer guest addressing on the envelopes so you can get them in the mail quickly and easily.
For a modern, elegant, upscale look, a beautifully printed Save the Date card on a nice paper stock (like our luxe cotton stock) in a printed envelope will do the trick and set the tone for the wedding day to come. To go with something a little bit simpler, you can do a postcard (this will also save a bit on mailing costs). Keep in mind that a card with an envelope has a bit of protection that the postcard does not have. If you want to ensure that it will arrive in pristine condition, I would recommend going that route.
Alternatively, you can get as creative as you like with your Save the Date – I’ve seen Save the Date magnets, koozies, coasters and even balloons as unique ways to spread the word about your wedding date. These quirky approaches can be a little more costly than a simple printed Save the Date card, but they can be truly memorable and fun! You also have the option of sending a digital Save the Date – the downsides with this method are that it may require a bit more set-up time (collecting email addresses, etc.) and your guests won’t have that tangible reminder on hand.
Does it need to have a photo?
Your Save the Date does not need to have a photo! We have a great selection of simple, modern Save the Date options that do not require photos and match our invitation collection to give your big day a seamless branded look.
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Of course, if you and your fiance do an engagement photo shoot, a photo Save the Date is a wonderful way to share your favorite picture with your friends and family! Make sure to schedule your photo shoot well in advance to give time for your photographer to shoot and edit the images. For more tips, Austin photographer (and my pal) Diana Ascarrunz has a great blog post on how to plan an engagement shoot.
Now that you know all the ins and outs of sending Save the Dates, you’re ready for the fun part – stationery shopping! Check out the selection in our shop.
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Got more questions about Save the Dates or invitation etiquette? Contact us and I’d be happy to answer them!