Congratulations! You've got the ring on your finger and your wedding date is set - now the wedding planning can truly begin. Once you've completed your guest list it's time to start spreading the exciting news and letting your loved ones know they're officially on the guest list for your wedding day. Save the date cards are the first pieces of wedding stationery that you’ll send out, so, naturally, you want to get them right.
I've put together this essential guide on save the date cards based on the most frequently asked questions received, so If you're unsure about what to include, when to send them or who should receive them, take a read below.
Do we have to send save the dates?
It's entirely up to you and if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Save the dates aren't always necessary, and if you're only having a short engagement it might make more sense to head straight to the main invitations. However they are very useful if you want to give your guests a little bit of extra notice - especially if you're having a destination wedding or if the date falls on a bank holiday.
What do I include on my save the date cards?
Save the dates are very simple. They are only meant to include a few key details that guests need to know as soon as possible for them to start getting organised and make their arrangements.
At this point, you may not have have figured out all the specifics of your day. The two main things you need to include are: the date of your wedding and your names. Including the location is not essential unless you’re getting married abroad but it is helpful to add a town or city, even if the venue isn't booked yet. I also recommend adding the words ‘Formal Invitation to Follow’ at the bottom of the save the dates so guests don’t assume this is their invite.
When should I send out my save the date cards?
Save the date cards should be sent out at least eight months to a year before your wedding, but the earlier the better. This gives guests plenty of time to book their travel, save some money and book time off work if required.
Who should I send save the date cards to?
You should send your save the dates to the people you definitely want at your wedding day. Even if you've already received verbal confirmations from certain guests, you should still send them a save the date. If you have doubts about a certain guest, don’t send them one. If you change your mind in the future, you can always send them a late invitation.
You should only address your save the date cards to the people invited to the wedding. You need to be clear about who's invited to the wedding by including the actual names of every intended guest on the envelope. If you don’t want or can’t cater for children at your wedding, address the envelope to the parents only. This will give families with uninvited kids plenty of time to plan for child care and allow guests who aren't local ample time to figure out their travel and accommodation plans. It's also a good idea to include any plus ones on the envelope too so that your guests know who to involve in accommodation and/or travel arrangements.
Save the dates are usually sent only to your day guests. This is to save any awkward situations from arising by ensuring your evening guests don't assume they're invited to the whole wedding day. If you would like to send a notice of your wedding date to your evening guests you could send out 'save the evening' cards instead.
What should my save the date cards look like?
Save-the-dates are usually much less formal so they don’t have to match all of your wedding stationery, but they should fit with the general wedding theme you’ve chosen as they will set the tone for the rest of your wedding.
I hope this has helped to demystify some of the unknowns surrounding save the dates and answered some of the questions you might have had, but don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s anything else you need to know. If you’re looking for your dream save the date design you can peruse some of the wedding collections here.