Save the Date 101: Everything You Need to Know

save the date - kim james photography
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Alright ladies (and gentlemen), let’s take a second to pat yourselves on the back. You’ve booked a venue, solidified a date, asked your wedding party to be your bridesmaids and groomsmen, chosen your photographer, taken engagement pictures, and now you’re about to send out your save the date! That’s a whole lot of things you’ve already crossed off your wedding checklist, congratulations.

save the date - kim james photography

Photo Credit: Kim James Photography

Okay, now onto everything you need to know for your save the date:

When to send your save the date?

Most etiquette blogs will say to send your save the dates around 6 months. We urge you to do it anywhere between 6-8 months to allow time for your out of guest relatives to begin their planning. Plus, it will drive a lot of traffic to your wedding website and allow for you to capture some data you may need during your own planning process. For example, transportation needs, hotel blocks, etc.

If you’re planning a more local wedding, you can get away with a 4-6 month wedding timeline instead of the 6-8 month’s that destination weddings or weddings that require travel will need.

save the date - whiskers and willow

Photo Credit: Whiskers and Willow

What do I include on my save the date?

This is where things get tricky. You want to keep in mind that this is purely meant to have your guests put your wedding date on their calendar. Your invitation will include all of the food, venue, and RSVP information, so there is no need to include that on your save the dates. Here is what you need to include and what you can leave out:

Things to include:

  • You and your fiancé’s first and last name’s
  • Wedding Date
  • City and State
  • Wedding Website – while not necessary, highly desirable
  • Formal Invitation to Follow” – let your guest’s know that this isn’t the end of the road for information
  • Optional (but highly recommended) – Your favorite picture from your engagement shoot

Things to not include:

  • RSVP Card – you don’t need to know a headcount or dietary restrictions quite yet
  • Venue – this might not be solidified quite yet, so it’s best to leave it out

save the date - rachel moore photography

Photo Credit: Rachel Moore Photography

Who should I send my save the dates to?

Anyone that you want to invite to the wedding, you should send a save the date. Some couples will have a “backup” list in case you want to fill spots when certain people can’t attend. Our advice? Create a guest list and stick to it. It’s more cost efficient to have fewer guests rather than have an A and a B list. That being said, we recommend that you only send your save the date’s to your A list and be mentally prepared with B’s not being able to attend if you invite them later on. Not to mention, they will most likely realize that they weren’t on the A-list, to begin with.

save the date - tec petaja

Photo Credit: Tec Petaja

How to address your save the dates?

Addressing your save the date will be the first opportunity to solidify if the guest is allowed to bring a plus one or not. Here are some examples to consider as you’re addressing your envelopes:

Single Guest – Use Mr., Ms., Miss, Mrs. as necessary:

Miss Jane Smith

123 Fairytale Lane

San Diego, CA 92101

Guest with a Plus One – Add “and guest” to the format of the original guest invited:

Miss Jane Smith and Guest

123 Fairytale Lane

San Diego, CA 92101

Unmarried Couple – Both first and last names should be used as well as “Mr.” or “Ms.”:

Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Smith

123 Fairytale Lane

San Diego, CA 92101

Married Couple – Mr. and Mrs. First and Last Name of the husband:

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe

123 Fairytale Lane

San Diego, CA 92101

Married Couple with Kids – Similar to the married couple format, except you add an extra line, underneath the parents, with their children’s first names:

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe

Jack and Jill

123 Fairytale Lane

San Diego, CA 92101

save the date - pauline conway

Photo Credit: Pauline Conway Photography

Should I send an Evite, Postcard or Traditional Mailer?

Depending on your wedding style, there are a lot of options of formats to send to your guests! Evites offer an inexpensive, beautiful, but a less formal route to tell your guests about your wedding. Postcards are a fun and unique way to announce your date, especially for destination weddings. Traditional save the dates are timeless and cherished but can be extremely pricey and unnecessary if you’re trying to cut costs.

save the date - caroline tran photography

Photo Credit: Caroline Tran Photography

Are you putting together your save the date? If so, did we miss anything?

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