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Wedding Planning Etiquette: Save the Dates

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So, you have your date and venue sorted; surely this means it is time to start telling people when your big day is going to be? You could do this by chatting to your guests or posting on social media, but it is far better to do this with a save the date card. This makes it far less likely that they will forget. No matter if this is your first or second wedding, a save the date also sets the tone for the wedding, and it gives your guests an insight into what sort of vibe and colour scheme you are going for on your big day.

Do I Have to Send Save the Dates?

In all honesty, it comes down to personal preference. You do not have to do anything that you don’t want to do – it is your wedding day after all. If you don’t want to send save the date cards, then you don’t have to. However, they do give your guests the best possible chance of actually making it to your big day. It gives your guests all of the information with plenty of notice which allows them to rearrange any prior engagements.

Who Gets One?

You need to be clear about who you are inviting to the wedding; anyone who receives a save the date should then receive a formal invitation further down the line. A save the date generally means that you will be inviting the recipient to the whole day and not just the reception so bear that in mind too.

When Should I Send Them?

You can send your save the dates almost as soon as you have booked your venue if you want to. That being said, most people opt to send theirs between a year and six months before their big day. This allows all the guests enough time to make any arrangements, whether that is travel, time off of work or childcare. If you are planning on having a destination wedding, then the more notice, the better.

How Many Do I Need?

Save the dates, like invitations, are usually limited to one per household; keep that in mind when deciding how many you will need. Once you have a number roughed out, you should add an extra ten to twenty to that number. You will have almost certainly missed some people out, and you might make some errors when posting them out, so it is always better to have spares. It is also cheaper to add extras to your initial order than it is to place another order further down the line.

What Information Do I Need to Include?

Save the dates do not have to be overloaded with information; remember that your official invite will have all of the necessary information on it. Keep it as simple as you like, but in general, you should be looking to include the names of both parties, the date of the wedding and the venue as a minimum. If you have a wedding website or any other information, for example, if your wedding or reception is held at a hotel, and you have a discount code to offer guests.

What Should They Look Like?

You may want your save the dates to be in keeping with the rest of your wedding stationery, or it could be a stand-alone piece. If you have already decided on a colour scheme and a general aesthetic, then you can look for save the dates that match.

There are a lot of options for save the dates these days. Traditionally they looked like notecards, and they were posted out to guests. However, nowadays you have so many more options. You can do save the date magnets, bookmarks, videos, to name but a few. Essentially, if you can customize it, you can make it into a save the date.

You can also use a service, which offers an email invitation service; they are paperless, which means they are better for the planet. Usually they have templates that suit a wide range of occasions and aesthetics. If you choose to use them for your invitations, you may also benefit from their other services like automatic RSVP tracking software and survey questions to track your guests’ menu preferences. It makes things much easier and can help relieve some of your stress in preparation for the big day.

Your save the dates act as the first bit of correspondence that your guests receive in regards to your wedding; they deserve consideration. It provides your guests with the first impression and gives them a few little hints towards what they can expect from your big day. Most people have hectic schedules today and so giving them plenty of notice ensures that they save the date so that they can celebrate your special day with you. 

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