Short answer, yes. Long answer, Save the Dates are important in order to maximise the attendance of people that you love in the form of friends and family to your wedding. Without sending out a Save the Date before your wedding, it means that your important guests might come to realise that your most specialist of days actually coincides with the trip they booked to Bermuda, which has already been paid for and can’t be changed. That means that you lose out of having someone special at your wedding because you didn’t give your guests enough time to write the date in their calendar so when booking said trip to Bermuda, they would realise that they would have to go on their cruise the week later.
Planning a wedding can be stressful and intricate, but Save the Dates are not something to forgo. I have personally been involved in the turmoil of conflicting dates for big events and the damage caused has been completely irreparable to the parties involved. It’s not something you want to go through, nor something you want your guests to go through, so to avoid the stress, follow these few simple steps of advice.
Photo by Amy Locurto at Living Locurto
Get the Timeframe Right
A year in advance is too long (unless you are going on a crazy expensive destination wedding and your guests need time to save the money to afford to go) and a few weeks before the wedding is a recipe for disaster. Send your Save the Dates out 4 – 6 months before the actual wedding, and your actual invitations around 2 – 3 months before the wedding itself. This will ensure that there is enough time to reschedule any conflicting appointments that might pop up.
Don’t be Vague
You don’t want a guest to get your Save the Date in the mail and think, “Who is this for?” On the invite, you need to put the details of the bride and grooms name, the date and the location, as well as mention that more information will follow in the form of an official invite. You want to provide as much information as guests may need to start getting their heads around planning to get to your wedding, but don’t bombard them with exact details such as timing, venue addresses and catering options. Most likely at this point in the planning stage, these details may still need to be ironed out.
Put the Location on the Save the Date
If you are getting married in a different area from where you and your guests live you need to inform your guests this so that they have enough time to start looking at accommodation options. Even if they end up booking something that isn’t on your recommendation list on the official invitation, as least they have started the planning process to ensure when they need to travel, if they need to take time off work and start looking into options and cost.
Make it Personal
Giving your Save the Dates a personal touch and putting your own brand or spin on it will help make the date and the event memorable and have people screaming “you!” from miles away. This might be in the form of sending out a Save the Date with your engagement photo on it, sending out an icon that is special to your heart (like if your partner gave you a key necklace as a “key to their heart” your Save the Date could be attached to a key) or sending out one of your favourite things. Making it personal, makes it special.
Make it Creative
Chances are you have a great idea when it comes to a creative theme or colour palette for your wedding, so your Save the Date should reflect the creative joys to come. Think of it as a special taste to what guests will be looking forward to on your wedding day.
For my own Save the Dates, my husband and I sent out soy lime and coconut scented candles that my bridesmaid made with a vintage card attached. It set the tone for our wedding, which was lime and coconut themed mixed with a bit of a vintage style and a Hawaiian feel. It also made people think of our wedding in all terms of the senses – not just sight! A few other Save the Dates I have seen have reflected the colour themes of the wedding well, and one has been creative in the form of an actual origami pattern for a wedding that is taking place in Japan. Magnets are also just creative enough as well to ensure that by posting the date on your guests’ fridge, there will be a constant reminder of your special day! Being different gets people excited to receive their next steps to celebrating with you!
So there you have it, five little tips to help make your Save the Dates completely worth it – and hopefully now you have learnt why they are worth it! If you have an amazing Save the Date you want to showcase, email me a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, or upload it in the comment section below. We’d love to see!
You’ve also probably noticed that we have been doing quite a few of these wedding stationary etiquettes over the past couple of months. It’s an important topic with some important questions attached, so stay tuned for some more wedding stationary etiquette soon!