Typically sent considerably early in relation to the anticipated wedding date, a Save the Date precedes a formal invitation. While some couples choose to send them as little as six months prior, in some situations, it may be sensible to send them up to a year or more ahead of time. These simple gestures are not always essential, as they are merely provided to guests as a courtesy, so they will know to keep their calendars clear for the day of the event and begin making any arrangements that might be necessary.
However, they are particularly significant for couples who are planning a destination wedding; those who have numerous out of town guests or those who simply want to oblige their guests with a significant amount of time for preparations. Save the Dates began as a way to inform guests that they would be traveling to attend a wedding and assure that everyone received adequate notice to secure accommodations and transportation. But today, guests who bear hectic work schedules, numerous family obligations and those who may be experiencing financial strain will appreciate the supplemental planning allowance.
In regard to design and format, there is no true standard for modern Save the Dates; they can certainly be in the traditional form of cards, but it is perfectly acceptable to be creative and use magnets, greeting cards, postcards or even digital announcements, such as email or social media. Still, it is customary to incorporate certain criteria: the names of the bride and groom-to-be, the date of the occasion, and the destination, which may be as minimal as the city where the ceremony is to take place or as detailed as the exact venue, providing it has been secured. Additionally, a picture or design is an effective way to convey the style or type of wedding, but for couples who have not determined these elements, a modest, yet elegant design is sufficient. Some couples have even started including a wedding website on their Save the Dates, so guests can obtain regular updates regarding the wedding plans and other vital information. At times, couples have opted to include registry information as part of their Save the Dates, however, this is not recommended.
Just as with invitations, there should be one Save the Date addressed to each guest, family or couple. So, it is crucial to make every effort to compile the complete wedding guest list prior to sending Save the Dates. Generally, Save the Dates identify specifically who is invited. But, since single guests may wish to bring someone to the wedding, some brides choose to integrate “and guest” into the Save the Dates intended for them. Still, this is completely to the bride’s discretion and not necessary unless the decision to allow extra guests is definite. A bride who is not yet certain about such details should not include it in her Save the Dates. If she desires, she can incorporate it into the final invitations, but once it is listed on the Save the Dates, it is in poor taste not to include it on the final invitations, since some guests may have already invited a friend or date. Yet, even with meticulous planning, there will likely be guests, who are forgotten and added later, thus it is reasonable to order a few extra Save the Dates, as well as at least 20 additional envelopes, to account for changes or errors.
Another important element of ordering Save the Dates is the format of the recipient’s name. While younger couples may be tempted to abbreviate or use nick names to address friends, it is wise to use formal names. This will decrease any confusion and ensure that the invitation requests the presence of exactly who was intended.
It is impossible to anticipate all particulars and since Save the Dates are sent so far in advance; some things may change as the date of the wedding approaches. If this is the case, it is important to notify guests promptly. If possible, do not wait until the formal invitations are sent. Specifically, changes to the venue can result in considerable confusion. Therefore, use every option available, which may include social networking sites like Facebook, personal phone calls, secondary announcements, email or even word of mouth to get the information to guests. Conversely, if the formal invitations have already been printed, a separate note should be enclosed.