What to Put on Save the Dates: The Three Things You MUST Include

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase using these links, at no cost to you. We only share links to products and services that we have first-hand experience with and recommend to our planning clients.

You’ve gotten engaged and decided on a date, congratulations! This is where wedding planning starts to feel real; and for some couples, where the stress starts to kick in. Take a deep breath, followed by a sigh of relief, because today’s post is going to guide you through exactly what you need to create your wedding save the dates!

The Date

This may seem obvious, but it’s important! Make sure you include the date, and as a general rule, if the wedding is not on a Saturday, it’s a great idea to include the day of the week – many people just assume weddings only happen on Saturdays, so by including the day of the week, you’ll help them avoid accidentally scheduling something on your date, thinking your wedding was on a Saturday. As you are designing your save the dates, it’s a great time to re-check your venue agreement to make sure the date is correct there, as well – because let’s be honest, it’s easy to make a typo with dates!

The Location

There are a few options when it comes to listing the location, but in general, we recommend the city/town and state. If you’re getting married at a venue that’s of particular interest (ie: an historical building or otherwise well-known venue), you could also include the venue name: your guests may be interested to learn more about the space prior to the wedding.

Your Wedding Website

Not necessarily required, but we strongly recommend setting up your wedding website prior to sending save the dates. Why? A wedding website serves as the hub of information for your wedding guests. It’s where they will go to find information about hotel room blocks, view your registry, and read any other details you have to share with them, such as transportation details, welcome reception and/or brunch details, and more. It may sound like a lot to do before sending save the dates, but your wedding website can be created in two phases: before sending save the dates, make sure you:

  • create a preliminary registry and link to it,
  • write the details of your relationship (we recommend the stories of how you met and the engagement, at a minimum); and
  • include the hotel room block details.

Don’t have a website yet? No need to panic! We recommend Minted, eWedding, AppyCouple, and Basic Invite (see the banner below for an exclusive discount) if you want a quick and easy way to get your site launched. If you’d prefer to have more control over the design of your site, and you have some experience with web design (or are interested in learning), we suggest Squarespace.

Basic Invite Wedding Invitation Program
Wedding Save the Date FAQs:

When do I send out wedding save the dates?
The general rule of thumb is to send your save the dates between 6 and 12 months in advance:
8-12 Months for weddings that will require guests to travel internationally. (Unpopular opinion but we say you can do this at 14 months if you feel like your guests will appreciate the extra time to plan accordingly).
6-8 Months for weddings that will have guests traveling domestically.
4-6 Months is acceptable if you are planning an intimate wedding with guests who all live within driving distance of the wedding location.

Can I send electronic save the dates?
Yes – but keep in mind that email can be finicky and often times, emails go overlooked – so with the savings of electronic save the dates comes the risk of your guests missing the notice. Prior to making the decision, we recommend you take a look through your guest list and determine whether or not an electronic save the date for your guest list is appropriate: many of us still have family and relatives who do not use/have email! If you do choose to send electronic save the dates, we recommend Greenvelope.

I heard save the dates are not required, is this true?
Technically speaking, it is true that proper etiquette does not require save the dates – however, we feel strongly that if you want your guests to attend your wedding, save the dates are a great way to make sure your date gets on your guests’ calendars!

Do I need to schedule an engagement session with my photographer before sending out Save the Dates?
Many couples choose to send save the dates that feature a photo of them – we love this trend but think it’s important that your save the dates feature professional photos so that they print nicely and everyone gets to see your wonderful (and recent) photos! If you think you may want to include an image from your engagement shoot on your save the date, be sure to talk to your photographer about your plans so that you can make sure the timing works out – don’t forget that photographers need time to process, edit and return your images to you, and sometimes this can take weeks or even months!

What else do I need to know about save the dates that couples don’t think about?
If you’ve established a wedding budget, be sure to include the cost of postage in your save the date budget – many couples forget this and postage can easily add $100 or more to the budget. Also be mindful that square designs, magnets, and designs on super thick card stock can cost more to ship.
Remember: save the dates are a preview of your wedding – don’t treat them like a minor thing on the to-do list! Spend time thinking about the design and impression they make, and try to create something that matches the mood you want your wedding to set.

Cover photo by Danny Gorman Photography from Hannah + Steve’s wedding at Thompson Island.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase using these links, at no cost to you. We only share links to products and services that we have first-hand experience with and recommend to our planning clients.

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