Wedding SOS: The 411 on Save the Dates

Since I’m preparing to send out my Save-the-Dates in the coming weeks (WOO HOO!), I thought this post was timely. My fiance and I had some questions about what to do and what not to do so I’m anxious to share my recent findings with you all. As always, Triple B encourages everyone to ultimately do what works best for them and their household. (I’m even tweaking a couple of these for my own Save-the-Dates…) However I thought the below suggestions were pretty universal:

  • Are they necessary? Save-the-Dates aren’t mandatory but they are a nice courtesy to your guests and ultimately help streamline wedding planning for nearlyweds. As destination nuptials and three-day weekend weddings have become more standard, so have save-the-dates. They are especially helpful if you’re marrying during high-travel times like a holiday weekend or during the summer in a popular beach town like Martha’s Vineyard. If someone receives a save-the-date and will be unable to attend, they are likely to offer regrets far in advance. You should still send a wedding invitation.
  • When should I send them? As a general rule, it’s best to start spreading the news about six months prior to the ceremony (eight months for a faraway destination). This gives your guests plenty of time to book their travel, save money, and ask for time off from work. Any earlier, and they just might forget. Any later, and it might as well be an invitation.
  • Do we have to send save-the-dates to everyone? Just send them to the people that you want to come to your wedding. Even if you’ve already received verbal confirmations from certain guests, you still need to send them a save-the-date (including members of your bridal party, siblings, and parents). Please remember: Only send to those that you definitely want to attend. Once these puppies are in the mail, there’s really no turning back.
  • Do we need to add “and guest,” or can that wait for the invitations? It’s best to be clear about who’s invited to the wedding, even this far in advance. Always call your maid of honor’s bf by his nickname? Now’s the time to find out what his “government” is. By including the actual names of every intended guest on your Save-the-Date, you’re less likely to have any assumed invitees (like your fifth cousin’s on again/off again girlfriend), or general confusion (is your college roommate’s five year-old daughter invited?). Being up front about who’s invited (I know how awkward this can be!) also gives families with uninvited children ample time to plan for child care, and out-of-towners sufficient time to figure out hotel accommodations.
  • What about electronic Save-the-Dates? These are becoming increasingly popular and can be a significant cost-cutter. Use your discernment about how many of your guests (particularly older loved ones) will find this method practical. You sort of defeat the purpose and convenience of using a digital Save-the-Date if your guests are still asking “When is your wedding again?!” every other day because they never opened the email. If you have a wedding website, definitely include it somewhere on your Save-the-Date whether you’re going the email or snail mail route.
  • Remember to Keep it Simple Unless you don’t mind dishing out extra cash for postage, steer clear of oblong and uniquely shaped/designed Save-the-Dates because they are likely to require more money at the post office. Psst: My fiance and I are going with a postcard style Save-the-Date to avoid having to use envelopes.

[image courtesy of custom-magnets.com]

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    Comments

    1. BMore Cutie says:

      Awesome info here! LMBO @ finding out what someone’s “government” is…

    2. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @BMC – Laughter helps the world go ’round. ;-)

    3. Zenobia Hatcher-Wilson says:

      For anyone remotely considering inviting me to your wedding: Please DO NOT send me an electronic “Save The Date” notice. I hate this trend of notifying me of anything, i.e. parties, graduations, showers, etc. I think it borders on laziness.

    4. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Aunt Zee – Hahahahahahaha!

    5. Erica J. says:

      I don’t mind receiving Save The Date notices. However, I often feel as though they may be a waste of money. Why not just send the invitations earlier?

    6. Heather says:

      I’ve been following your site since December. Today’s comments are actually as entertaining as the post. Keep up the great work. I’ve told all of my girls to check out your site. I’ve learned soooo much from you.

    7. SpikesDtr says:

      This is all so new to me but, a good idea. Thanks for keeping us informed Triple B.

    8. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @SD – You’re very welcome.

      @Heather – I truly appreciate you spreading the “bliss”! Many thanks for your support. And btw, I agree that today’s comments are pretty entertaining.

      @Erica – Save-the-Dates are a plus when all of the wedding deets aren’t solidified but the wedding date and city are so guests can at least get a head’s up of what is to come. I too wonder if it is necessary since just 10-15 years ago they weren’t the norm but we can also say that about email, cell phones, GPS navigation, etc.

    9. Anonymous says:

      WOW! I’m learning so much about today’s modern wedding. After reading your detailed article I’m wondering if save the date is optional or necessary?

    10. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Anon – I’m glad Triple B is educating you and others. Save-the-Dates are definitely optional…

    11. Kris says:

      Yea, loved this post! Definitely just tried to explain to my fiance why they are so necessary. Yes, you don’t have to do Save-the-Dates, but with so many family and friends planning vacations and getaways during wedding season, its a good idea to give them a heads up on when the big day is. I’ve always appreciated when I got one and it keeps the refrigerator decorated with loved ones!

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