All About Save the Dates

It’s officially Engagement Season! Haven’t heard of it? Well, if you haven’t already noticed from Facebook announcements, a large number of couples get engaged around the holidays! Something about being with family and cozying up by the fire just makes us all want to make it official, I guess.

From a wedding standpoint, this means that Save the Date Season is right around the corner (January/February, to be exact), since most couples get married the year following their engagement. We figured this was perfect timing to begin a series discussing ALL parts of the wedding invitation suite, starting with Save the Dates! Save the Dates are something you’ve probably seen a lot already, but there are a few things to consider to get the most out of them - we’re here to help you with that!

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What are Save the Dates?

A Save the Date card is pretty much what it sounds like - it lets people know about your wedding so they can make travel plans and put it on their calendar. It’s basically the first impression anyone is going to have of your Wedding Day!

When to Send Save the Date Cards?

We recommend sending Save the Dates 6-9 months before your wedding. The farther your wedding is from most of your guests, the earlier you should send. If all guests will have to travel internationally, it’s ideal to send around 1 year’s notice if possible. Even if you don’t have 100% of your wedding logistics figured out yet, send a Save the Date with what you’ve got, so people can arrange their schedules accordingly!

What Information is Needed for a Save the Date?

A Save the Date must have 3 pieces of information:

  1. Your Names

  2. Your Wedding Date(s)

  3. Your Wedding Location

We say ‘Date(s)’, because some weddings are more than one day. If you have multiple events scheduled that the entire guest list is invited to, then include those dates on the Save the Date as well, especially if all events are “wedding” events, such as a Sangeet or Tea Ceremony that happens on a different day than the reception.

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The location is usually city and state, but whatever information they’ll need to book a flight or hotel is helpful. For instance, if you’re getting married in a small town, you may want to specify an airport to fly into.

Most people also include their wedding website address. Even if you haven’t fully built out the website, it should go on the Save the Date if you’re going to have one. This is the best way for people to be able to answer questions they may have without you receiving the same phone call 100 times. If there are travel arrangements, go ahead and put those on the website before sending out the Save the Dates (for instance, which airports to use, transportation to hotels, and which hotels you recommend).

Who gets a Save the Date?

Simple. Everyone who you plan to invite - even if you already know they cannot come. Conversely, everyone who receives a Save the Date should receive an invitation. You can send an invitation to someone who didn’t receive a Save the Date, but try to reserve that for last-minute invites only. One note when planning this out is that anyone over 18 should receive their own invitation, even if they live together (adult children living with their parents, or adult roommates who are not dating are the two most common!). Some people relax this “rule” for Save the Dates, but make sure to include everyone who’s invited on the envelope to avoid confusion.

How to Design a Save the Date?

You’ve probably seen a million Save the Dates that look like this: a cute engagement photo, the words “Save the Date” in loopy calligraphy, the couple’s names and date underneath. It’s the classic. It’s simple, sweet, and to the point. Plus, what else do you do with those engagement photos?

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I tend to err in another direction, for one main reason: the Save the Date is the only piece of your wedding planning that your guests will see for months. You’re entrenched in the details every day, from florals to linens and everything in between - wouldn’t it be fun to show your guests a little peek of what you’ve been working on? You can absolutely still utilize and engagement picture, but I like to also correlate some Save the Date elements with the rest of the invitation suite if possible, so that your guests know from the beginning what kind of wedding they can expect from you!

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There are tons of different wordings for Save the Dates - Save our Date, Save the Weekend, plenty of creative ways to say this! We absolutely love fun wordings that are more particular to you as a couple. “Let’s do this!”, “We’re finally doing it!”, and “Join us in Mexico” are some examples of more fun wordings. If you use something like this, just make sure the other text makes it very clear that they should save this date for your wedding (sometimes people get confused if we don’t spell it out for them).

Budget-Saving Tips for Save the Dates

My couples often try to keep the budget a little tighter for Save the Dates, so we can splurge a little more on invitation details. That’s completely fine - there are a few ways to help with that!

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  1. Skip the Calligraphy: Calligraphy is a beautiful upgrade, but you can print your addresses for a good bit less and still have a beautiful design! Then if you choose to do calligraphy on your invites, they’ll stand out even more!

  2. Gold Foil: A lot of the price of gold foil stamping is the die that has to be created - a lot of sites re-use dies on popular phrases to help you save money. If you choose a generic die for the “Save the Date” text instead of your names, often times you can get foil stamping at about half the cost!

  3. Keep it Simple: No need to go over-the-top on your Save the Dates. A 5x7 card with digital printing can still be beautiful with the right design, plus you don’t need to pay extra postage for additional inserts, wax seals, etc. We offer custom Save the Dates, but also our Collection Suites each has a Save the Date option (or you can use the Shower or main Invite as a Save the Date if you like) if you’re just trying to keep things simple!

Let us know if you have any questions about Save the Dates, and feel free to contact us if you’re looking for custom or Collection Save the Dates. Next week, we’ll be talking All About Invitations themselves, and then we’ll follow up with RSVP cards, Additional Inserts, Maps, and Liners!