So you’re engaged and you’ve chosen your wedding date… the next step is to send your save the date cards!
And since there are so many confusing (and often unnecessary) rules surrounding save the date etiquette, we’ve put together a guide to make the process much less complicated. Read on for our save the date etiquette tips and advice.
Are save the date cards compulsory?
Save the dates aren’t compulsory but they’re an expected courtesy. As more and more people are getting married abroad or away from their home town, save the dates are a good way to give your guests a heads up about your wedding so that they can book time off and make travel arrangements. Not to mention, they’ll make sure that no-one books a holiday that clashes with your special day and increase their chances of attending.
When to send save the date cards
As a rough guide, it’s best to start spreading the word about your wedding about 6 months to a year before the actual date. If you’re getting married abroad or somewhere your guests will need to book accommodation, we’d recommend giving your guests as much notice as possible.
However, you don’t want to send your save the dates too soon just in case they get lost or forgotten about; it’s important to strike the right balance. And remember, only send your save the dates to people you definitely want to invite because once you’ve sent them, there’s no going back!
Save the date wording
Save the date cards are much less informal than your official wedding invitations, so they’re a good opportunity to let your style and personality shine through. And if you haven’t completely decided on a theme yet, they’re a good opportunity to try out a theme. There’s no rule that says that have to match your wedding invitations so have fun and experiment.
As for what to write on your save the date cards, don’t worry if you haven’t finalised all the details of your wedding yet. Save the dates only need to include your names, the fact you’re getting married, the date and a rough location (no need to put an exact address just yet).
Your save the date wording may look something like this:
SAVE THE DATE
Rebecca and John
are getting married
on 26th June 2016
at Arley Hall, Cheshire.
Invitation to follow
Common save the date etiquette mistakes
Even though save the date cards are much less formal than wedding invitations, there are a few common save the date etiquette mistakes that you should avoid at all cost! Here are the most common save the date etiquette faux-pas.
Not including the wedding location on the save the date card
Don’t leave your wedding location up to assumption – even if you still live in your home town. Many guests will need to travel to your venue and book overnight accommodation so it’s good courtesy to give them as much notice as possible.
You don’t need to give an exact address (as you might not have booked the venue yet) but including the name of the town on your save the date card will allow your guests to book their travel and accommodation in advance.
Not making it clear who can bring a plus-one
Plus-ones can be tricky issue so it’s best to make it clear right from the start who can and can’t bring a guest. Couples who are married, engaged or live together should be invited together but after that the line can get a bit blurred. Just remember to be consistent in whatever you decide. Here are a couple of options to help you decide who else can bring a plus-one:
- All singles over the age of 18
- Anyone in a relationship
- Couples who’ve been together for over a year
Whatever you decide, make sure all your bridesmaids and groomsmen are allowed to bring dates.
Using pre-printed labels on the invitations
Handwriting your save the date cards adds a real personal touch, so we’d recommend avoiding using pre-printed labels on your invitations.
And if you’re worried about messy handwriting, ask a friend with nice handwriting to write them or print each address in light grey and go over it with a fountain pen to make it look handwritten.
Can you send electronic save the date cards?
In this digital age, many people choose to send their stag or hen do invites online. But for big things like save the date cards and wedding invitations, you should always use snail mail. It’s much more special and your guests can choose to keep hold of them as a keepsake. If you insist on sending electronic invites, we’d recommend sending postal invites as well.
And there you have it – now you know everything you need to know about save the date etiquette, browse our beautiful collection of save the date cards or stay on the Party Delights blog for even more wedding planning tips: