The Complete Guide to Stunning Save the Date Cards
At first glance, Save the Date cards seem like a simple idea—they’re a card you send out to inform guests to, you guessed it, save the date for your upcoming nuptials. But, as any bride-to-be knows, once you dive into wedding planning, you quickly realize that items that seem simple on the surface can actually end up being much more complicated than anticipated.
When should you send out Save the Date cards, what information should you include, and is it considered taboo to list your gift registry? Not to fear—today, we’re breaking down all you need to know about the many ins and outs of Save the Date cards. Read on for our pro tips!
What are Save the Date cards?
Wedding Save the Dates are a card sent to your guest list prior to sending your actual wedding invitation. Save the Date cards are sent well in advance of the wedding to allow your guests to hold your date on their calendar so that they can make work arrangements or travel plans.
Keep in mind wedding Save the Dates are not the same as wedding announcements. Wedding announcements are sent 1 -2 weeks after the wedding has taken place to loved ones who were not invited to the ceremony.
Do I need to send out Save the Date cards?
It can be tempting to skip Save the Dates to save on budget. While they’re not a must, they are a great way to set the tone and spread the news of your engagement. On top of that, though, they are also a major courtesy to your guests. If your wedding will require guests to travel, take time off of work, or arrange for childcare, the sooner you can let them know the better. (Sending them an invitation one month before your Hawaii destination wedding can mean a very pricey flight to Maui and hectic last-minute arrangements.) Overall, know that they are extremely helpful if you want to ensure those closest to you can make it to your event.
What information Should My Save the Date cards include?
Rather than just a date, there’s an array of information you’ll want to include so guests get a good idea of what’s to come. We recommend always including:
Your name (maiden)
Your significant other’s name
Your wedding date
Location (city and state—not the venue name)
A notice that a formal invitation is to follow
Who should I send wedding Save the Dates to?
Only send Save the Date cards to people you are planning on inviting to your wedding. If you send a guest a Save the Date card, they absolutely should receive a wedding invitation as well.
When should I send out my Save the Date cards?
For most weddings, you should send your Save the Date cards 6 months prior to the wedding date. If you are having a destination wedding, we suggest sending them out 8-12 months prior to the wedding to allow guests to adequately plan for travel and accommodations.
PRO TIP: While it’s tempting to want to send out Save the Date cards immediately to announce your wedding to the world, make sure you have the details decided before doing so. You want to ensure your guest list is clearly defined and that your wedding date and location is set in stone. There’s nothing worse than sending out Save the Dates too early and having to backtrack to let guests know your plans have changed.
When should I order my Save the Date cards?
Using the timeline we gave above, order your Save the Date cards about 1 month prior to when you plan to mail them.
Should I include a picture?
There’s no mandatory rule that states you should include a photo, but we think including a picture is a great way to get some mileage out of your engagement photos. It’s also a nice way to “introduce” your significant other to family and friends who have not had a chance to meet them in person.
That said, your Save the Date cards should be in line with the overall aesthetic of your wedding (more on this below!)—so if you’re planning for an affair that’s super streamlined and all about clean text, a photo might not exactly fit with the aesthetic of wedding invitation and event that’s to come.
Should my Save the Dates match my invitation style?We think so! Setting a cohesive theme from the start elevates a wedding from ho-hum to a stunning affair. You don’t have to be over-the-top matchy-matchy, but keeping the overall style clean, simple, and elegant will make a dramatic impact.
Can I add my gift registry to my Save the Date cards?It might be tempting to include, but etiquette states gift registries should never be included on your Save the Dates. Instead, add your wedding website information and then include a link to your gift registry on your wedding website.
How do I make my Save the Dates stand out?
There are plenty of ways to take your wedding Save-the-Date game up a notch or two. We recommend enhancing your design with recipient addressing, envelope liners, or wax seals. Foil stamping and letterpress are also beautiful ways to elevate your Save the Date cards while still creating a design that remains elegant and timeless.
Want more tips for stunning stationery? Download our Free Guide to Elegant Wedding Invitations.
Order your Lily & Roe Co. complimentary design kit to see and feel our quality up close and start personalizing your wedding Save the Dates today.