Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful, time-consuming, yet ultimately rewarding experiences for a young couple and their families. While the big day is the showpiece, there is so much planning behind the scenes. Music, guest lists, catering, dietary requirements, function centres, and churches. The list goes on. Once you have completed your guest list, the next step is to start creating your save the date cards. So, if you’re at the beginning of what is a long and complicated process, check out this guide on wedding etiquette and where save the date cards fit in!
What are save the date cards?
The purpose of these preliminary invites is to let people know well in advance when your wedding will occur. If you’re planning a destination wedding, then you need to be booking in your guests now, so you can give them plenty of time to lock down accommodation and travel arrangements. It can be quite expensive for them (and especially you), so financial planning is key. Your invites are also a great way to ensure that most of your guests can come to your wedding. It’s a big, special day, so you obviously want all the important people in your life present.
When should they be sent?
There is no strict rule as to when your save the date cards should be mailed out. The exact timings are predicated on when your wedding will take place (i.e. during popular holiday times) and where it will take place (destination wedding). For example, if you’re planning a wedding overseas (like Thailand) for the end of the year (very popular), you should be sending out your notifications as early as possible. Some couples will send them out 12 months before, others around 6 months before. Either way, 6 months is a good deadline to stick to.
On the other hand, local weddings won’t require the same level of notice. Giving your guests about 4-6 months’ notice will allow them to organise transport, supervision for children (if applicable) and other necessary arrangements.
What information do you need to include?
You don’t need to overload your guests with a ridiculous amount of information. On your save the date cards, you only need to let them know of the following three things:
Naturally, you need to let them know of the exact day and time. Some weddings go over several days (i.e. like a weekend). If this is the case, make sure you outline this in your save the date cards.
You don’t necessarily have to have the EXACT location (like a function centre or resort) all sorted yet; however, you do need to give your guests a city or suburb where your wedding will be. This gives them plenty of time to plan, in terms of travel and accommodation. Local guests may even want to book a nearby hotel, so they don’t have to drive home that night (if it is unsafe or they have been drinking).
Naturally, some of your friends and family might not know the full name of your fiancé (especially long-distance friends). Make sure you put both your full name and his/her full name on your save the date cards, or at least a first name (if you plan to have a more informal, casual ceremony).
The above three things should be included on your notifications. Other things that are not as necessary, but could be very helpful include:
- A link to your wedding website, Instagram account or Facebook page (it’s a great way to keep in touch with your guests)
- A notice that the formal wedding invitation will follow (some guests may assume that your save the date cards are your wedding invitations, so let them know there is more info to come).