You’ve found your dream venue and booked the perfect date, now you need to make sure your nearest and dearest keep it free. Deputy Editor Becci Clubb talks you through the all you need to know about save the date etiquette.
Whether you choose to send a traditional card, a paperless message or something a little different, timing is everything. So, when is the right time for you to send your save the date cards?
If you’ve booked the venue, then you’ll know your wedding date. The earlier you can notify your guests the more likely they are to be available. We recommend around eight months before the big day. Nevertheless, if you send it too far in advance, it might be forgotten about. Any later, however, and you’d need to start thinking about sending out your invitations.
You may not know all of the specifics for the wedding yet, but don’t worry at this stage. That is why you follow up on your save the dates with a formal invitation, around two months before the big day.
If you’re allowing plus ones, try to include them on the save the date so that everyone is clear from the start who is and who isn’t invited. That goes for children too. If you aren’t inviting children, then parents will need to make alternative arrangements for them. Sending a clear save the date will allow them the time to do so.
You only need to send save the dates to the people that you definitely want at your ceremony, so finalise your guest list before sending them.
If you are inviting some guests to the evening reception, you do not need to send out save the dates, just the invitation when the time comes. If you have some dinner spaces come available, you may want to fill the slots with some evening guests. You wouldn’t need to send a save the date in this case. Be warned though, no one likes to be second best, so try not to let on that these guests are on a reserve guest list.
If you plan on marrying abroad or away from your hometown, include this information on your save the date. This gives guests time to book holiday from work and also save for the additional cost of flights and accommodation.
Finally, if you have chosen the theme and feel for your day, choose a save the date to fit with the rest of your plans. Laid-back, rustic weddings would suit small engraved branch slices or decorated luggage labels.