Save the date cards — cards giving wedding guests a heads up about the date of your upcoming nuptials — are a 21st century custom. They're not a traditional requirement for couples, but they are becoming increasingly popular… sometimes we think it's just because there are so many cute Save the Date cards.
Ok, so first: Why send a save the date?
One of the main reasons to send a save the date card is to give your guests time to make travel arrangements. If you have a destination wedding or your friends and family are spread out far and wide, their preparation for your wedding may include a lot of moving parts:
- Get time off from work to travel and take part in what might be multiple days' events.
- Work around family vacations, conferences, and other events that may be planned far in advance.
- Get bargains on travel and accommodations.
- Save up for the costs of attending and taking part in the wedding.
- Coordinate travel and accommodations with other guests.
- Sort out family estrangements or do other emotional work that may be required.
- Make special costumes or other DIY projects.
- Arrange for the care of kids or pets.
If everyone's coming across town to your back yard shindig, you probably don't even need save the dates. But modern weddings can be complex. Send save the date cards anywhere from 12 to 6 months ahead — as soon as your guest list is completely settled.
Who should receive a save the date card?
People who will need to make plans in advance should certainly get save the date cards. But your save the dates can be an important part of your creative preparation for your wedding. Anyone who might enjoy the card can have one!
There's one exception. If you aren't sure you'll invite someone, don't send that card. The people who receive a save the date card and never get an invitation will probably be hurt. Even if you think you might invite someone to the bachelorette party or the reception but not the wedding, a save the date card can set up the recipient for disappointment and hurt feelings.
Just wait until your guest list is finalized before you send out those cards. Sending them out in waves may seem like a solution. You send save the dates to the people you're excited about, 12 months ahead. Around the 10 month mark you send out another wave, since you know your venue for sure. 6 months out you have a clear handle on your budget, so you send another group.
The problem is, these people may talk to one another. Pretty soon, they have a clear idea who was on the A list and who just slipped into the C list. Avoid it if you can.
What info should you include?
For sure, include your names, the date, and the place (not necessarily the specific venue, but at least the city). Then you can say, “Details to come!” — and be through!
Don't ask for a response on your save the date cards… that'll come later!
Wait, speaking of painless…
Since your save the date card is your first piece of wedding ephemera, and you might not have fully decided on your color scheme, theme, or which favorite movies you'll nod to. That's okay. Choose something you like and you can match your invitations later if you want to… but you don't have to. Our pals over at Vistaprint make it easy!
Comments on Why send a save the date card? (…Maybe because they’re cute and getting easier and easier to make!)
It’s also a good addon or maybe a nice inclusion from a pre-wedding shoot 😉
I’ve seen some really nice ones, a smart idea I’ve seen a few times are magnetic save the day cards. that way they tend to get put on the people’s fridges so they have a constant reminder.
Whatever the reason, make them personal, make them fun.
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