You may be asking, what the heck are save the dates? I couldn’t find exactly when they began, but they have become very popular in recent years. I had never even heard of them until I started planning my wedding. If you haven’t heard of them either, it’s basically an informal pre-wedding invitation.
It is not an invitation; those will be sent out later. It just notifies the guests of the upcoming wedding date, so that they can keep the date free. Since they are not within the more formal invitation stationary you can be as unique and playful as you like.
What to include on the save the dates
You’ll want to keep it short and sweet, include:
- Your names
- The wedding date
- Your wedding website (if you have one)
- City, state
To avoid confusion you may also want to write “Formal invitation to follow”. This lets your guests know that this is not the actual invitation.
When to send save the dates
They should generally go out about 6 months before the wedding. Or up to a year before if you are having a destination wedding or if it will be during a busy travel time of year (like the holidays). It would also be good to send them out earlier if you have of out-of-town guests, that will give them enough time to plan their trip.
Just make sure to have your location, date and any important details locked in before sending them out. If you have to change the date later it may cause confusion among your guests.
Only send save the dates to the people who you want to invite to the wedding. They are not a wedding announcement, it would be bad etiquette to send someone a save the date card and then not send them an invitation. Later send the formal invitation to everyone who received a save the date card.
Save the dates are not mandatory
No, you don’t have to send one, but it is a nice gesture so your guests can have enough time to plan ahead. And even if you have already spoken to some people to confirm, It is still a good idea to send them to everyone, so no one is left out.
Have fun with them…Unique Save The Dates
Since save the dates are not formal invitations, you can basically go crazy with them. They also don’t have to match the rest of your wedding stationary exactly. But you should include the wedding colors and theme somehow. Here are a few unique save the dates.
Got some old records lying around? If not you could get them at used record store. You can made these super cute, and original might I add, save the dates. You could use any word program and print them out yourself on shipping label paper. Then just cut out and attach to them to the records.
If your wedding is on the less formal side you could send out these playful save the dates made from photo booth photos. Not only will your guests love them but you’ll have a great time making them.
I love Martha Stewart, not only does she have great ideas but she even provides you with free clip art so you can create it yourself. Check out the tutorial and clip art for these two cute and imaginative save the dates: Folded hearts save the dates and Save the date scratch off.
This one from Mavora on Etsy is great for a destination beach themed wedding. It includes a luggage tag and magnet, so your guests don’t forget the date.
If you haven’t already, you should check out Etsy.com they have a ton of cute handmade wedding stuff.
Some other unique save the dates:
- Photo cards
Check out my Pinterest board for even more cute save the date card ideas.