With an occasion as momentous as your marriage, it’s understandable that you’d want as many guests as possible to attend—the cousins you grew up with, your college BFFs, your Great Uncle Al… the wedding guest list goes on. But of course, we all lead busy lives, and it’s important to ensure your guests have the wedding day circled in red on their calendars far in advance. Enter: save the dates.
Save the dates serve as an early announcement of your big day, and they set the tone for the entire celebration. And with so many creative and unique save the date ideas out there, choosing one that suits your wedding style is as easy as a piece of (wedding) cake.
We’ve put together a list of memorable save the date ideas so you can find just the right fit for your wedding. We’ll also cover everything else you need to know, including what typically goes on a save the date, when to send them, proper save the date etiquette, and how to make sweet save the dates that will have your guests ready to celebrate.
Design ideas for your save the dates
From photo cards to whimsical, animated Flyers, the options for save the dates are nearly endless. If you’ve decided on a theme for your wedding, you can choose a save the date that sets the mood and coordinates with your color scheme or theme. Or, if the event or wedding details are still up in the air, use your save the date as a chance to play with colors and styles and build your theme from there.
Try these ideas on for size and give them a whirl. With so many terrific options, you’re bound to find “the one.”
#1 Full-page photo card
Is there a pic of you and your future spouse that captures your relationship perfectly? Choose a photo card for your save the date and show it off to the world:
— Minimalist portrait: This design highlights your photo with a simple white frame and bold white text overlay. Add a black and white photo to complete the clean, modern look.
— Laid-back love story: For a more casual vibe, go for a design with splashy, hand-written style text over a photo that shows off the playful side of your romance.
— Photo postcard: For a printed option, a full-page photo postcard keeps it simple and sweet. Add your event details to the back of the card. With this eye-catching reminder to stick on the fridge, your guests are sure to remember your date (and they’ll get to treasure a beautiful photo of the happy couple).
#2 Destination wedding
If you’re planning a destination wedding, your save the date is especially important—after all, it’s what gives your guests advance notice to start planning their trip. A card that puts the spotlight on your chosen destination with a photo or illustration of the wedding location is sure to get your guests packing their suitcases:
— Old-world Italian charm: This charming design is perfect for an Italian wedding, or even a vineyard wedding closer to home.
— World map: Where in the world is your wedding? Let your guests know with this customizable world map design. Place the heart marker wherever your wedding will be held.
“Meridian” by Paperless Post; Image via Magnolia Rouge.
#3 Golden glamor
If you’re looking to set a romantic, traditional tone for your special day, opt for a save the date with lustrous gold foil embossing:
— Magic garden: This pretty design will frame your favorite couple’s photo with gleaming gold foil blooms.
— Gilded typography: Keep it simple and modern with a design that focuses on graceful, golden lettering.
“Truffaut” by Paperless Post.
#4 Black and white elegance
Planning a black and white themed wedding? Start with a classy and timeless black and white save the date:
— Minimalist photo frame: The clean, symmetrical design of this card is the perfect way to frame a black and white photo of you and your spouse-to-be, while setting a sophisticated tone for your event.
— Black and white debossing: Simple and utterly polished, this card pairs a modern typeface with a polished-but-pretty floral motif that has a debossed appearance. Perfect to set the mood for a black tie wedding.
#5 Classic script
One design choice that will never go out of style for wedding stationery is the timeless elegance of beautiful calligraphy. Consider these options to add some script to your save the date:
— Black and white flourish: Crisp black text on a textured white background with just a few understated flourishes make this a stand-out choice for an elegant affair.
— Gold foil script: Going for a luxe tone? Choose this design with heavily embellished gold lettering on a creamy background and a coordinating gold-lined envelope.
#6 Make it personal
If you’re the creative type, why not upload your own custom artwork and design a truly one-of-a-kind card? Paperless Post makes it easy to do. And you can even work with our Personal Design Services team to bring your idea to life!
#7 Animated save the date
With a Paperless Post Flyer, you can create an eye-catching animated invitation for your save the date in just a few minutes. Here are some of our favorite animated options:
— Autumn leaves: Just right for a fall wedding, with plenty of room for extra information like your registry, booking information, and more.
— Love in bloom: A dazzling display of your favorite flowers, including roses, daisies, lilies, and more, all on a simple draped fabric background.
“Our Date” Flyer by Paperless Post.
— DIY GIF: Upload your own GIF to a Paperless Post design and make your card completely unique. Share a snippet from a show or movie you love, or create a GIF featuring you and your honey. Then, simply upload it to your favorite Flyer, customize your text and other details, and you’re ready to send.
#8 Indian wedding motifs
Planning a traditional Indian wedding? We’ve got just the right save the dates to get your guests ready for the festivities:
— Elephant motif: This wonderfully whimsical card has an artistic hand-painted look that sets the tone for a joyful celebration of love.
— Temple motif: Rich, vibrant gold and red tones and an intricate temple archway design make this card truly unforgettable.
Save the date tips and tricks
Online save the dates from Paperless Post not only give you tons of options, but also take some of the work out of wedding prep. Use these tips to help simplify the million-and-one wedding details that go into planning the day of your dreams:
#9 Use your save the date to collect addresses: Paperless Post save the dates and wedding invitations let you request your guests’ addresses with the click of a button. You’ll be able to track all your guests’ info from your account.
#10 Add custom Blocks to share important info: You don’t need to wait until you send the wedding invites to start sharing all the details your guests need. Add custom Blocks to your save the date with links to your registry, your wedding website, and more.
#11 Share your love story: Let your guests feel the love by adding a Photo Gallery Block to your save the date. Fill it with photos of special moments from your relationship and your engagement shoot. We can hear the awws already!
#12 Add booking information: Customizable Travel and Accommodations Blocks let you share booking info with your guests right from your save the date. This is especially helpful if you’re planning a destination wedding, or your wedding area is in a popular spot that books up well ahead of time.
#13 Customize it: Looking for a unique save the date idea? With Page Styles, you can customize the look and feel of your invitation page, including the text and color scheme. Make it a perfect match for your wedding theme.
#14 Make it interactive: Add a comment wall so your friends and family can share their excitement for the upcoming celebration.
What typically goes on a save the date?
Given that you’ll be sending a wedding invitation with the full details later on, save the dates don’t have to include much more than the basics—think who, where, and when. But you should definitely include the following:
— The happy couple’s names
— The wedding date or event date
— The location, which can be either the exact venue or the city/town
— A brief description of the event
It’s also common to include a link to a wedding website, which will provide more comprehensive information about the event. You can also include a photo of yourselves, a fun hashtag, and any other information you think your guests will find helpful.
How far in advance do you send out save the dates?
Wondering when to send a save the date? It’s a common question. Generally, wedding save the dates should be sent out about four to six months before the event. This will give your guests plenty of time to plan and make arrangements.
If you have a large group of friends and family members, or you’re planning a destination wedding that will require travel arrangements, try to send your save the dates as early as possible so everyone has plenty of time to plan ahead. In truth, you really can’t send them too early.
What can I write instead of save the date?
For a less traditional wedding, you may want to set the tone right off the bat with a twist on the basic save the date wording. A few light-hearted alternatives you may want to use:
— We’re getting married
— We’re engaged
— It’s our wedding!
— Pencil us in
— Things just got real
— Best wedding ever
— We’re tying the knot (pair it with a nautical-themed save the date card for even more fun)
“Nautical II” by kate spade new york for Paperless Post.
Create an unforgettable save the date with Paperless Post
Take the time to pick just the right save the date for your wedding. After all, this is your first chance to set the tone for your entire celebration, and you want it to feel as right as trying on your wedding attire for the first time.
Fortunately, finding the perfect save the date doesn’t have to be hard or overwhelming. With Paperless Post, you’ll find all the inspiration you need to create save the dates that are just as memorable as your big event itself. And with customizable designs, Blocks to organize your important info, and interactive additions, your save the dates can do much more than just announce the special day when you’ll say I do.