Would you believe us if we told you that save the dates were one of the more contemporary pieces of wedding stationery we made? Go ahead: ask your parents. There’s a real chance that they didn’t use them and didn’t have friends that used them, either. While you’ll find earlier ones, they’re a mostly 21st century phenomenon: the era of the destination wedding and of generational migration away from hometowns. Accordingly, we’re all learning the why’s and how’s of them together. We think they’re a courteous gesture and a brilliant way to start your ceremony planning with a bit of personal style.
When to send save the dates
The rule of thumb is that save the dates go out four to six months before your ceremony. Especially send them if your wedding will be over a holiday weekend or otherwise require difficult travel. This timeline might seem unnecessarily conservative, but keep in mind that you don’t have to have your venue finalized yet: just the date and the general location. Since you’re sending online, you can give yourself a little wiggle room—the Postal Service won’t delay your delivery, so you can be sure your guests won’t be caught unawares. Don’t wait to design both the save the date and the invitation at the same time–as long as they give general feel of the wedding the two don’t need to match exactly.
If you’re planning a destination wedding send the save the dates as soon as you’ve locked in your date, at least
- get people excited with a bit about the location or a link to your wedding website with more information
How to word save the dates
“Passport to Romance” by Paperless Post
Because save the dates are relatively new within the category of wedding stationery, they’re refreshingly unbound by much of wedding etiquette. The most traditional formulas are fairly simple and take care of a few key functions:
1. Ask your guest to save the date
2. Give the date (naturally)
3. Provide the city (and state if needed)
4. Announce the upcoming invitation
“Evelina (Photo) – Gold” by Paperless Post