When to send save the dates (and how to write them)

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.

Sending your save the dates

The rule of thumb is that save the dates go out four to six months before your ceremony. Add a month or two if you’re having a destination wedding. 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.


Passport to Romance” by Paperless Post

How to word save the dates

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:


Ask your guest to save the date;

Give the date (naturally);

Provide the city and state (to help your guests arrange their travel accordingly, but leave out the venue in case your plans aren’t set in stone yet, or if things change)

Announce the upcoming invitation.


Evelina (Photo) – Gold” by Paperless Post



Simple, right? Equally simple: finding a save the date and coordinating wedding invitation that matches your ceremony’s style.