Congratulations – you are engaged! It is very easy, at this stage, to get ahead of yourself and rush into decisions and planning…this is normal! So, what is the first thing you should do? Set a date and book a venue. When you have these vital details in place you can send out save the date cards.
Save the date cards are increasingly popular. This pre-invitation officially announces your wedding date and lets guests know that they will be invited to your celebrations.
So, do you have to send save the dates? No. Destination weddings and Friday, Saturday and Sunday weddings are all very popular now so, usually, save the dates are sent to confirm your date as early as possible. They are also popular if you are getting married during holiday season or if guests will need to take time off work. You are not in any way obliged to send one but it will give guests notice about your wedding plans. Between travel arrangements and busy schedules, sending a save-the-date will increase guests’ chances of attending your celebration.
If someone receives a save-the-date and will be unable to attend, they are likely to offer regrets far in advance. You still need to send a wedding invitation as a common courtesy.
So, when do you send them? It’s best to send these out around six months prior to the wedding (or eight months for destination weddings). This will give guests plenty of time to book travel and ask for days off from work. Any earlier, and they may toss the notice aside. Any later, and it might as well be an invitation.
Just send these to the people that you want to come to your wedding. Even if you’ve already received confirmations from certain guests, you still need to send them a save-the-date and please remember, this includes immediate family, bridesmaids etc.
Make sure that all save the dates are addressed to exactly who is invited to the wedding and ensure you use their correct names (no nicknames). This is the perfect opportunity to make guests aware who will receive a formal invitation, for example, if you are having an adults only wedding.
One last tip – do not assume details. Only send these out when you have confirmed your date and location – you don’t want these to change later on!
For help organising your wedding and for further advise and etiquette, contact award winning wedding planner, Weddings by Rachel.