WEDDING SAVE THE DATES
While sending Wedding Save The Date cards to your guests is not mandatory, it is a nice way to give your guests a glimpse of your event, and also to let them know a little about the wedding in advance. This is especially helpful if many of your guests will need to travel for your event, as letting them know your plans in advance allows them time to make travel arrangements, such as making hotel arrangements and purchasing airline tickets. Sending Wedding Save The Dates is especially courteous if you are having a destination wedding.
The Wedding Save The Date card should go out six to eight months in advance of the wedding. Obviously, you are not expected to have the entire wedding planned by that time! However, you should have a few of the basics completed before the cards go out, such as a finalized guest list, and where your wedding ceremony will take place.
In addition to both the couples' first and last names, the Wedding Save The Date must contain the date of the wedding and the city and state where the wedding will be. It is also common for the card to say “formal invitation to follow” so that guests will know to be on the lookout for the invitation as the wedding gets closer. You may also choose to include a link to your wedding website if you have one set up, so guests can look up more information. For ideas about what to include on a wedding website, click here.
Many couples choose to include a photograph from their engagement photos either with the card or as the card itself. The style of your Wedding Save The Date should generally reflect a similar tone and style to that of your wedding.
WHO GETS A WEDDING SAVE THE DATE
You’ve compiled your guest list, and in your excitement, you sent Wedding Save The Dates to all your friends and family. How exciting, having the opportunity to celebrate with everyone you love! However, as you continue to plan, you may realize that your ceremony location or reception venue has limited space and that you will not be able to accommodate everyone who received a Wedding Save The Date. Is it okay to not send an invitation to someone who received a Wedding Save The Date?
Absolutely not! Because of the nature of Wedding Save The Dates, some of your guests may have already made travel arrangements or purchased gifts in anticipation of your celebration and maybe hurt or offended when their invitation never arrives.
This is why it is very important to make sure you have the venues for your ceremony and reception secured prior to sending Wedding Save The Dates. (If you are unable to book them so far in advance, at least have an idea of what venues are available, and if they have space constraints.) You may have a first-draft guest list of 400 people, but if only 150 will fit in the venue, you’ll have to whittle down your list. You can send invitations to approximately 20 to 30 percent more people than your venue can hold, as it is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the guests you invite will decline. Discuss the space constraints with your partner and both sides of the family, and work together to finalize your guest list.
Only after your guest list is finalized should you send out your Wedding Save The Dates. Anyone who receives one must be invited to the wedding.
Note: If your guest list is significantly larger than your venue, you may choose to send invitations to your “A” list, or the guests that have first priority, such as immediate family and close friends. Once you start receiving “will not attend” responses, you would then send a second wave of invitations to your “B” list (and “C” list and so on), which would include distant family members, your parents’ work colleagues or anyone else whom you would like to be there if space allows. If this is the case, only send Wedding Save The Dates to your A list, so you do not commit an etiquette faux pas by not inviting someone that received a Wedding Save The Date. For more information on creating your guest list, click here.