The low-down on save the dates
Whatever you’ve read in bridal magazines or have been told by your friends, you don’t have to send out save the dates. But it can be a good idea in certain circumstances.
Save the dates are a handy heads-up
If you’re having a destination wedding, or getting married over the holidays/busy summer months, a save the date is a handy heads-up for your guests.
So, when you’ve set your wedding date in stone with a venue, vicar or registrar booking, send your save the dates. People usually send them 6-9 months before the big day. But if you’re getting married abroad, you might want to give your guests a bit more notice. It’ll give them time to save some cash, book flights and accommodation, and arrange any childcare if needed.
Be certain of who you ask to ‘save the date’
It goes without saying, but make sure you only send a save the date to people you absolutely definitely 100% want at your wedding. You don’t have to send one to all of your guests – the majority of them can wait for an invitation. But it’s worth asking the really important people, like close family and friends, and the bridal and groomsmen parties.
If you are sending all of your guests a save the date, be sure that you want them to be there on your special day. If you send one to somebody on your C-list, there’s no going back. And if you’re still trying to finalise your guest list, these tips on how to whittle down your guest list might help.
When it comes to addressing your save the dates, make it clear who you’re actually inviting to your wedding. You don’t want your best friend rocking up with a plus one because they “just assumed” they could bring someone.
If you’re inviting a friend and their partner, address it to them both. If you’re allowing someone to bring a plus one, write ‘plus one’. And if you’re just inviting one person, address it only to them. (You might want to follow up with them, to make sure they know they can’t bring a guest.)
Be transparent from the start
Your wedding day is the one day that you and your partner can have (almost) everything your own way. But be wary of any unorthodox wedding requests, like having a child-free or social-media free wedding. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting boundaries like this. But if you are, it’s courtesy to make your guests aware at the earliest stage possible, whether that’s on your save the dates or invitations.
It’s also worth indicating that ‘an invitation will follow’. This will put the older generation’s minds at rest, and stop any worry wart’s calling you and asking a million questions.
Now that we’ve covered our save-the-date etiquette, it’s time for the fun bit – creating your save the dates.
If you’ve got a distinct personal style, or you’re having a themed wedding, a save the date could be your first opportunity to convey that to your guests. But if you’re like most of us and don’t even know what you want your wedding to look like, these examples should spark some ideas:
- Cute and clever save the dates from Buzzfeed
- Crazily creative save the dates from The Knot
- Unique save the dates from Creative Market
- Geeky save the date ideas from Offbeat Bride
- All kinds of styles from Etsy and even more on eBay.
If you’ve decided to send save the dates, don’t forget to factor in the time it takes to create them, and the cost of materials and postage. I know it’s exciting, but a great wedding comes down to a great handle on the budget.
Have you got creative with your save the dates? If so, share your ideas in the comments box below. And if you didn’t send any, let us know if it made any difference to your big day.
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