There's no going back once your save-the-dates are in the mail. So only send them to those who you are certain will attend. (Even those who have verbally confirmed their participation, such as bridesmaids and family members.)
And while it's not common practice, some couples choose to send out save-the-dates but not wedding invitations. This allows them more freedom regarding availability and interest without being too restrictive.
Save-the-dates are sent well in advance of the wedding to give guests time to plan their attendance. Often, they are included with other invitation types such as birthday invites or holiday cards.
Wedding invitations are used to confirm attendance at the wedding and generally include the date and time of the ceremony and reception. Guests who cannot make it on the day of the wedding can usually attend partway through the celebration or wait until the next day for another event or party.
The traditional form of a wedding invitation is an engraved card that is mailed to guests. These days, there are many different ways to communicate the important information about the wedding, including online dating sites, social media, and text messages. Invitations may also be given out at community events like open houses or church functions. In fact, this is the most common method of distribution for weddings outside of marriage licenses issued by states where all marriages must be registered.
Even if you've already gotten verbal confirmation from certain guests, you should still send them a save-the-date card, which should include everyone in the bridal party, essential wedding attendees, and immediate family members. You can also include friends of the couple who weren't able to make it to the wedding, such as work colleagues or neighbors.
This gives them time to plan their attendance before the big day. And since not every guest will receive an invite, there's no harm in including your email address too -- maybe you can be part of the thank-you note distribution once they return from their honeymoon?
Wedding planning is a large task, and sending out save-the-dates makes sure that nobody falls through the cracks. Also consider printing and mailing mini-postcards to guests with pictures and brief details of the ceremony and reception. This way, even if they can't make it to both events, at least they know what to expect.
Save-the-dates are usually sent about six months before the wedding, but this depends on when you send them and how long it takes for you to hear back from people. If you don't hear from some guests, it's OK to send another one later.
You should send save the dates to the folks you absolutely want to attend your wedding. Save the dates are often only issued to your day guests. This is to avoid any embarrassing moments by ensuring that your nighttime guests do not assume they are invited to the whole wedding day.
However, if you would like to extend a special invitation to your night-time wedding party, then you can do so with a save the date card. These cards are usually sent about six months before your wedding and they are very useful for organizing your schedule. In addition, they make great gifts. It is recommended that you send a separate card to each person you are inviting to ensure that no one is excluded.
What should you include in a save the date card? They are usually simple and straightforward documents that allow couples to put their relationship on display for their friends and family. Therefore, they should contain only two pieces of information: the date of the wedding and the location. If you wish to add more details, such as a photo, this can be done on a separate card attached to the save the date format.
Couples who plan to get married at a church or religious institution may want to include the name of the church or religion along with the date of their wedding.
The importance of save-the-date etiquette cannot be overstated. The most critical step before sending out save the dates is to establish your guest list. The "save the date" card serves as a pre-announcement to your guests, informing them that they will be invited to the wedding. You cannot uninvite a visitor once they have received a save the date card.
Once you have created and sent out your invitees' first copies of the save the date card, you are free to include others if you like. For example, you might send a second card to friends or family who did not receive an invitation but would like more information about the wedding. Be sure to include enough space on the front of each card for the recipient to write a personal message. You should also include a return address for privacy reasons. When mailing cards, it is appropriate to use wedding postage.
It is recommended that you send out your first set of save the dates four to six months prior to your wedding day. This gives everyone time to respond and allows you to follow up with those who may not have responded initially. It is important to note that no one else can send out save the dates on your behalf without your permission. If you give someone your address book, for example, they could send out all your invitations at once!
When you send out your invites, you should include two sets of cards: one set for weddings and one set for other events such as birthday parties or vacations.