Save the Date: Who, When, How

April 19, 2016

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I am going to start off “How To Marry Up” with a question I get quite often.  When and how do we send Save the Dates?  With friends and family living all over the world, sending out save the dates in a timely manner is so important.  There are a few different thoughts on this, but here are mine.

Who gets a Save the Date?

  • Decide on your A list early.  These are the people you 100% know you would like to have at your wedding.
  • If your A list does not live in town, and will not hear about your wedding through family members, send them a save the date. If your budget allows, send the save the date to all A listers, regardless of if they have already been notified.
  • If you are “going green” and not sending out save the dates,  make sure that your A list guests have all been personally contacted. This can be done by the couple, or the hosts of the event.
  • If you have a guest who is over the age of 18, but still living at the family home, they get their own save the date.  This is redundant I know, but if you want to use proper etiquette this is how it’s done. I have a whole post on how some of these etiquette rules came into play coming up at a later date.  It’s pretty amusing.
  • If you are inviting a guest and a plus one you should include both names. If you do not know the plus one’s name a simple “and guest” is sufficient. This is also the case if you are not sure of the relationship status of your guest and their plus one. If you are unsure err on the side of caution and use “and guest.”
  • Do not send a save the date to someone who has already told you they won’t be able to make it.  This can be seen as soliciting for gifts.
  • Do not send a save the date to someone who is not going to be receiving an invitation.

When do I need to send them out?

  • Send out Save the Dates 10-12 months before your wedding if your guests live out of the country, need to travel far, or have certain circumstances that may require them to plan a little more.
  • If your guests are pretty fluid, you can send their save the dates 6-9 months before your event.

What do I put on them?

  • Many people tend to get a little wild with their Save the Dates.  There are so many options that it’s easy to get carried away.  Keep in mind that this is the first glimpse of what your wedding will be like.  Ideally, you would like your save the date to set the tone of your wedding.  Really capture your guests attention and get them excited for your event.  If you are having a beach wedding you can have something more laid back.  If you are hosting a black tie affair you may not want to send out the koozie.
  • Include your first and last name.  You may be the only Buttercup and Westley getting married, but your parents’ friends may not know who that is.
  • Don’t only include the city, but include the venue. Some people may want to start looking at hotels and travel arrangements before receiving their invitation.
  • Include the date
  • Let the guest know that a formal invitation will follow
  • Save the Dates and wedding invitation envelopes should be handwritten.  At the very least have the appearance of being handwritten. You can run your envelopes through the printer, but for the love of God, do not use labels. Print the address directly on the envelope. If your event is more formal, find someone to handwrite the addresses.  You can find local calligraphers, or find someone on Etsy that does this.  If you are a crafter, you can use the silhouette machine with it’s sketch pens to address your envelopes.  Make sure you order a few extra envelopes before you begin so you’ll have them if a mistake is made.
  • Remember to budget for envelopes and postage
  • Before you put a stamp on each envelope, take one to the post office and get it weighed.  If you have heavy paper or certain embellishments your save the date may require more than just a 47 cent stamp.

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