Photo: Ben Aslop
Do you have to send save-the-dates? Nope. But we recommend you do for a few reasons: 1) Your friends and family will appreciate the heads-up. 2) You're more likely to have first dibs on guests who know other brides getting married on the same day. 3) They're a great way to get everyone excited about your wedding—and to get your own creativity flowing early in the planning process! Here, a few useful facts about your sending out your first piece of wedding stationery.
When do you send them?
That depends, says stationer Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York. If you are throwing a destination wedding or getting married on a major holiday, you should give guests extra notice by sending your save-the-dates out nine months to a year in advance. Otherwise, mail them six to nine months before your wedding date.
Whom do you send them to?
Anyone you're sure you're going to invite. Do not mail cards to guests on your B-list: Once they receive a save-the-date, you're obligated to send them an invitation, too. Is it acceptable to send electronic save-the-dates? Absolutely. Many of the options available today are super-chic. One caveat: For tech-challenged guests—i.e., Grandma—you'll need to follow up with a phone call.
Do you need to send invitations, too?
Yes. Invites should go out about two months before your big day and should contain specific details (the ceremony and reception sites, RSVP cards) that aren't usually part of save-the-dates. That said, some guests may think your save-the-dates are invites; avoid confusion by printing "Invitation to follow" on your initial card.