3 Things You Need to Know Before You Send Your Save-the-Date

Etiquette

Sending a save-the-date card is essential: Your friends and family will appreciate the heads-up, you'll have first dibs on guests who know other brides getting married on the same day, and it's a great way to get everyone excited about your wedding. Plus, you'll get your own creativity flowing early in the planning process! In light of this, we compiled some important save-the-date questions you'll want answered before you send them out.

Do I have to send someone a wedding invitation if I sent them a save-the-date?
It's an absolute must to send a wedding invitation to anyone who received a save-the-date announcement. There's a clear expectation when a save-the-date card is received that an invitation will follow; failing to send one is essentially the same as uninviting a guest — which is unacceptable. If finances have become an issue to the planning since the save-the-dates were sent, the answer is to cut back on the scale of catering, music, flowers or invitation — instead of on people already planning to come.

How far in advance should we send out save-the-dates and invitations for our destination wedding?
Word on the hostess circuit is that you send out save-the-date cards eight months prior, and the invites eight weeks before your big day. Not only do some people have to apply for passports and save money, but there are those who will have to get time off from their jobs, arrange child care, and take care of other pesky chores so they can join you. Advance notice will give guests more flexibility when they're making travel arrangements, too. With this in mind, add on an extra two or three weeks to those time frames to ensure that guests have adequate time to prepare for what is essentially a vacation. Once that's done, make sure you pick appropriate destination wedding flowers, a festive post-ceremony reception, a cute clutch, and a paradise-worthy hairstyle! With all of that planned, you'll want to make sure everyone you love is there to see it all come together.

Can I send it via e-mail?
One of the main reasons to email your save-the-date is convenience — traditional save-the-date cards require ordering, proofing, printing, waiting for delivery, addressing, applying postage, and mailing through the US Postal Service, all of which can take weeks, if not a month or more. And since most online stationery sites (like Paperless Post, Minted, and Wedding Paper Divas) are so easy to navigate, you can select and pay for your design within an hour, flat, all with a few clicks.

But, of course, there may be a few bumps along the road: Your e-card may get filtered into guests' spam folder, or perhaps the email address you have is one they no longer check. So delivery is not always 100 percent guaranteed. Also, there's the tangibility factor: When you mail a paper save-the-date, guests will likely tack it up somewhere in their home or office, so it will serve as a reminder of the wedding to come. And, of course, some of your guests may not even have email (think: your grandparents), so you will need to spread the word some other way. Another thing to consider is the formality of your wedding. One function of the save-the-date is to give your guests a little glimpse of the wedding to come. So, the more formal the wedding, the more likely a printed card will set the tone you want your wedding to have.

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