For many couples, save-the-dates are an opportunity to set the tone of their wedding. Since this is the first glimpse into what the couple is planning, it’s easy to feel pressure to “get it right,” especially when it comes to wording. We turned to veteran wedding planner Mindy Weiss for her advice on save-the-date wording and etiquette.
It’s important to remember that sending save-the-dates is not required. But, if you are having a destination wedding, it's definitely more encouraged.
Meet the Expert
- Mindy Weiss is a wedding and event planner based out of Beverly Hills and New York City. She began planning parties twenty years ago and some of her clients include the Kardashians, Ellen Degeneres, Jessica Simpson, Lala Anthony, Serena Williams, and Heidi Klum.
- Marcy Blum is a professional wedding planner and founder of Marcy Blum Associates in New York City. With over 30 years of experience in the bridal industry, Blum is a top planner in the United States.
What to Include in Your Save-the-Dates
If you do send save-the-dates, stick with the “less is more” attitude. “Only put as much information as people need six months in advance,” Blum says. This is not the invitation and is meant to give only minimal information, which includes:
- The wedding date
- The venue location
- Your wedding website
- A note about the invitation
To elaborate on that last point, there’s one thing that all save-the-dates should have: a distinction that it isn’t the actual invitation. “No matter the style of save-the-date, couples should always put ‘invitation to follow’ on the card so that guests know the invitation is coming and this mailing is not missing the additional information,” Weiss says. This will get guests excited about the festivities to come without any potential confusion.
When it comes to destination wedding save-the-dates, provide as much travel-related information as possible as a courtesy to your guests. Details on airports and hotel information is one important feature to include so guests won't be worried about late-booking costs.
Save-the-Date Wording Etiquette
Consider how many dates you're asking guests to save.
According to Weiss, the major wording decision couples need to make is whether to say “save the date” or “save the weekend” as these have two very different implications. “If you want to say ‘save the weekend,’ then every guest should be invited to every event, but that’s not always the case,” says Weiss. So even if you’re having a destination wedding, consider the difference that wording makes if you aren’t planning on hosting everyone at the rehearsal dinner or a post-wedding brunch.
Be mindful of how you address them.
It’s also just as important to put some thought into how you address the save-the-dates. This is a time when you can address if a guest has a plus one or not.
Don't include specific registry information.
Another potential save-the-date faux pas to avoid is including wedding registry information. You can save more details on registry for the wedding invitations and wedding website.
Instead, add registry information to your wedding website and let word of mouth handle the rest.
Know if you need save-the-date RSVPs.
But, what should couples do if they have a tight headcount and ideally need guests to “RSVP” to the save-the-date? This might happen if your venue is smaller than your list or you’re on a tight budget so you’ve broken your guests into an “A list” or a “B list” and you plan on inviting the second wave depending on how many people from the first round can’t attend. One way to avoid this is to politely state something like, "We would love to have you but please let us know if you are unable to attend." That way, you don’t have to wait until you get your official RSVPs back to start inviting other guests only a few weeks before the wedding.
When working on save-the-dates, don’t get too stuck on feeling like you have to have every detail of your wedding already decided, or that it all needs to be matching in this mailing. “Whether the wedding is formal or more casual, the save-the-date is a great time to be playful, especially if you want your invitation to be traditional,” says Weiss. Depending on the type of tone you want to set, Weiss shared wording examples her clients have used:
Save the Date
for the wedding of
Sally Jane Smith
John Paul Jones
Saturday, the twelfth of June
Two thousand and twenty-one
Los Angeles, California
Formal invitation to follow
Save the Date
Lauren and Andrew
are getting married!
September 4, 2021
New York City
Formal invitation to follow
He asked and she said “Yes!”
Zoey and Josh
Las Vegas, Nevada
Invitation to follow
Save the Weekend!
July 23–25, 2021
Emma and Alex
are getting married
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Please see further wedding details at