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 planners Mindy Weiss and Marcy Blum for their advice on save-the-date wording and etiquette.
It’s important to remember that sending save-the-dates is not required. “Usually, I’m only insistent on a save-the-date if it’s a destination wedding and people need to prepare,” says Blum. “But you don’t necessarily need one for a local wedding.”
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. “You should include the nearest airports and ways to get there as well as hotel information,” Blum says. “That’s one of the main reasons for sending them out: So that people can book flights and hotels in advance so they don't get penalized for last-minute bookings.”
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. Blum explains that you should know by the time you send this out whether a person is getting a plus one or not and address them accordingly. “Often people are either too lazy to get it together before sending or are just unsure, so they put down just the guest’s name,” she says. “It’s fine to be just addressed to one guest but it should be that way because you don’t want them to have a date, or else they may decide that it means with a date and when they get the invitation, it’s a whole other kerfuffle.”
Don't include specific registry information.
Another potential save-the-date faux pas that Blum gets asked about is whether or not to include wedding registry information. “I would never put a registry in the save the date, I think it’s really tacky,” she says.
Instead, add registry information to your wedding website and let word of mouth handle the rest.
Don't worry about who's paying for the wedding.
Some couples can also get stuck on wondering if the wording should change depending on who is paying for the wedding, just like who is hosting can influence the wedding invitation. “Usually no matter who is paying, it will just say, ‘Please save the date as so and so are getting married,” Blum says. “Unless it’s a very formal and traditional wedding, you could do that with the invitation but for this, it’s really just for people to know to put the date on hold.”
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. “This has to be handled very delicately,” says Blum. “We will sometimes put ‘We’d love to have you but if you know now that you won’t be able to come, please let us know,’” she says. 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