Do You Really Need Save-the-Dates?

It might seem like a stationary staple, but it doesn't work for every timeline

Updated 03/29/18

Josh Gruetzmacher

When you’re deciding the timeline of all of your pre-wedding milestones, from when your engagement party should be to when you’ll getaway with your girlfriends for a weekend of bachelorette shenanigans, one thing you might think about is whether or not to send save-the-dates.

A save-the-date is a brief invitation that’s usually sent as a postcard to alert your guests that they are invited to your wedding, what the date and location will be, and that you’ll be in touch in the future with more details. Usually, couples send out save the dates a few months after they have been engaged, usually with a recent engagement photo on it, so that guests can get a sneak peek at the couple after the question has been popped.

But sending out save-the-dates isn’t mandatory, and for some, it might not be necessary. Here is a breakdown the of the pros and cons of sending out save-the-dates early on in your wedding adventure.

Pros:

You Give People a Heads Up

People’s calendars fill up fast. One of the benefits of sending save-the-dates is that you can alert guests of your wedding date and location. That way, they can jump on booking travel and accommodations for the weekend. The sooner they know this information, the sooner they can set travel alerts to get good deals on attending your wedding, if it’s far away for them. If it’s nearby, they can simply mark it on their calendar and be thankful that you gave them a heads up.

They Can Say No to Other Commitments

Since people often get invited to several weddings a year or big commitments, having your wedding day marked on their calendar will give them a chance to say no to other events that pop up over the months. Without a save-the-date, they might say yes to a conference or book a family vacation over that time frame, leaving them unable to attend your big day.

They Know If They Are Invited Or Not

While you may think your friends and family members know for sure if you are invited to your wedding, just because they are close to you and mean a lot to you, it doesn’t mean they necessarily know that. It could be a guessing game for them and a save-the-date confirms for sure that you are on the guest list. Your save-the-date will usually also include whether or not you’re letting them bring a plus one. This will give them time to find the best possible person to bring with them to your wedding.

Cons:

You’ll Spend Extra Cash

Creating and sending save-the-dates is another expense that you’ll have to incur. You’ll have to pay to design, print, and mail these save-the-dates to your guest. Depending on how many you send or how intricate they are, they could cost you a few hundred dollars or more.

You’ll Need to Know Your Guest List Early

One of the biggest downsides of sending save-the-dates is that you’ll need to know who you are inviting to your wedding early on. Which means, you’ll have to make a guest list months, or a year, before your wedding and stick to it. Once someone receives their save-the-date, they will assume they are invited to your wedding and you can’t un-invite them months later when you send out the official invitations. That means your initial guest list will have to be your permanent one.

You’ll Need to Know Your Wedding Details Early

In addition to having your guest list squared away, you’ll have to know your wedding details early on too. That means settling on a date and your venue, both things that will be very hard to change after you send a save-the-date. So if those are areas where you’re dragging your feet, you might want to skip the save the dates and just send out the official invitation especially if the wedding is just a few months away.

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