Congratulations! He popped the question and you said "Yes!" What's next? Time to clue your guests in on your wedding plans by sending them a save-the-date. This pre-invitation card announces your wedding date and location, and prompts guests to mark their calendar. It also lets them know they are officially invited to the wedding and to expect an invitation in the mail. When it comes to sending your save-the-date, here are some answers to frequently asked questions to make sure you don't miss a single thing.
1. Do we have to send a save-the-date?
If you're having a destination wedding or are marrying during peak-season travel times, like a three-day weekend or summer in a resort town, then sending a save-the-date is an expected courtesy, since many of your guests will have to make travel and hotel arrangements. Of course, anyone can send a save-the-date, especially since they are a fun way to give your guests a heads up about the wedding. Plus, chances are that mailing them will increase guests' chances of attending your celebration.
2. When do you send them?
As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to mail them four to six months before the wedding, or even earlier (eight months ahead of time) if you're planning a destination wedding that may require more extensive travel arrangements.
3. Who gets one?
Only those who you're planning on inviting to the wedding. And even if you've already received verbal confirmation from certain guests, you still need to send them a save-the-date (bridesmaids, siblings, parents, etc.). However, once the save-the-dates are in the mail, there's no turning back, so compile an accurate guest list first before mailing them because you should only send them to those you definitely want to attend.
4. What information do we include?
Provide any details that will help guests plan for your big day: the wedding date, location, your wedding website URL (where they can find additional information).
5. Does our save-the-date have to match our wedding invitation?
That's totally up to you! If you're already well into the wedding-planning process and have selected an invitation design, then it's a nice idea to choose a matching save-the-date so all of your stationery pieces look cohesive. But, on the other hand, your save-the-date card is an opportunity to have a little more fun and show guests your personality, so feel free to think out of the box.
6. Can I send our save-the-date via email?
These days, it's perfectly appropriate to send your save-the-date announcement via email. Just be aware of a few potential 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.