Mindy Weiss, wedding planner to the stars and Wedding Paper Divas style partner, is our go-to expert for all things wedding. With more than 20 years of experience planning weddings and events for top Hollywood personalities (think Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and many more), her best-selling The Wedding Book, and specialized jewelry and wedding stationery lines, Weiss is the ultimate authority to answer all your burning wedding-planning questions.
Today, she's here to give you a rundown on the best way to give your guests a heads-up about your wedding: save-the-dates.
Do we have to send out save-the-dates?
I highly recommend sending some sort of save-the-date to your guests. It's a nice courtesy to give people ample time to plan and make arrangements. It's especially important for destination weddings, where most guests will need to make travel arrangements and request time off from work. Plus, your save-the-dates are the perfect opportunity to give your guests a sneak peek into your wedding style and get them amped up for your big day!
How far in advance do you have to send them?
You should ideally send out your save-the-dates six to seven months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, you can send them as early as nine months prior to give your guests plenty of time to plan. Any earlier will feel a bit premature.
What should we include?
You should always include your names, the wedding date, and the general location. Leave the actual venue a surprise for the invitation and just include the city and state (and country for a destination wedding). Feel free to also include your wedding website and social-media hashtag if you have them. I also love when couples send a photo save-the-date; it's the perfect excuse to use one of your engagement photos, and it adds a touch of personality.
Is there anything we shouldn't include?
It's generally bad form to include any registry information on your save-the-date and even your wedding invitation. Instead, spread the word via your wedding website or good ol' fashioned word of mouth. You also don't need to include any reply cards with your save-the-dates, since guests aren't expected to respond—though some will likely let you know if they can't make it.
Do we have to send them to everyone on our wedding guest list?
The short answer? Yes! Your guest list should be finalized at this stage in the planning process, so you should send save-the-dates to everyone you want attending your big day. Make the decision carefully, of course. You can't rescind a save-the-date once it's been sent! Another piece of advice: Remember that you only need to send one save-the-date per household…not one save-the-date per guest! I've seen too many couples make this costly mistake.