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How to Address and When To Send Save The Dates For Your Wedding

It’s happening! Your wedding date is set and the party planning starts now.

With your guest list complete, save the date cards are a fun and practical way to tell your friends and family they’re VIP – officially on the guest list for your wedding day.

There’s proper etiquette for save the dates wedding stationery so that as the countdown begins, guests know to reserve the date or weekend for your big celebration and start planning accordingly.

With the help of Virginia Edelson, expert event planner and owner of Bluebird Productions, this to-the-point wording and save the dates etiquette guide outlines when to order and send save the date wedding cards, how to address them to guests and wording examples for casual, formal, religious, and funny save the dates.

Read on or jump to sections with the links below:

Let the festivities begin and ensure a smooth guest experience with save the date wedding cards that tell your friends and family to reserve the date of your wedding.

The Timeline: When to Send Save the Dates?

Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or a local affair, your guests need ample time to prepare for your big day. How much time you need depends on when you start the planning process and the location of your wedding.

When to Order Save the Dates: 6 to 12 Months Before the Wedding

So when should save the date cards be sent? And how does a destination wedding affect the timeline? In general, order, design, and send out save the date cards at least 6 to 12 months in advance of your wedding date.

“If you don’t have that much time, send them out as soon as possible,” Virginia says.

Why so much time? Giving your guests a year or more to plan will generate excitement and ensure a smooth guest experience, especially for out-of-towners.

For destination weddings, send out save the date cards at least 6 to 12 months in advance.

When to Send Save the Dates for Destination Weddings: 6 to 12 Months Before the Wedding

Planning a destination wedding? Perhaps no other type of wedding requires more planning than a destination wedding.

With destination experts around the world, including Mexico, London, Italy, and France, Virginia knows firsthand the importance of giving wedding guests enough time to plan and save up for such events. She recommends sending out cards at least six months to a year in advance.

A timely save the date card that announces not only the date of your big day, but also the faraway place you plan to tie the knot is the proper way to invite your guests to your destination wedding.

When to Send Save the Dates for Local Weddings: 4 to 6 Months Before the Wedding

Your ceremony and reception venues are in your hometown, and most of your guests are local. For a local wedding, give your guests at least four to six months advance notice of your wedding date, and follow up with your invitations as soon as possible.

Expert Wedding Planning Tip: “It is important to think about large seasonal events that may impact the receipt of a save the date,” warns Virginia. “If possible do not send save the dates during the peak of the Christmas holiday season, as they can get lost with all of the other mail that arrives during that time of the year.”

In summary, here’s a basic timeline for when to send save the dates:

  1. Choose your location and set the date. These two items are intertwined. You may fall in love with a location and select from available dates. Or you may choose a special date and a venue in your preferred location later down the line. The location can be approximate – a city will do.
  2. Take your engagement photos. You can schedule your engagement photo shoot any time after the proposal.
  3. Design your save the date cards. Use your engagement photos in your design for the ultimate personal touch.
  4. Mail your save the dates. The basic rule of thumb is to send save the dates 6 months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, it is customary to mail save the dates 8 to 12 months in advance. For a local affair, send save the dates 4 months in advance.
  5. Follow your save the dates with your formal invitations about 8 weeks before the wedding.

Can you send a digital save the date? Modern etiquette allows for electronic correspondence in the age of the Internet, but there’s nothing more polished and personal than a save the date sent through snail mail with love. With the variety of customizable designs available with just a few clicks, it’s easier than ever to find a beautiful and true-to-you option for every budget, color and style.

What to Include on a Save the Date Card

Scalloped trim and a vintage photo filter make the Clear Beauty save the date card a romantic choice.

What key information should you include on your save the date cards? Your save the date card should include three main pieces of information:

  1. The date of the wedding, or the weekend of the wedding celebration. The magical date is set and this is the date you include in your card, allowing your guests to mark the big day on their calendars.

If you’re planning a destination wedding or a celebration that lasts more than a single day, indicate the entire weekend so your guests can block off the weekend and arrange their travel plans.

  1. The city of the event. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or one in your hometown, your guests will need to know the location of your wedding to prepare ahead of time. Even some of your local guests might want to reserve a room at a nearby hotel instead of driving home at the end of the night.
  2. The name of the couple. Full names are preferred, but first names are just as proper for casual and informal wedding celebrations. And you never know, a save the date card might be the first time some of your guests learn the name of your fiancé.

Though not required, the following optional information might be extremely helpful to your guests:

Formal, Religious, Funny and Cute Save the Date Wording Examples

The following examples show the proper wording for casual, formal, religious, and funny save the date cards.

Casual Save the Date Wording

Save the Date!

Ben and Laura

September 15, 2017

San Francisco, CA

www.benandlaura.com

 

Formal Save the Date Wording

Ben Smith and Laura White

Are getting married in San Francisco

September 15, 2017

Formal Invitation to Follow

 

Religious Save the Date Wording

Save the Date

For the Wedding of Ben Smith and Laura White

September 15, 2017

San Francisco, CA

“Therefore, what God has joined together let no man separate.” Mark 10:9

Formal Invitation to Follow

 

Fun Save the Date Wording

Two Fewer Fish in the Sea

Kimberly and Ryan

San Francisco, CA

September 15, 2017

Invitation to Follow

 

Save the Date with Hotel Information

Ben Smith and Laura White

Are getting married in San Francisco, CA

September 15, 2017

Formal Invitation to Follow

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel

Use the group code WEDDING

For more information, please visit our website www.benandlaura.com

How to Address Save the Date Cards

A save the date card should go to every guest invited to your wedding, including members of your wedding party and family members.

Follow proper etiquette for how to address your save the dates to honor your guests and make sure they receive their cards in a timely manner.

Using the same etiquette rules for how to address wedding invitations, we’ve provided the following guidelines for how to address your save the date cards with your guests in mind:

To a single guest, use the appropriate titles, “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Ms.”

Mrs. Jones

43 Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 14002

 

To a married couple, use titles “Mr. and Mrs.” and the husband’s first and last name.

Mr. and Mrs. James Jones

43 Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 14002

 

To an unmarried couple, use the titles “Mr. and Ms.” and spell out first and last names.

Mr. Peter Jones and Ms. Stacey Marshall

43 Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 14002

 

To a married couple with children, include the first names of the children on the second line underneath the parents.

Mr. and Mrs. James Jones

Owen and Julian

43 Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 14002

 

Save the Date with a plus one, use the title Mr. or Ms. with the last name of the primary guest and write “and guest.”

Mr. Jones and Guest

43 Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 14002

Save the Date Design

As part of the complete wedding stationery suite, save the dates often reflect a couple’s wedding day design scheme. But, they don’t have to.

As you design your save the date cards, remember that you can either match your wedding day design scheme or come up with a unique and fun way to tell your guests to reserve the date for your big day.

“We find that most couples go one of two routes with save the dates,” says Virginia. “Most people either choose a style that complements their wedding stationery to follow, or a design scheme that’s completely different and whimsical.”

Some examples of creative and fun save the dates include photo save the dates, magnet save the dates, and even a box with items that represent the location of the wedding.

Shutterfly Save the Dates

Create personalized and stylish save the date cards with Shutterfly. Our easy-to-use templates allow you to design your save the dates with your selected photographs and important nuptial details. We can even address, stamp and send your cards!

As you consider your save the date ideas, explore countless pages of inspiration with wedding ideas for themes and dream wedding looks. Get inspired to design elegant wedding stationery that reflects your unique love story and visions of your big day.