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Wedding Etiquette Wednesday: Save The Dates

March 21, 2012

You’ve told your closest family and friends you are engaged, and now it’s time to tell everyone else! Once you have decided on your location and date, the next step is creating and sending out your Save the Dates. Brides often ask us questions about proper etiquette for Save The Dates such as, “Do I have to send Save the Dates?”, “Whom should I send them to?”, “What should they say?” and “When should I send them?” Here is what we tell them:

“Do I have to send Save the Dates?” : No, you do not have to send out Save the Dates, but it is very common nowadays to do so. Save the Dates let your guests know when and where you are planning to get married which helps them make plans to attend in advance. Once they know the date and place, they can request time off from work, set aside additional funds, and make travel arrangements. Usually the only time we suggest not to send out Save the Dates is when you are on a tight budget or when there is a short time between when you got engaged and when your wedding  will take place. If there is a short window of time between the engagement and wedding day, sending an invitation only is perfectly fine.

“Whom should I send them to?” : We get this question a lot. As always, this is your wedding and you do not have to send  a Save the Date to everyone if you do not wish to do so however traditionally anyone who you plan to invite to the actual wedding should get one. You should especially send these to your out of town guests considering they are the ones who need to make travel plans. It is proper and nice to send these to your family and even the bridal party. Even if you see these people everyday or have already received a confirmation they are attending, it is still a nice gesture to send them one. Just remember: It is expected to receive a formal invitation if you have received a Save the Date, so make sure you only send these out to those you really want to attend the wedding as you cannot change your mind and not invite them if they have received a Save The Date.

“What should they say?” : The simplest form and the most common information included on Save the Dates are the couples’ names, the date of the wedding, and a line at the bottom which reads “invitation to follow”. Nowadays, people are coming up with creative ways to send their information to their guests such as clothespins with a picture of the couple attached, magnets, coasters, and the list goes on and on. The information you provide really depends on the amount of space you have on your Save The Date design, but the most important information to include is the date of your wedding!

“When should I send them?” : Save the Dates should always be sent out before the formal invitation. With that being said, we suggest these be sent out 6-8 months before the wedding. Sending them this far in advance will give your guests time to make arrangements to be there on your special day. Obviously, if you do not have 6-8 months to send these out, then you should think about only sending invitations or send them out as soon as you know the details of the wedding.
Hope this information is helpful and Happy Planning!

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