Wedding Stationery Etiquette - Save the Date Cards
February, 15th 2010
Save the Date cards are a relatively new concept in the UK and are intended to let your guests know your wedding date well in advance so they can put it in their diaries and don't miss your big day due to holidays, work commitments etc.
Why send them?
You don't need to send save the date cards, but they are especially useful if you are getting married during popular holiday periods - half-term, Christmas - or are getting married abroad or where many of your guests will need to travel.
The great thing about them is that you can send them once you have just the basic info - date and location. You then have time to sort out the fine details, timings, menus etc before sending your invitations.
Who to send them to?
The one absolute rule about Save the Date cards is that it is extremely rude to send a save the date and then not invite the person to the wedding.
So before you start sending them out you will need to have some clear ideas about your guest list and budget.
You can always add to your guest list later - it's fine to invite people who haven't received a save the date card.
Usually they are only sent to guests who will be attending the wedding and reception.
If there is a reason you wish to send them to evening guests as well, it's best to make it very clear that the invitation will be to the evening reception only. This avoids awkward misunderstandings!
When to send?
Save the date cards are usually sent at least six months before the wedding.
You should send them once you have booked your venue and have a clear idea on budget, the number of guests, who you will be inviting etc.
What to include?
As a minimum your card should include your names, the date and the location.
If you have a wedding website, then include your web address so guests can find out more about hotels and arrangements. You might also want to include some information about accomodation if most of your guests will be travelling some distance.
However, most of the details of your wedding (timings, menu choices etc) can wait until you send out the full invitations.
Save the Date cards can be as plain or adventurous as you like. They don't have to match the rest of your stationery, so don't worry if you haven't made a firm decision on your colour scheme or theme.
However, they should reflect the tone of the wedding as they are the first thing your guests will see. So if you are having a Black Tie reception, a humourous, quirky save the date probably isn't appropriate.