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The How-To Lounge: Save the Date Etiquette

You're engaged, and no doubt exploding with happiness, so what to do next? You got it, plan, plan, and plan!! As much as you want to shout your good news from the rooftops, sending your friends and family a save the date might be an easier way to spread the good word. After you choose the date and book the location, you're ready to have all your guests mark their calendars so they can join you on your special day. While there is no right or wrong way to send a save the date, I am here to offer some advice.

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  • Regardless of the size of your wedding, you want all your friends and family to attend, so sending a save the date will give all your guests ample time to mark their calendars
  • Make certain you will not be adjusting your guest list before sending out your save the date as every person who receives one will be expecting a wedding invitation to follow
  • Save the dates should be sent out 6-12 months prior to your wedding day, obviously the sooner the better

  • While many people like their save the dates to match their wedding invitations, that is by no means a rule set in stone
  • Save the dates are not meant to be formal, so use your imagination and show your personality. Save the dates typically state the name of the bride and groom, the date, time and location
  • Save the dates for a destination wedding should be much more informational. Since your guests will be traveling, it is best to include the following information: hotel and airline information including phone numbers and any special rates or packages if applicable, rental car companies, a schedule of events and the location of your wedding site

Sending the save the date is the first step to wedded bliss, so get excited! I hope these tips were helpful, and remember to stay tuned this week for everything engagement!


Join The Conversation
blondewithbangs blondewithbangs 9 years
my cousins new fiancee and i dont get along. Im not sure why but me and her just never clicked. I recently found out they were registered at a few different places and had a huge engagment party. Thru the registry i found they had selected a date and its only 3 months away. i havent gotten a "save the date" card yet and im absolutley obbsessed over it! I mean, am i just NOT going to be invited? Ive even emailed my cousin (who up until he got with his fiancee) we always had a close relationship, i asked how the planning was going and congratulated him again. He never responded! sorry for the rant, but im so irritated!
cubadog cubadog 10 years
It is definitly an American thing that has really caught on in the last 5-10 years. I just started to receive them in the last 5 years and I hate them as you can tell from my first post. The registry thing really pisses me off it is beyond tacky if there is such a thing!
smith3 smith3 10 years
If you've booked the location is there any reason not to just send invitations? At least that way people can go ahead and say yes or no. I don't really understand the need to duplicate the information (but maybe it's a American thing).
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Oh my god Marci! That sounds so awkward, your former friend sounds like a bit of a drama queen! I've been invited to 4 weddings in the past year and only one had a "save the date" mailed out to the guests. I didn't mind receiving it because it is a destination 5 hours drive from my home and I have to reserve a hotel room for the night. In some situations it's practical, in others I can see it as being unnecessary.
Marci Marci 10 years
lickety, I was so unprepared when she called that I wasn't smooth at all. :D I stuttered and stammered under the pressure, like I was in police custody. I finally said that a family thing had come up for the same date, but she wasn't buying it and was more than a little peeved. Her response was a very chilly 'I don't think we'll be able to include you in my showerS or anything else if you're not coming to the actual wedding.' I said that was fine. And that was the last time we ever spoke. As a result, I have a bad taste in my mouth about those 'Save the Date' things. Her attitude was surprising because she had always been very low key and sweet natured until that ring went on her finger. So you just never know.
katie225 katie225 10 years
i think that if your guest list is small and mostly family, save the date cards are unnecessary. they are most necessary for destination weddings. i wouldn't call them tacky, but i wouldn't send them out like dearsugar said, "regardless of size." i would send them for 150+ guests and destination weddings only. other than that, you start to look like one of "those" brides. and no matter what, do not ever send out registry information with your invites. i don't care how many people do it, it's still tacky. word of mouth, people, word of mouth.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
lol, what did you say when she called and demanded an explaination? my goodness, what a sense of importance! when i get one i'm glad when it's something i want to go to but feel sort of like "oh no" when it's something i don't. (oddly enough) because i guess in the back of my mind i feel like the hostess will be as aggressive as marci's!
Marci Marci 10 years
I had a girl never talk to me again because she sent me a Save The Date and then was highly offended when I responded to the official invitation as unable to attend. This wasn't a close friend, but she called me right away and wanted to know WHY I wasn't attending her 'special day' when I knew about it for a year. I agree that a Save the Date is a nice heads up for people you care about, but a lot of brides lose sight of the fact that while everyone is happy for them, their wedding isn't a top priority for all 200 people on their invitation list.
KWM KWM 10 years
Me too jgasia! You have no obligation to respond to a Save The Date, it's really just like an FYI to you from couple.
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 10 years
tacky? wow. I've never thought of them in that way or heard of them thought in that way. I thought they were fairly standard and a polite thing.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
There is nothing mixed about my emotions. I think they are flat out tacky.
Marci Marci 10 years
I have very mixed emotions about receiving a 'Save the Date'. If it's for family or good friends, I'm all in. But every once in awhile I get one of those from someone whose wedding I would never expect to be invited to, and one that I'm then on the fence about attending. What kind of excuse do you then have for something in a year?? It makes it very awkward and is bound to cause hurt feelings.
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