I love me some Save the Dates. These cards may be small, but they serve such a bigger purpose when it comes to wedding planning. Typically, the Save the Date is the first piece of wedding stationery to hit the chopping block. Before you do that, read up on why these cards are so important.
Why do I need to send a Save the Date?
Chances are guests will be traveling from out-of-town to attend your wedding. Save the Dates are really for these guests to not only mark their calendar, but begin to think about travel arrangements. Guests can begin to check flights or budget for traveling. In many cases, these guests will make a long weekend out of their travels, researching your city for fun things to do during their stay.
Save the Dates are most important for Destination Weddings. If you’re getting married in the West Indies, guests will need ample time to prepare, likely needing to save up for the trip. Passports, airline tickets, child care if you’re getting married during the school year. The more time you can give your guests to get ready to celebrate with you, the better.
What information should I include?
This is the perfect opportunity to direct guests to your wedding website. The must-have information you want to included on your Save the Date are
- Names (full names if you don’t use a photo)
- City where the celebration will take place
- Wedding Website if you plan to have one (which I recommend)
Here is a list of helpful information to provide you guests
- hotel blocks
- closest airports
- any included transportation
- are you an uber or lyft town
- nearby favorite restaurants
- nearby attractions or entertainment options
- directions from hotels to the church and the reception venue.
When do I need to send Save the Dates?
Save the Dates should be mailed six to eight months before the wedding.
I don’t have all my details finalized – should I wait to send out my Save the Dates?
I say nope. Just make note for guests to check back closer to the wedding for more details as their finalized. The most important information for guests will be hotel blocks, airports, and addresses. The rest is listed as a courtesy to your guests to help them enjoy your city.
Can I just send a postcard?
Postcards are definitely the go-to for Save the Dates. However, they have a tendency to get banged up in the mail. Many times the ink smears from the meter machine if the proper paper is not used. My suggestion is to always send your Save the Dates in a mailing envelope so that your announcement arrives just as you designed it.
I love the idea of a magnet – I want to send one out for my Save the Date – what do you think?
Magnets are really cool. However, there a few things to consider when mailing magnets.
Almost all the equipment at the post office is metal. We know how magnets work with metal. If the post office can’t run your Save the Dates through the (metal) metering machine, your envelopes are set aside until someone can hand-sort them. That could be an hour, that could be a day, or a week.
Second, if the magnet makes your envelope hard to bend, this may increase your postage rate. The post office gives it what I call “The Boing Test.”
A postal worker will hold your envelope on the edge of the counter with about half of the envelope hanging over. If he can push down the part hanging over the edge and it “boings” back up, it’s likely flexible enough to send without overly increased postage.
If the envelope is stiff and will not “boing,” your Save the Date will need to be sent as a parcel, most likely.
To ensure you don’t run into any hiccups with mailing your Save the Dates, be sure to have a fully sealed envelope with your magnet weighed at the post office before buying your postage. Also, test one on your fridge before you send them out. This may increase your postage, but it will save you the headache of tracking down missing envelopes.
A quick story…
I had a client who asked me to print the mailing addresses on her Save the Date mailing envelopes. She ordered the Save the Date magnets from an online company, so I only needed to provide the printing for the envelopes. After a few weeks, she found many of her guests didn’t receive their Save the Date; some as close as a few streets over.
Come to find out, a large stack of her Save the Dates were knocked off the metering table because the magnet wouldn’t allow the envelope to go through the machine. A few were stuck to the side of the machine while the others were between the machine and the wall. It wasn’t until my client called all the post offices in the chain of distribution that the missing Save the Dates found by one of the postal workers.
If you really want to send a magnet, be sure the paper you use is extra thick and test it sticking to your fridge through the envelope. Though this will likely bump up your postage, but it will save the headache of tracking down missing envelopes.
Do my Save the Dates have to match my invitations?
Nope. Nope. Nope. Save the Dates are the PERFECT opportunity to show some personality and have a little fun.
As you’ve seen, many newlyweds use their engagement photos on their Save the Dates. This is most common and gives some extra legs to your engagement photos. Other opt for a more informal and fun design that will contrast with the more classic and traditional design of the invitation suite.
I tell my clients that Save the Dates are a great opportunity to add a little extra fun and playfulness to an often more formal occasion like a wedding. Be you. Show your personalities and have fun with it.
My stationery budget is already limited. Do I still have to send Save the Dates?
Don’t let a limited budget get you down and make you feel like you need to cut stationery pieces you know are important. Instead, send an e-card for your Save the Date! Chances are you have everyone’s email address. Avoid sending a mass email from your personal account, though. The message may get caught in spam.)
Look into great sites like Paperless Post and Zola. The most important part of the Save the Date is allowing everyone time to plan, so how you get the message to them is up to you.