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Home > Lei's Wedding Blog > Save the Date Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know

Save the Date Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know

Submitted By: Edna Renskers

Save the Date Cards are announcements that inform your guests of your future wedding in order to keep your special day free. They are essential in the following situations: if many of your guests are traveling to your wedding, your wedding takes place on or around a holiday, you are planning a faraway destination wedding, or your wedding will take place in a seasonally busy or tourist locale, where the flights and hotels perhaps book up early.

They are generally sent at least 4-6 months prior to your wedding but, if you are planning a destination wedding, for example Hawaii it is strongly recommended that you send them 12 months in advance if not longer. For seasonally busy and tourist locales or on or around a holiday it is best to send them 9-12 months in advance. Your guests will then have ample time to make all the necessary arrangements needed to be a part of your special celebration and may even extend it into a vacation of their own.

Use your imagination, Save the Date Cards are not meant to be formal. There are many design options available. You can have them match your wedding invitations, magnets, brochure style, post card size, multiple layers, booklet style, you can add a picture of you and your fiancé, or embellishments to add a personal touch.

Here are some guidelines on what your cards should state, your names, date of wedding, city or town and state of where wedding will take place. Also, because Save the date Cards are a recent trend and many that have not attended a wedding recently may mistaken them for the actual invitation be sure to include something along the lines of, “Invitation to follow”, “Invitation and details to follow”, “Invitation will follow” this is usually placed at the bottom of the card. For more wording suggestions visit If you have a wedding website don’t forget to include the address for your guests to view.

If you need to keep your guest list to a minimum, make a list of close family and friends whom you want to make sure will be able to attend and mail them a Save the Date Card, you do not need to send Save the Date Cards to everyone you are inviting but, every guest that receives a Save the Date Card must also receive an invitation.

We recommend providing your guests with additional information to help facilitate their planning such as airline, car rental, hotel, information on things to see and do in the area and surrounding areas, special events, theatrical shows etc. Go the extra mile and acquire group discounts by calling specific companies and seeing if they offer group discounts.

Article courtesy of Edna from Edna’s Sweet Announcements

Edna is a professional wedding invitation designer;

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17 Comments Submit Comments...

Guest Diane from San Francisco, Ca says...

My daughter is sending out save the date announcements using paperless posts which I think are a very nice and "green" alternative. The paperless post site asks guests to repond as to the save the date which I've never seen before. It seems redundant to ask the to respond to the save the date and again to respond with the formal invitation. Is it customary to have guests respond to a save the date announcement?

Wedding Date: 10/22/2011

Posted: 4/20/2011 3:32:53 PM

Guest nan from brick nj says...

Can I hand write the address on my save day or should have them done by professional ?

Wedding Date: 04/4/2011

Posted: 4/4/2011 7:58:37 PM

Guest Jean from Cleveland, Ohio says...

Are Save the Date cards sent from the bride or the parents of the bride? Not sure which return address to use.

Wedding Date: June 17, 2011

Posted: 2/1/2011 11:09:09 AM

Guest Becky from San Antonio says...

What is the rule for sending out a save-the-date card for a luncheon and not a wedding where there are out of town guests?

Wedding Date: March 5, 2011

Posted: 1/12/2011 11:27:31 AM

Guest Darla from NY says...

We are getting married in Vegas, just the two of us with a reception here in New York in June. I am wondering how to send invitations for this type of situation. Our friends and family know we are going there to get married, so its not exactly eloping...just not sure how to go about inviting everyone to a reception celebrating out nuptuals....i need help!

Wedding Date: April10, 2011

Posted: 1/11/2011 2:27:58 PM

Guest Peggy from Annapolis, MD says...

I am wondering about the etiquette for sending out "save the dates". Are "and guest" and small children names on the envelope? Thank you.

Wedding Date: June 25, 2011

Posted: 10/11/2010 8:47:43 AM

Guest Erika from says...

Does Save the Date Invitations need an inner envelope?

Posted: 5/8/2009 3:53:42 PM

Guest katie from mn says...

what if the venue for the reception had to be changed after the save the date cards went out and the number of guests we can serve has dropped by 25? Do we send some a note regretting the change but they are welcome to join us at the wedding ?

Wedding Date: 6/27

Posted: 5/8/2009 11:01:10 AM

Guest Erika from Florida says...

Do i add "and guest" to save the dates or do i wait for the invitations to go out for that part?

Wedding Date: oct 24th

Posted: 5/4/2009 12:52:26 PM

Guest michelle from ardmore Pa says...

Do I put "and guest" on the label for the save the dates or wait for the invitation? Also do I add "and family" or also wait on that? Thanks Wedding Date: October 17, 2009

Wedding Date: October 17

Posted: 1/15/2009 2:41:09 PM

Guest Carson from Charlotte, NC says...

We are having a destination wedding on Hilton Head Island. We are sending out save the date magnets and are also going to include some brochures on hotels and villas in the area as well as the group rate code for booking. Should i try to get all the information on one sheet of paper, or is it okay to send several different pieces. Also, is the magnet enough, or should i also include a save the date card? Thanks!

Wedding Date: 07/11/2009

Posted: 11/10/2008 12:12:20 PM

Guest Andrea from Nashville says...

Do I put "and guest" on the label for the save the dates or wait for the invitation? Also do I add "and family" or also wait on that? Thanks

Wedding Date: May 2nd, 2009

Posted: 9/29/2008 6:09:25 PM

Guest Terri McKinney from Flower Mound, Texas says...

My daughter is getting married in Springfield, Missouri this coming January. We live in Texas--so everything is being done long distance. Question-I know the bride's parents are the return address on the invitations, but what return address do I use for the save the date card? Brids (who lives in Missouri or ours (bride's parents) in Texas? Thanks you.

Wedding Date: January 3, 2009

Posted: 8/17/2008 10:24:08 AM

Guest MG from Boston says...

I would also like the answer to Mary's question. Do I need to specify "and guest" on the Save the Date, or can that wait until later?

Posted: 3/4/2008 11:29:25 PM

Guest brenda graninger from gaithersburg, MD says...

Im sending the Save the Date Magnets out and am trying to find out does the Bride place her name and home address on the return label? Or can she put her parents address with her name as the return?

Wedding Date: May 03, 2008

Posted: 1/6/2008 10:41:57 PM

Guest Mary from new york, ny says...

Do you address save the date cards with the and guest or do you wait until invitation time ?

Wedding Date: June 1, 2008

Posted: 10/22/2007 2:29:40 PM

Guest Gabrielle from Atlanta, GA says...

When my fiance and I addressed our Save the Dates, we included "and family" for people with kids. My Mom is now adament that we shouldn't invite kids (NOW she expresses this opinion!). On my invitations, can I just invite the parents, or am I obgliated to again invite the kids?

Wedding Date: 5/20/06

Posted: 3/29/2006 12:02:48 PM