Save the dates are different than your actual wedding invitations. They come before you invite guests to your wedding—usually about 6-8 months before the ceremony is scheduled (8-12 for a destination wedding). You can think of save the dates as a pre-invitation card that gives your guests time to think about whether or not they will be able to attend your wedding and to clear their calendars for that date.
A common question is whether or not a formal wedding invitation is enough and if you even need save the date cards. We highly recommend you send both because of the prep time save the dates give your guests and because you might not be able to give the details of your wedding far enough in advance for guests to clear their calendars.
In your save the date wording, make sure to include:
- The names of the engaged couple
- “Save the Date” or some other way of saying that you’re engaged
- Wedding date
- Wedding location (if you don’t have a venue yet, city and state is fine)
- “Formal Invitation to Follow” or “Invitation to Follow”
As for the save the date theme, you might not have finalized a wedding color scheme and style yet. If that’s the case, don’t worry about matching your save the dates to anything. If you do know the color scheme and style you’d like, you may choose to match the save the date with your wedding style. However, it’s not necessary. It’s common for couples to have a little more fun with save the date cards than formal wedding invitations.
Once you’ve chosen your save the date design, it will soon be time to address them. Here are six guidelines for addressing your save the date envelopes:
- Address the guests with their professional titles or by using “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Ms.”
- Write the full names of your guests (no nicknames or abbreviations)
- Add kids’ names on the second line right after their parents
- Spell out the addresses completely (write out “Street” instead of writing “St.”)
- Spell out the city but use proper postal abbreviations for the state.
- Provide your return address on the envelope, either in the upper left-hand corner or on the back flap
Here are some wonderful samples for addressing different groups of guests:
To a single man or woman with a guest
Ms. Jessica Freedman and Guest
To a married couple
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Smith
To an unmarried couple (list the person you’re closest to first)
Ms. Kaylin Connors and Mr. Phillip Scott
To a same-sex couple (same rules apply)
Ms. Marisa Miller and Ms. Michelle Smith
To families (children younger than 18 should be included in the parents’ save the date; children older than 18 should receive their own save the date)
Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Scott
Daniel, Nathan, and Brittany