The Skinny on Save The Dates

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Zola paper wedding invitation and two save the date cards

If you haven’t attended a wedding in over a decade, or don’t receive postal mail, or live under a large rock, then you might not have heard about wedding save the dates. Or perhaps you’ve received a save the date before—maybe even stuck it on your fridge with a magnet (or maybe the save the date WAS a magnet)—but never given it a second thought. But now it’s your turn to plan a wedding and suddenly, this vital piece of communication is front and center in your mind. Feeling confused, clueless, or conflicted about whether you really need an STD? (Sorry, we kind of had to.) Then read on for the total rundown on save the dates to get all your burning questions answered.

Zola paper wedding save the date in Eastwick Vines design

WHAT is all the fuss about?

You might not have figured out table linens or florals, but it is time to start letting folks know about your intended celebration. Enter: save the dates. These simple announcements not only give you one more thing to scrapbook post-honeymoon (should you choose to go the paper route), but they’re a great way to set the tone for the big day.

WHO gets a save the date?

100 guests on your list, 100 save the dates, right? Actually, it’s perfectly acceptable (in fact, preferable) to send these cards to households instead of individual guests. The time and cost savings is significant—especially when you factor in all of the families on your list.

Zola paper save the date in Blake Frame design

WHEN should you send them?

The standard rule of thumb is to send save the dates anywhere from four to six months before your wedding, but if your timeline is different, don’t stress. The safest thing to do is to send them as soon as possible once you’ve booked a venue and settled on a date. Keep in mind that sending your save the dates early means designing them early, too.

WHY are save the dates a thing?

Since the trend gained traction in the mid-2000s, these classy head’s ups have become increasingly popular as people become busier (and more forgetful) and couples need to give their invitees more time to block out the big day on their calendars. They are especially important if your wedding falls during a popular month for travel—for example, close to Christmas or during the summer.

Zola paper save the date with couples photo on the back and a pre-printed save the date envelope

HOW should I format a save the date?

Save the dates provide guests with the most basic information: who is getting married, and when and where the wedding will take place. Identifying just the city is enough to let guests know if purchasing a plane ticket is necessary. Include a link to your wedding website, if you have one. Save other details for the invitations you’ve promised them—and do be sure to promise them invitations.


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