What Is A Save the Date?

Save the dates serve a functional purpose and add an extra touch of style and coordination to your wedding. Sent to your guest list months ahead of actual invitations, save the dates let guests know that your wedding is happening—and they should quite literally “save the date” for the celebration. Simple in their message, these announcements most often take the form of printed cards, but some couples get creative with save the date magnets or other small mementos.

Save The Date Goals

Your save the dates should serve the following purposes:

  1. Alert your guests to your wedding date, and have them record it in their calendars.
  2. Let guests know that a formal wedding invitation is forthcoming.
  3. Direct guests to your wedding website to learn more details.
  4. Prompt your guests to think about travel plans, if necessary.
  5. Set the general tone (including style, theme, or formality) for your wedding.
  6. Provide a tangible memento (that can coordinate with the rest of your wedding paper) to include in your wedding album or scrapbook.

The Five Ws of Save the Dates

WHO gets a save the date?

One hundred guests on your list, 100 save the dates, right? Think again. Every household on your guest list (rather than every individual guest) should receive a save the date.

WHAT should I include on my save the date?

Save the dates provide guests with the most basic information: who is getting married, when, and where. An engagement photo of you and your partner is also a great addition. See below for more information about how to word save the dates.

WHEN should I send my save the dates?

The standard rule of thumb is to send save the dates four to six months before your wedding. 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.

WHERE should I shop for save the dates?

We might be a little biased, but Zola has an incredible selection of save the dates. Designed to coordinate with our free wedding websites and matching paper invitations, our stunning array of save the dates means there’s a design for every style and type of wedding. Customize the wording (and upload your favorite photo) to make it feel 100 percent personal to you.

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 like close to the holidays or during the summer.

How to Word Wedding Save the Dates

Save the date wording should be short and sweet, and communicate the basic information guests need to know: who is getting married, where is the wedding taking place, and when. Typically you can just name the city in which you’re getting married—at this stage, guests only need to know if travel is required.

If you have a wedding website, which we highly recommend you set up as soon as you’ve secured your wedding date and location, include the link so guests can read more details about your wedding online for themselves. Then save other details for the invitations you’ve promised them—and do be sure to promise them invitations to follow!

If you want to know exactly how to word your wedding save the dates, here are some examples in a variety of styles, moods, and formalities. Use them as a jumping-off point when crafting your own original save the date wording.

Formal

Meghan Markle and Prince Henry of Wales
are getting married in London
May 19, 2018
Formal invitation to follow

Please save the date
to celebrate the marriage uniting
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin
September 27, 2014
Venice, Italy
Formal invitation to follow

Traditional

Please save the date
to share in the joy of
Gisele Bundchen
and
Thomas Brady
at their marriage on February 26, 2009
in Santa Monica, CA
Invitation to follow

Please save the date
for the wedding of
Neil Patrick Harris to David Burtka
September 6, 2014
Perugia, Italy
Formal invitation to follow

Casual

Save the date!
April 4, 2008
for the wedding celebration of Beyonce and Jay Z
New York City
Formal invitation to follow

Jessica and Justin
are tying the knot!
Friday 19 October 2012
Fasano, Italy
Invitation to follow

Whimsical

We’re spreading the news!
Ellen and Portia are getting hitched!
Please save the date: 8/16/08
in Beverly Hills, California
Invitation to follow

Will proposed…
Jada said yes!
Join us on December 31, 1997
as we say, “I do!”
in Baltimore, Maryland
Invitation to follow