As the industry shifts and big weddings are being replaced with smaller celebrations, Save the Dates have somehow withstood the test of time. Meanwhile, wedding websites have simultaneously grown in popularity as nearly weds recognize the benefits of having all their information in one place. So, how do you navigate these two tools in a way that maximizes them both?
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In short, yes. While Save the Dates are useful for consolidating important information and giving your friends and family a reason to mark their calendars, it simply can’t convey the breadth of information that a wedding website can. For some people, your wedding website may even be the first impression that they have of your big day… so don’t skip it!
Before we dig too deep, it’s important to think about what you’d like to include on your Save the Date (and what’s worth leaving out). Though there’s likely lots of important information that comes to mind, taking the time to sort through what might be most relevant to your guests is the first key step to drafting your Save the Dates.
When thinking of what you need to include in your Save the Dates, start with the basics. Date, place, and time are always going to be the three most important details surrounding your wedding. Because they’re often planned so far in advance, it’s a good idea to include the year along with the date, too. If there are separate wedding venues for the ceremony and reception, make sure to include addresses for both.
Depending on the style of your Save the Date, you can also include some optional information. Dress code and accommodations are some of the first things guests consider before attending a wedding, so make sure those are front and center. Transportation details might also be worth mentioning, particularly if you’re having a destination wedding or getting married at an unconventional venue (such as the top of a mountain).
Most importantly, make sure to include the link to your wedding website. This will be the portal for your guests to access all of the information that you couldn’t fit on the Save the Date.
Just like with wedding invitations, it’s important to consider basic etiquette when drafting your Save the Date. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes and make sure that all the information is conveyed in a clear, concise manner. When it comes to addressing your Save the Date, it’s also important to consider details such as shared households, formal titles, and altered last names (depending on the formality of the event).
In most cases, Save the Dates should go to everyone you plan on inviting to the wedding. However—with the growing presence of smaller gatherings—some people use Save the Dates to announce their pending nuptials. If this is you, make sure that you include language that clarifies who will be attending the actual celebration.
When it comes to ordering Save the Dates, the answer is to do so as soon as you have a wedding date, time, and place. Even if you don’t plan on sending them to your guest list right away, it’s one more task that you can take off your to-do list. Just make sure that you give yourself enough time to iron out the details and work with a design that you like.
In general, Save the Dates are sent out about five to eight months before a wedding. However, with COVID-19 and the ever-changing wedding landscape, this timing may vary. If you’re having a destination affair, consider sending out Save the Dates as early as eight to 10 months before the big day.
The beauty of having a wedding website is that you can include as much (or as little) as you choose. We recommend the former, as you’re less likely to be overwhelmed with questions about transportation and other logistics. A website also gives you a place to direct those guests who do ask one too many questions. After all, you don’t need another thing to worry about.
The most important details to include on your wedding website are:
Additional information to consider adding to your website:
The first opportunity to share your wedding website generally comes with the Save the Date wedding announcements. Whether it’s big and bold or snuck in amongst the contact info, it’s extremely important to include the website link in your Save the Dates. Since there’s often a big gap between when you send out your Save the Date and your official invitations, this ensures that your bases are covered and your guests are kept informed of any changes. After all, updating your website is a much more efficient route than sending a chain of emails.
If you want to skip the Save the Dates altogether, no one is stopping you. After all, your wedding website can include all the same information (and more), making Save the Dates seemingly obsolete. However, Save the Dates are your guests’ first “tangible” declaration of your big day, and they set the tone for what’s to come. They also help convey the most important information to your guests long before they receive their invitations.
If you’re looking for unique ways to meld your website with your Save the Date, you’ve come to the right place. Below are some creative ideas, tips, and tricks to help your personality shine through and build excitement for your wedding.
An easy way to make your Save the Dates feel official is to coordinate your wedding stationery with your website. Is your Save the Date lined with florals? Incorporate those same florals in your website design. Are your cards giving off more of a black and white, vintage noir vibe? Use photos from the same shoot on your wedding website. No matter your style (or budget), this is a simple way to make everything feel cohesive and formal.
If your wedding is composed of several separate events, creating a special day timeline is a fun way to convey this to your guests. Not only is it a great visual piece that you can utilize on your big day (them, welcome signs), but it also makes the information more digestible for your guests.
If you want to maximize your website, consider making short videos to fill your guests in on some of the information. This could be anything from a short welcome clip explaining how to navigate your site to a sweet video with your partner that tells the story of how you met. You’ll not only surprise your guests, but they’re also much more likely to engage with you than words on a website.
Yes, email Save the Dates are a thing. If you want to skip snail mail altogether, consider sending out an Evite with the key details and a link to your wedding website. If you want to go the extra mile, a wedding invitation with an interactive element—such as a personalized GIF or custom playlist—is another creative way to go.
Don’t be afraid to be different and incorporate some personal elements into your Save the Date. Love to travel? Design your Save the Date to look like passports or ticket stubs. Big music fan? Send out invites that incorporate one of your favorite songs. The sky's the limit.
Last but not least, don’t forget that there’s so much that you can do on your own. Zola’s pre-designed Save the Dates is a great place to start and coordinate seamlessly with a Zola wedding website. Not only is this a great way to get creative, but can save you a lot of money in the long run.
In summary, think of your Save the Date as an opportunity to make an impactful first impression on your potential guests, while your website serves as the main source of communication throughout the wedding planning process. Details are likely to change and you might get a lot of questions, but you can rest easy knowing that your website (and Zola!) are there to keep your guests up-to-date.