When Do I Send Save the Dates?

When you send out your save the dates matters. Don't worry—here's exactly when to send save the dates so all your guests prioritize your big day.

By Elizabeth Blasi

zola wedding save the dates
Photo by Zola

The precursor to the critical wedding invitation, save the dates are both exciting and practical. On the one hand they boost moral of friends and family for the upcoming festivities, on the other, they give an ample amount of time for your guests to block off their calendars for your wedding. There’s a science to sending out save the dates—not too early and never too late. Plus, did you know that different types of weddings require sending save the dates at different times? With all these small details, it’s easy to get caught up in the logistics. No worries! Here’s exactly when to send save the dates.

Overall Timeline

While every wedding is different timeline-wise, there are a few tried and true standards for when to send save the dates. Here’s a general timeline for a wedding with a year of planning.

  • 12 Months in Advance: Reserve the wedding venue and secure a date.
  • 11 Months in Advance: Set up a wedding website.
  • 10-12 Months in Advance: Take engagement photos. (Optional)
  • 10 Months in Advance: Collect friends and family addresses.
  • 8 Months in Advance: Send out save the dates for a destination wedding.
  • 6 Months in Advance: Send out save the dates for a local wedding.
  • 8 Weeks Before Wedding: Send out wedding invitations.
INLINE Zola 1080x720 Photo Credit // Zola

The Basic Rule

The above timeline ensures that your guests have an appropriate amount of time to block off your wedding date in their calendar. However, every wedding’s details and timelines vary. Whether you secure your location a year in advance or a few months beforehand, there’s one basic principle to follow: Do not withhold scheduling information and wedding details.

As soon as you’ve secured the venue (or even the wedding location) and set a specific date, let your guests know via save the dates. You don’t really need any other details for your save the dates so don’t get hung up on anything else before sending.

Can You Ever Send Save The Dates Too Early?

OK, yes, we realize we just said to send your save the dates as soon as possible, but hold please just for one moment. It is definitely possible to send save the dates too early. Doing so may cause your guests put your wedding date out of mind because they feel like it’s too far away to mentally prioritize. The sweet spot is four to six months ahead of your wedding. (Unless you’re hosting a destination wedding, in which case eight months out is a better timeframe.)

INLINE Zola 1080x720 Photo Credit // Zola

Who Do We Send Save The Dates To?

Many couples have a group A and group B when it comes to sending out wedding invites. Group B is typically made up of those guests who you would love to have at your wedding, but, because of space or budget issues, may not be able to accommodate.

In proper wedding etiquette, never send a save the date to anyone in group B. These people aren’t definitely secured an invite to your wedding after all. Only send save the dates to group A—and only send them to each household. You don’t need to send save the dates for every individual guest. If they live at the same address, they only need one save the date.

Save the dates are the introduction to your wedding so we understand you want to time it right. Send them no earlier than eight months out and no later than four and you’ll be perfectly fine.