I’m often asked by clients and couples on wedding forums about Save the Date cards – I guess it is a relatively new concept in the UK, getting more and more popular over the last 10 years. It is definitely more of a usual thing to do in the States. I have had discussions with people who don’t see the point of Save the Dates, and I agree they aren’t needed for everyone, so here are my tips for Save the Dates …

Why to send Save the Dates

I would advise sending Save the Dates if you fall into any or all of the following situations …

  1. You have booked a date for your wedding which falls on a popular holiday or a bank holiday or during the summer holidays when people may be booking to go away up to a year in advance.
  2. You have a large proportion of guests coming from abroad or quite a distance within your own country. These people may need to book an entire week or weekend off rather than just an afternoon or day and it is best to give them as much warning as possible to book flights and/or accommodation.
  3. You are getting married on a weekday. As weekday weddings become more and more popular in order to save costs your guests will almost certainly have to book time off work and with the advised date to send out your actual invitations being approximately 2-3 months prior to the wedding this may not leave them enough time to book a date off. I have several friends who due to the nature of their work are asked to book in their holiday dates at the beginning of the year.

When to send out Save the Dates

The general advice I would give is to send out Save the Dates 9 months to a year prior to you wedding. This gives guests enough warning if they have to book flights or time off work but not so much warning that they are likely to forget about your wedding altogether! Honestly this happens! Your wedding may be the most important thing going on in your life but it certainly isn’t in other people’s and people really are likely to forget and lose the Save the Date card if you send them out too early!

Who to send Save the Dates to

Often the main reason I hear for people not sending Save the Dates is the cost – totally understandable – weddings can be an expensive business. So perhaps consider just sending Save the Dates to those people who you know will be travelling from afar and need to book transport and accommodation or those who you know will need more advance warning to book holiday.

Perhaps limit who you send to those people who you really want to be able to make it to the wedding. Its a horrible thing to say but that old friend of your Mum’s who you don’t speak to ever and who isn’t going to speak to anyone else on your guest list isn’t really going to know if she doesn’t get sent one. But be careful! If there is any chance at all that they are going to find out via facebook or through a friend of a friend etc. that they didn’t recieve one its probably best to play safe!

Advice for guests

I’ve also had long discussions with friends who have received a Save the Date from a couple getting married and aren’t sure whether or not this is something they need to reply to. The answer is no – there is no need to reply to a Save the Date card. The couple are just letting you know in advance of their intention to get married on this date so you can book holiday off if necessary. I would say the only reason to reply at this stage is if you definitely already know you have plans that date and will not be attending – that way the couple won’t waste money on buying an invitation for you when there is no need. Other than that there is no commitment on either side at this stage – it is entirely possibly that the couple’s plans may have changed by the time they come to send out their invitations. As a guest you should also be understanding if this also means that for any reason, possibly financial or medical, that the couple do not end up sending you an actual invitation. It doesn’t happen very often but if they have suffered any loss of finances they may not be able to have as large a wedding as they had first planned and will have to cut down on numbers. Etiquette wise I would say to couples getting married that if this does happen to you it is polite to drop a quick message to those you will no longer be inviting but have sent a Save the Date, just explaining the situation and apologising for any inconvenience and hope they understand.

I hope all this helps with any questions you might have regarding Save the Dates!

Nikki x