Wedding Save the Date Etiquette: Mistakes to Avoid
So what is the Wedding Save the Date etiquette?
Congratulations, you’re engaged! Your wedding planning is underway and it’s likely that your venue is already secured! Now it’s time to give all your family and friends the heads up, so it’s important that you get it right! Your first step is to send a Save the Date card because it officially announces your wedding date and let’s your guests know which date(s) to keep clear. Below I highlight save the date etiquette and some of the common mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1 not sending a Save the Date
Not sending out a save the date at all is the first mistake, especially if you’re having a weekend wedding, destination wedding, or your date falls on a public holiday. By sending out your save the dates up to a year in advance, it will ensure that all your nearest and dearest will be able to attend your wedding, because it will give your guests enough time to ensure that their diaries are clear. It will also allow your guests time to make travel plans, which is particularly crucial if many of your guests are from far and wide, or if you’re arranging a destination wedding. The only exception is where you are planning to have a short engagement, and therefore decide to send out your main invitations instead. In this case, you would want to ensure that your invitations go out promptly, around 6 months before the big day.
Mistake #2 sending them out too late
The general rule is to start spreading the news 6 to 8 months prior to your ceremony date (but send them earlier if you’re having a destination wedding, or your date falls on a public holiday). This gives your guests plenty of time to book their days off work and to book their travel. At this stage, the only details that you need to include on your save the date are your names, wedding date and location. Including just the the town or city is absolutely fine, so you don’t even need to have secured your venue before sending these out. If you’re having a wedding website, it would be useful to include the web address on the card also, but it is not essential.
Mistake #3 sending them out too early
If you’re planning a long engagement and think you’ll get organised early and send out your save the dates more than a year in advance, you run the risk of your date being forgotten. You should also never send out your formal, or main invitation before arrangements are set in stone, in order to avoid any changes of plan. However, in the event of an unexpected date or venue change, your best bet is to update your website and make some calls. Spread the news as quickly as possible and enlist the help of your bridal party if you’re dealing with a large guest list.
Mistake #4 sending to people that you’re not sure about
Only send your save the dates out to those guests that you definitely want to attend. Also, make sure you send them to all those in your bridal party, whom you’ve already spoken too, such as Bridesmaids and close family members.
Mistake #5 overthinking the design bit
Your Save the Dates are much less formal than your main invitation, so don’t feel that you need to have nailed your theme entirely before sending them out. They don’t have to match your formal invitation. This is an opportunity for you as a couple to express your style and to create something that will excite your guests too!
Mistake #6 only sending electronic ones
Email invitations have definitely become more popular and could be said to be the ‘greener’ choice. Whilst this is absolutely fine for hen party or Bridal Shower invites and rehearsal dinners, I would still go old school on the formal invitation. Also, bear in mind that if you go digital on your Save the Date, it may end up in spam, never to be seen. Also your older guests may not even use email.
Mistake #7 being unclear about who is invited
By including all the actual guest names on the envelope will help your guests understand who is being invited. You are therefore less like to have any assumed invitees, like your friend’s children, or Great Uncle’s girlfriend. It also allows your guests the opportunity to make childcare arrangements and for friends to work out their hotel accommodation bookings.
Mistake #8 including gift registry information
Even though your guests will undoubtedly want to know about your gift registry details in due course, it is generally considered to be poor etiquette to include these on the Save the Date. These details are generally reserved for the wedding website or main invitation insert.