Save the Date CardsIMAGE CREDIT: Little Sister Invitations

While your big day might be all you can think about, how can you keep it in your guests’ minds? Rachael Harrington explains the importance of the save the date card.

There is something unique about receiving something tangible in the mail. Especially in this day and age of technology. Among the bills and the junk mail, who doesn’t love finding something special in their letterbox?

Wedding invitations are traditionally sent just six to eight weeks before the big day. Save the date cards will allow you to give more notice. Also, create the first impression that your guests will have of your wedding!

While an email or a text message might seem like an acceptable alternative, guests will take more note of a dedicated card arriving by post. Save the date cards make great display items. As opposed to texts or emails that could be easily forgotten.


Timing Is Everything

When considering sending save the date cards, one of the first points to address is timing. There’s no point in sending a save the date one week and then an invitation the next.

While giving as much notice as possible might seem like a good idea at first, this isn’t always the case. As a general rule it’s best to send save the date cards between six and nine months before the big day.

The period of notice for your big day will depend on when and where your wedding is. For example, guests are more likely to have conflicting invitations on a Saturday night in summer than a Friday night in winter.

Be sure to give ample notice if your big day will take place during school holidays or a long weekend. These are the most obvious times when your guests will have holidays booked.

Advanced notice is imperative in the event of a destination wedding, particularly those taking place overseas. A year in advance is the general rule for destination wedding save the dates. This gives guests suitable time to make bookings, save up and arrange leave from work.

An obvious but important point to remember is to ensure that your wedding date is set in stone before a save the date card is sent. Time, money and effort will have gone to waste if the date is changed after the cards have been sent.


Be My Guest

Once you have decided when your save the date cards will be sent, the next point to address is who to send them to. This means that you need to be sure about your guest list. While you might be able to invite forgotten guests at the last minute, you certainly can’t take back an invitation once it’s sent. So be sure to only send to those you definitely want to attend.

It’s also a good idea to be clear about exactly who you are inviting to the wedding, even this far in advance. Are children welcome? Can your sixteen-year-old cousin bring her boyfriend? Can your uncle bring his new partner that doesn’t get along with your aunt? If you have definite opinions on children and partners, being upfront about this now will prevent any confusion or awkward conversations down the track. This is especially important in the event of a destination wedding.

Some couples may feel that it is not necessary to send a save the date to every guest, in which case they can be sent only to those who will need to travel and potentially book accommodation for the wedding.


Write Away

Once you’ve decided when you’re sending your save the date cards and who you’re sending them to, it’s time to decide what they’re going to say. Traditionally, the wording is kept brief, including just the basic information about the wedding, for example:

Please save the date for the marriage of

Sarah Smith and James Jones

Saturday 14th February, 2015


Invitation to follow


A destination wedding will likely require more information, such as accommodation and travel details to help guests make their plans. Some destination wedding couples also include an itinerary of wedding events and maps of the area. But it’s okay to send these with the invitation otherwise. Don’t forget to include the url if you’ve created a wedding website too!

Save the date cards don’t typically include an RSVP request, instead leaving that for the formal invitations. It can be difficult for some guests to commit to an event too far in advance. So basing your head count on save the date responses can backfire.


Personal Touch

With the serious side of save the date cards out of the way, now comes the fun part. A save the date card doesn’t have to be a simple plain white card. You can choose to set the tone and reflect the style of your event by complimenting your theme, colour scheme and other stationery, or you can just choose to have some fun with it.

A popular save the date idea is a refrigerator magnet. It ensures a constant reminder of your big day when they go to the fridge! Some couples also choose to include save the date stickers, which guests can affix to their calendars or diaries.

If you had an engagement photo shoot, save the date cards are a great way to showcase your favourite images. Alternatively, if you didn’t, you could include your favourite image of you as a couple. Or even a funny image of each of you as children!

Destination wedding couples can really have some fun with their save the date cards. With postcards, luggage tags, boarding passes and passports just some of the travel-themed ideas to take inspiration from.

While save the date cards will vary between each couple, with different periods of notice, wording and designs, the benefits of sending them will be the same. Tangible save the date cards announce your big day with style and generate excitement among your guests. Most importantly, they ask your guests to do as their name suggests, save the date.


When it comes down to it, the big day is all about two people saying ‘I do’. So it is important to be surrounded by the ones you love on that day! Ensure that all of your nearest and dearests will be there on the happiest day of your life by sending them a save the date.