Sending out save the dates is the first step in getting all your friends and family together to celebrate your love!
You should send out save the dates around one year before the wedding.
If you are having a smaller wedding, or most of your guests are local, you are OK to send them out closer to six to eight months from the wedding date.
But, if you have a large wedding where people need to make travel arrangements, like for a destination wedding, you should try to send them out as soon as possible, and a year away should be the latest you send them.
You should also send your save the date out sooner rather than later if your wedding is during a busy time of year, like a holiday, or requires multiple days to attend.
When To Send Out Save The Date For Wedding?
Guests Need Time to Plan
The biggest reason you need to send out your save the dates early enough in advance is so your guests can plan ahead and save the date. They also need to have time to request off work if necessary and make their travel plans. They will want plenty of time to book a hotel if they need one.
It would help if you also let them know who is invited. Are you inviting kids to your wedding? Who gets a plus one? You need to consider and address these in the save the dates.
I recommend you clearly list who is invited and the number of people. You do not want your guests to be confused about who is invited. And, the last thing you want is for people to assume they can bring a plus one or other people if they cannot.
This information is essential if you are planning a destination wedding and people need to know precisely how many people they need to make travel arrangements for.
If you know your venue for a destination wedding, you can add the hotel information to the save the dates. This way, your guests can book as soon as they are ready and start to book their flights too.
And, be sure to put all the event dates on the save the date if it covers multiple days, not just the wedding day. You want to let people know the entire timespan you want them to attend your destination wedding, so they book the right transportation and accommodations.
Even if you are not doing a destination wedding but have a hotel block for your guests from out of town, you want to give them this information as soon as possible.
You Need Time to Send the Formal Invitations
You cannot only send a save the date and expect your guests to figure out the rest. You need time to send formal invitations with more information about the event.
If you send the save the dates too late, you will have to send the invitations soon after, and the save the date does not make much sense.
To send the save the date, you only need to know who is getting married (easy), the date (duh), and the city you are getting married in. Then, the invitations will have more details.
I also recommend you explicitly say “formal invitation to follow” on the save the dates. This way, your guests know that more information about the time, location, and RSVPs is coming.
If you have a wedding website, you can also put that on your save the dates. This way, your guests can check it periodically for more details and updated information about your special day. And a website is a great way to add hotel and other travel information so your guests can book what they need in advance without waiting for the formal invite.
Do Not Send Your Save the Dates Too Soon
While it is essential to send out your save the dates a year or so in advance, you do not want to send them too soon. Instead, you must ensure you are set on your date and will not change it.
And, you should put the location of the wedding on your save the dates too. You do not have to put the actual venue, especially if it is not booked yet, but at least put the city. Again, once you send out this information, it should not change, so be sure you know where you want to get married.
Once you send them out, the information on it is set, and you cannot change it. Well, you can, but you would have to reach out to all your guests and let them know. It would make for a lot of work, and trust me, you do not want to do that.
However, the one thing you do know is who is getting married, which you need to put on the save the date. It may seem silly, but adding full names and even a picture can help, especially if you are having a big wedding and you and your partner do not know everyone attending.
Make Your Guest List
Furthermore, you should only send the save the dates to people you 100% know you want at your wedding. You should not send save the dates to anyone you are not positive you are inviting. It looks bad sending out save the dates to people, then never actually inviting them to the wedding, no matter the reason.
You may have heard of an “A list” and a “B list” for wedding guests. The “A list” people are the people you know for certain you want at your wedding, like your closest friends and family. These are the people who save the dates should go out to.
The “B list” is for people who you are not sure if you are inviting or not. Maybe you are waiting to see how much space is left in your venue after you invite the “A list,” or maybe you still are not sure what size wedding you want yet. I recommend not sending save the dates to these people, as you may not invite them. You can still send them a formal invitation later on if you decide to invite them, but they do not need a save the date.