Save-the-date cards announce your upcoming wedding and ensure your loved ones plan their schedules accordingly. However, while you might be excited to spread the news, brush up on proper etiquette for addressing save the dates before slipping them in the mailbox.
Here’s what you need to know.
Save the dates and wedding invitations serve distinct purposes in the wedding planning process.
Save the dates go out well in advance to give your wedding guests a heads up, allowing them to mark their calendars and make any necessary arrangements for travel, childcare, etc. Save the dates are concise, usually including the couple’s names, the wedding date, and a general location. Save the dates are less formal and offer creative design options.
Wedding invitations, on the other hand, go out closer to the wedding date and contain detailed information about the ceremony and reception. They include specific event details such as wedding venue addresses, start times, dress codes, and RSVP instructions. Wedding invitations reflect the event’s formality, often featuring elegant designs and traditional wording. They can include extra elements like custom monograms, calligraphy, or wax seals. They may include response cards or RSVP deadlines to gather attendance confirmations and additional details.
The save the date should include:
You may also include a wedding website URL if you have one. A wedding website is a great way to share all the information your guests need to know about your wedding.
Also include the wording “invitation to follow” on the save-the-date card so guests know to expect a formal wedding invitation with additional details in the coming months.
Develop a well-organized guest list. Keep track of all your invitees’ names, addresses, and titles. This will help streamline the addressing process and prevent any last-minute confusion.
Additionally, consider recording guests’ email addresses to facilitate communication regarding any changes or updates as needed.
To address save-the-dates efficiently, ensure you have the right tools. Purchase high-quality pens or calligraphy markers in a color that complements the cards’ design. Having a ruler, pencil, eraser, and a stack of envelopes ready will also help ensure clean and precise addressing.
Consider using traditional etiquette when addressing formal save-the-date envelopes, such as those for a black-tie wedding or otherwise upscale affair.
Here are a few guidelines regarding how to address a save-the-date envelope:
If planning a more casual wedding, you have more flexibility when addressing your save the dates.
Here are a few suggestions for more casual save-the-date envelopes:
Following the name(s), add the guests’ addresses (and your return address in the upper left-hand corner). Remember to…
Remember, addressing save-the-date envelopes is an opportunity to make a positive impression and set the tone for your wedding. Pay attention to detail, be consistent in formatting choices, and consider the preferences and relationships with your guests.
Before sealing and sending your save-the-dates, carefully proofread each address for accuracy. Ensure that names are spelled correctly and that addresses are up to date. Consistency is key, so follow the same style and format for all addresses.
When sending save-the-dates for destination weddings, include additional information, such as the wedding website, travel recommendations, or accommodation options, to help your wedding guests plan their trip.
Additionally, arrange to send your save the dates earlier so your guests can plan accordingly for travel needs (planning days off work, saving money for the trip, etc.)
If you choose to use electronic save-the-dates, use an email service that allows for personalized addressing and a visually appealing design.
Addressing a digital save-the-date for a wedding follows similar etiquette as physical cards, with a few adjustments for the digital format.
Here are some guidelines to consider:
Begin by addressing the recipient with a personalized greeting. Use a first name or preferred title if appropriate, followed by a warm and friendly message to convey the excitement of your upcoming wedding.
In the body of the email or message, provide essential information, including the wedding date, location, and a brief overview of the event.
Make sure the subject line of the email or message clearly indicates that it is a save-the-date for a wedding. This helps recipients identify the purpose of the communication amidst their busy inboxes.
Create a visually appealing digital save-the-date card or graphic that includes the couple’s names, the wedding date, and any design elements that reflect your wedding style. You can design this using graphic design tools or online templates for save-the-dates.
Include a link to your wedding website where guests can find more detailed information about the event and any additional celebrations or activities surrounding the wedding.
If you have many guests, consider using email groups (or blind carbon copy (BCC) to ensure privacy and prevent recipients from seeing each other’s email addresses).
While digital save-the-dates are convenient and efficient, it’s still important to follow up with more personalized communication closer to the wedding, such as formal invitations.
Remember, even though the medium is digital, it’s still important to convey the same warmth, excitement, and attention to detail as you would with physical save-the-dates. With thoughtful and personalized digital save-the-dates, you can effectively communicate essential information and create anticipation for your special day.
Generally, the save the dates should be ordered, designed, and sent approximately 6 to 9 months before the wedding date. However, if you are planning a destination wedding, you likely want to give your guests more planning time.
As a general rule, the save the date should include the wedding location and the date of the wedding. Further details such as dress code, time, and wedding venue are on the invitation.
List the name of the person you’re closest to first. Tradition would say the man’s name goes first if you’re equally close to both parties. However, many people now write the names alphabetically instead, as it’s more inclusive.
You can address an entire family on the Save the Date in a few ways. You can address it to “The [Last Name] Family” or “[Parents Names] and Family.” If you have a close relationship with the children, you may address them by their first names, such as “Emily, James, and Lily.”
Determine the formatting you’d like to use for the guests’ names. Then, carefully write the name(s) of the guest(s), their address, and your return address.
Whoever is hosting the wedding should be noted as the return address on the envelope for the save the date. Typically, that would be the couple getting married. However, there may be some cases where it’s the parents or someone else.
You can let guests know if they can bring a guest on the save the date. If you know the name of the person’s significant other, you can put their name on the save the date along with the person you’re inviting, or you can write “plus guest” to indicate the invitee has permission to bring a guest.
Traditionally, for formal invitations and save the dates, you would include the formal titles of the people you invite. Additionally, for married couples, you’d include the husband’s first name (ie. Mr. and Mrs. [Man’s Full Name]. That being said, people are moving away from this tradition as it’s rooted in patriarchal ideas, isn’t inclusive, and many people don’t like using titles. It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether or not you want to include titles, but do consider your guests’ preferences.
Addressing save-the-dates is an integral part of the wedding planning process. Following proper etiquette guidelines and personalizing the addressing style based on the formality of your event will set the tone for your special day. Remember to organize your guest list, gather the necessary supplies, and proofread for accuracy and consistency.
By paying attention to these details, your save-the-dates will make a memorable first impression, helping your wedding guests mark their calendars and anticipate your upcoming wedding with joy. Check out more helpful tips on The Groom Club, from engagement photo styling tips to joint bachelor and bachelorette parties to date nights post-marriage and so much more! We’ve got your back, cheers!