Save the Date Announcements/Invitations

WendysCrittersAugust 11, 2004

I keep reading on the web about Save the Date cards. This is a new concept to me and I'm totally confused on what they are and what they do. Are they sent with the formal announcement? Is this where you list the directions to the wedding site? Other than the date, what else is listed?

Can someone clue me in?

Also, can you recommend a good site for making your own invitations?



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Save the date cards are sent to out of town guests who will need to make travel plans to attend the wedding. They are usually sent 4 to 6 months before the wedding. They are frequently used when a couple is having a destination wedding, such as in the Bahamas. They are optional for most weddings unless you have a large number of people who live out of the area who might attend if they had advance notice.

Usually a card is sufficient. It will say something like:

Save the date!!
Susan Jones and John Doe
are planning to be married
January 10, 2005
at Sandalls Resort, Jamaica.

We would love to have you join us. More information will follow at a later date.

You can also include hotel information if you know that by the time that you will send out the cards. If you don't, then you will need to provide that information either in the official invitation or by phone or e-mail.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 2:32PM
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SweetPea.... thank you for clarifying that for me!
That explains why I've never received one... everyone I know is close by and no one has ever had a destination wedding.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 7:55PM
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I've also received them for weddings that will be held in a city, or at a particular time of year (holidays, city festivals, major public events, etc.), where guests are likely to have trouble getting hotel rooms unless they book well in advance. My cousin is getting married next summer in her hometown - a city that sees a good deal of summer tourism and conference traffic - so since hotels book up quickly, she sent out Save the Date cards last week. She included the information SweetPea lists above, with a short note explaining why they wanted to get the info out so early. They also included a list of some suggested lodgings, and their wedding web site address so guests could get more information as the date gets closer. (And of course, they'll send out formal invitations at the appropriate time.)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 10:53AM
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One other thing to note - anyone who receives a save the date card should also receive a wedding invitation, even if they indicate that they won't be able to attend. You have already notified them that a wedding will occur, so it is appropriate to follow through with the invitation.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 2:19PM
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Thanks for the info Liltingbelle and Sweet Pea!

Another question, would it be tacky or inappropriate to send a informal type save the date magnet with our Christmas cards? Our DS wedding is next Aug. and all the invited guest live within two hours. A lot of the people we know plan their vacations the first of the year, if they knew the date it might help them plan around the wedding date.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 4:11PM
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We sent out Save-the-Dates simply because we have over 150 ppl attending, at least 50 of them from Europe and otehr states...this way they can all plan ahead for April...we printed ours on the computer, made it very casual and cutesy and included an engagement picture in each one. This way people whom we haven't seen in a while can recognize the names, lol, anyways its a good idea to send save-the-dates even if you have a local wedding, just to be safe.
As SweetPea suggested, keep track of who you send it to, as those people will also need to receive other words, don't announce it to those ppl you know you don't want to invite.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 7:24PM
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I don't know what everyone else will think, but *I* like the save-the-date magnet idea!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 8:54PM
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I've received save the date magnets. I don't hang anything on my fridge, but thought the idea was a good one, as most people do.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 2:20PM
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I've gotten magnets, they were a cute idea, but I lost them...think about caost, it might be worth to just do regular paper announcements...IMO.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 4:51PM
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We only sent "save the date" announcements to our few close friends who lived out of town. That way, they could look for airfares, etc., if they were planning to make the trip. In our case, these were just personal notes, not a specially designed card, magnet, whatever.

IMHO (for what it's worth) the whole "save the date" thing is getting way out of hand. I've even heard people go ballistic because someone didn't attend their wedding "even though I told them the date a year ago." Some people seem to view them as "I've reserved this date on your calendar, don't dare plan anything else."

For the intended purpose, though (i.e., a heads-up for those who would need to travel if they choose to attend), they can be useful.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 8:55AM
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Mary, you mention the one qualm I have over save-the-date cards.

Etiquette says the only polite reason to refuse an invitation if is you have "previous plans." (or are sick)

Miss Manners says it's OK to have your previous plans be to wash your hair, or stay home and veg, or even to avoid that person at all costs. Of course, you don't TELL people what the plans are.

But now that you get "save the date" cards in November for an event in June, what happens if you get a conflicting invitation before the wedding invite comes?

I guess you can say, "I have previous plans to attend that wedding, even though the invite hasn't arrived yet," or you can say, when the wedding invite DOES arrive, "I have previous plans to attend the other event."

But it does put you on the spot a bit, even if your bride ISN'T as rude as you describe.

And the official mass mailing of them just sort of smacks of the "plan your life around me" attitude that brides are sometimes encouraged to have, by the wedding industry, wedding mags, etc.

I did send some sort of notice about when we were getting married, since we were planning more than a year away, and I probably did the rude thing and photocopied it. It was probably a letter format, and I knew that this didn't mean every one of my relatives would come!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 11:49AM
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Some very good points!

I do agree with the comment "plan your life around me" type attitude. Based on what I've read, I think it's a bit out of control.

That's one of the reasons I thought if it was added to a Christmas card it wouldn't be so obvious???? Any thoughts on this?

I already have the magnetic sheets (from another project) so the only cost would be for ink.

Thank you all for your info, I really appreciate it!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 1:11PM
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I think the Christmas card idea is great. You don't have to send a save the date card to let family and friends know about the wedding. When our daughter became engaged, we and her future in-laws sent a picture of the couple and information about the wedding in a letter that we sent with Christmas cards. We wanted to let people know about the engagement and approaching wedding, but we certainly didn't expect people to plan their lives around the wedding.

I hadn't thought about Mary's comments before. I would hope that no bride would feel that she is, in effect, demanding what people do with their time several months in the future, but rather is simply being courteous and letting guests know so they can plan if they do want to attend. However, we all know about the bridezillas out there who could use the save the date card as an excuse to expect people to conform their lives to her plans.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 3:39PM
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I agree with the previous posters. I would let the out of towners know your date as soon as you have it for sure, so they can make travel plans. It doesn't have to be a special save the date card or magnet (I did like the magnet I got once, though!) -- mentioning it in Xmas cards or other mail you're sending anyway, or just sending it in an email, is fine -- maybe even preferable.

But I also agree that I wouldn't send them to people in town. Last year, I got a few save the date memos for local weddings. I have to tell you, it seemed to me like these families were competing for the guests, and I found it distasteful. I certainly didn't feel compelled, in case of conflict, to attend the event whose "save the date" card came earlier. If you are sending Xmas cards or whatever to people in town, in my opinion it would be okay to mention the wedding date (IF you are going to invite them).
Your closest friends and family will know anyway -- at least they will know the general time frame and won't accept any invitations until they make sure it isn't your date.
I agree that sending a "save the date" notification of any kind shouldn't count as "the invitation that came first so I have to accept it" -- first of all, you never have to accept ANY invitation; I am pretty sure the "rule" about what came first only applies to BREAKING an engagement for which you have already accepted an invitation in order to accept a better one that came along later (a big no-no). Well, I guess in a way you are supposed to accept the first invitation, because you are supposed to respond yes or no promptly, not wait to see if something better comes along ... But I absolutely agree with Talley Sue that if you already planned on going to an event that you knew about even though you haven't yet received an invitation, that IS a prior commitment anyway.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 11:04PM
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One does not expect a response to a save the date. It is merely encouraging people to plan so that they can attend. So when the invitation arrives, then people RSVP. Save the Date cards are great for any out of town guests in my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 11:58PM
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We are sending "save-the-date" cards to out-of-towners because we really need to know if they will be attending my daughters wedding. Our guest list is over 135 and we only have room for do we say this tackfuly. I saw one that said...Please let us know if you plan on attending by August 1 for a September 19 wedding day.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:36PM
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So if all 135 advise that they are coming what will you do then? There's no tactful way to uninvite anyone. You need to cull the guest list.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Yes - cull the guest list or get a larger place. What you're suggesting is a "first come, first served" scenario. I'm assuming that you have others, more local to invite, in addition to whatever number the out of towners comes to. Are you planning to see how many out-of-towners say they're coming, and then not send invitations an equal number of locals?

Also, a Save-the-Date card isn't normally a request for an acceptance. So are you saying that the out of towners will get a save-the-date card and be asked to respond to that, and then not get an invitation because you'll already know whether they're coming or not?

Good luck - but again, I think your options are to consider fewer people or get a larger venue.
Sounds clumsy and awkward, as well as rude.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 10:01AM
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In my experience, though there is no need to respond to a save the date, out of town family usually indicate in some way - e-mail, phone, etc. - whether they are planning to attend. Surely there will be some who have other plans and will let you know that they will regret not being able to attend.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 8:42PM
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