You're engaged — congratulations! You've picked your venue, and have started the hunt for the wonderful wedding professionals who will help bring your big day to life. As you start going through the checklists published in any fine magazine or blog article, you begin to wonder whether you should send out a save the date.
There are several factors that go into if and when you should send a save the date. While there's no hard and fast rule as to the absolute time you should send them out (we've had couples who've sent them out over a year in advance and as soon as four to five months in advance), there are some recommendations that make a lot of sense...
Most books and advice columns concentrate upon one main question—how many guests are you inviting from out of town? If you are inviting quite a large number of out-of-town guests who would need to make arrangements to get to your wedding, then you should send them out a year in advance. Certainly, if you are planning a Destination Wedding to the sunny Bahamas (or anywhere that requires your guests to travel), the sooner they know about it, the better they can plan.
We are going to also advocate for another reason to send out your save the date early—when are you planning to get married? Are you marrying during the summer months when people normally plan their vacation time a year in advance? Are you marring on on a holiday or over a holiday weekend? In these instances, the sooner you send out your save the date the better! Otherwise, we recommend sending out your save the date 6 to 9 months in advance of your wedding date, as this will give your guests plenty of time to mark that date on their calendar.
Outside of notifying your guests of the date and place of your pending nuptials, many couples are sending out save the dates to get their guests excited for their wedding and potentially set their theme. We say "potentially" because the save the date can be something fun and whimsical which you might not normally consider doing for your formal wedding invitation suite.
One final piece of advice for when you go to send out your save the date: only send out save the dates to people who you will definitely be inviting to your wedding! While this may seem to make a lot of sense, when budget dollars are getting stretched and you're considering cutting your guest count, remember who you sent that save the date to and make sure they make the cut.
All of the save the dates pictured in this blog were designed by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director and Graphic Designer, Francesca Staffieri. The custom-illustrated save the dates featured are based upon photographs provided to us by our couples. If you are interested in meeting with Francesca for your save the date and wedding stationery, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-941-2770, or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.
To view more of Francesca's design work and wedding stationery, visit her online portfolio here.
Have a comment or question for Francesca? Feel free to write one below :) Cheers!