The date is set, the venue has been selected, and you’re knocking off items on your wedding planning checklist left and right. Now, it’s time to let your guests now to save your date. To be honest, sending a save the date was something I felt a little bit silly doing since our wedding is so small and every guest is intimately aware of the date of the wedding.
However, there are a handful of people on Adam’s side coming from Texas who I know aren’t as familiar with the Charlottesville area, so I wanted to make sure they had as much of a heads up on details as possible. Plus, I just wanted to send save the dates! There’s no reason to miss out on any of the fun details just because the numbers are a little bit lower than usual.
SAVE THE DATE 101
So, now that our save the dates have started to hit mailboxes, I’m ready to share my experience with you all. I’ve split my save the date advice into 4 categories – who, where, what, and when. I left out why because isn’t that obvious? You want people to save your date and come to your wedding! Then again, if you’re cutting it close on numbers, maybe the lack thereof could come in handy…I digress. Also, before we even dive in, you may want to look at this advice on WeddingWire from an etiquette expert – remember, save the dates are setting the tone for the rest of your wedding season so you want to do it right!
WHO SHOULD GET SAVE THE DATES
Everyone who is coming to your wedding! Yes, my sisters know when and where the date is, but that doesn’t mean I should leave them out. Unless you really are trying to save on postage, just go ahead and let everyone in on the full experience of the wedding anticipation. This is the time to get everyone’s addresses in order because it’s not the last time you’ll need them over the next several months. I created a Google sheet with all our guests’ full names, addresses, and a note if they may be moving in the time before the wedding.
Also, a note here, since we’re having such a tiny guest list, there is no B list. For those having larger weddings, I do know there’s sometimes some finagling done with who gets save the dates and who doesn’t get one, but still may get an invite to the wedding. I can’t speak to that, but I’m sure you can easily find that etiquette somewhere online.
WHERE TO GET SAVE THE DATES
There are SO many places to get save the dates from boutique paper shops to Shutterfly. I looked at several different options, priced them out, compared designs, and ultimately decided to use Minted. This is one of the decisions that I’ve felt the most strongly about sharing with y’all.
Yes, Minted is a bit more expensive than some of the other online options, BUT if you sign up for Minted More, you’ll save a ton of money in the long run. It’s $50 for a year and you immediately receive a $50 credit towards a wedding purchase (invitations count, save the dates do not) and 15% off all orders for the next year. This is going to save us so much since we’re ordering save the dates, invitations, menu cards, place cards, and programs all through Minted. Also, they’ll address the envelopes for you, as you can see in my pictures. This save so much hassle that it’s worth it for that alone. Not to mention, the designs created by the independent artists that work with Minted are stunning.
WHAT SHOULD GO ON A SAVE THE DATE
This is the time to showcase your engagement pictures! While there are plenty of options to do a text only save the date and I’ve seen some gorgeous examples, I loved selecting one of our favorite engagement pictures to share on our save the date.
Regarding information on the save the date, this is a super helpful article I found on WeddingWire listing all the basics to include, and the most important facts are, obviously, date and location. Typically, you’ll want the venue on the save the date, but there could be a situation where you have a tight planning turnaround, you know it’s going to be in a particular city, but you don’t quite have the details ironed out yet. If that’s the case and you’re coming up on 6 months to the wedding, go ahead and send the save the date with a city, but without a venue.
In an ideal world, you would also have your wedding website on there, but unfortunately the design we picked didn’t have room to include that. Again, a perk of a small wedding, I felt comfortable leaving that out since we’re so close with everyone that it’s not a big deal to send a website to 20 people.
I absolutely love the simplicity of a save the date that just says “Save the Date” along with the date, location, and website, however when I presented Adam with 6 options for our save the date, he was gung ho about this timeline design because it was so unique. Since it’s been important to me that he be involved in decisions, especially when he expresses one strongly in one direction, I decided that that there was no question we’d go with this one.
WHEN TO SEND YOUR SAVE THE DATES
The timeline for sending your save the dates varies depending on when and where your wedding is. For destination weddings or weddings during a particularly popular wedding season – think June or September – send your save the date 8 months in advance. For a wedding that is local for most of the guests or during an off season, 6 months should be fine.
Ours went out just a couple weeks later than I had hoped because I wanted to make sure our wedding website was updated with all relevant information before the save the dates dropped in mailboxes. While I don’t typically book my wedding travel and accommodations the minute that I get a save the date, I know some people like to, so I updated our website with travel info on how to get to Charlottesville from Texas and hotel suggestions at every price point (when you only need 10 rooms it seems that a hotel block just doesn’t seem to make sense!).
When sending your save the dates, don’t forget to consider the stamp! We felt these DC cherry blossoms stamps were perfectly suited to us, especially since DC, where we live, likely won’t be featured in any other prominent way in our wedding. This felt like a fitting, but subtle, shout out.
A FINAL NOTE ON SAVE THE DATES
I had to include one last note about save the dates. I’ve seen beautiful pictures of save the dates that complement the wedding invitations and day of paper goods perfectly, and, as someone with an appreciation for good branding, I love that look. However, for me, our save the date was one piece that didn’t need to mesh perfectly. This was something that could be a little more fun, showcase a little more personality, and I feel like our final design captured exactly that.
Thank you to WeddingWire for sponsoring this post! I love bringing all things wedding to my readers, and am so thankful to the brands that make it possible!