Two wedding posts in a row?! Yippe! We’ve been waiting to share our save the dates until after our guests received them, so I’m so excited to share them with you today! [Hence all the !!!!].
Through all the phases of wedding planning, one thing S and I are constantly reminded of is how little we know about this stuff. What I mean by that is, we’ve only really attended two weddings in our lifetime. We haven’t gone through the “wedding phase” with our friends yet. I feel like if we were getting married late twenties or early thirties, some decisions would take less research since we’ve experienced them through friends and loved ones marriages. Being inexperienced in the wedding field has made it really fun though because we really need to research every aspect from. Pinterest has quickly become my BFF! With that being said, when it came time to send our save the dates I researched what the typical protols were – who receives them, what information is needed, when do you send, etc. I realized there isn’t all that information out there, so I combined what little I could find plus advice we’ve received along the way into today’s post.
Do we really need to send save the date cards?
Maybe it’s the planner in me, but the thought of telling our guests our wedding date and details only two months out with formal wedding invites gave me anxiety. While save the dates aren’t required by any means [my dad didn’t even know what they were!], they are quickly becoming a wedding standard that individuals expect. We were receiving so many questions on the date, location and if friends could bring guests right around the time when we sent them, so we sent them at the perfect time to address most of those questions as a mass quantity. Plus, the sooner you tell people the more likely they won’t have any conflicts and can attend.
What information do we include?
The city and date are standard. This lets guests know if they are traveling and the exact weekend to clear off. Specific venue details and times aren’t needed.
Who receives a save the date?
This is totally up to you, the groom and parents. Through my research most answers said: invite the people you really want to attend. My thought: Uh – we want everyone on our list to attend! Since our wedding is technically a destination wedding, so we opted for a very large chunk of our guest list. Depending on your budget, you could send to just immediate family and friends. This is really up to you, just know that giving people months of ample time to coordinate their schedules is best.
When do we send them?
Anywhere between eight to six months for destination weddings and six to five months for local weddings. This depends on where the chunk of your guest list live. Are you and your fiance both getting married in your shared hometown right around the corner form all your college besties? Since no one is needing to cross state borders, you can go on the latter side of four to five months. If many people will be traveling, give them ample time for clearing their travel schedule.
Do they need to match our wedding theme?
Nope! Save the dates do not need to mimic your wedding aesthetic or stationary. Have fun with it!
Can we send electronic save the dates?
For this, I suggest thinking about your guest list. While electronic RSVPs and other details have been becoming more popular through the years, it can cause confusion. For example, S has a huge family which has many older relatives that don’t have emails and wouldn’t have received an electronic save the date. They would have been left out of the loop! Email may also be more unreliable that the Post Office.. spam boxes aren’t your bestie. Unless your crowd is very young, I would opt for the traditional, mail-in stationary save the date. Plus, designing and assembling something you can save forever is such a fun experience!
Do we need to formally invite “and guests” or is that reserved for formal invites?
Anything you can communicate from the get-go, is a good idea. We opted to include “and guest” and “and family” for any relevant invites. This way parents can plan accordingly if they need a babysitter or friends traveling can understand if their significant other is included. One of my friends recently received a save the date for her cousin’s wedding and it didn’t include “and guest”. She was really confused on whether her long time boyfriend was invited or not. We opted to avoid any questions and include it from the get-go which took a little extra time, but is well worth saving our guests from any headaches.
Do we include our registry information?
It’s in bad taste to include your registry details on your save the date cards. If an aunt or friend wants to find your registry, they will be able to find the scoop from your MOH, besties or sister. For weddings we’ve been invited to, I simply google the bride and grooms name. Their registry is typically the first link. Yay SEO!
Do we include our wedding website?
I didn’t find an answer to this while researching myself! We opted to purchase our hashtag as a domain through The Knot and include this on our save the dates for one reason in particular. Portland is a huge tourist destination during out date, so hotel prices can be steep in the Old Port where we are getting married. Like I mentioned, our wedding is technically a destination wedding for everyone involved – S family, my family and all our friend [except my MOH!], so almost everyone will require a hotel room. We wanted to give our guests an early option to take advantage of our room block rate. We’ve already extended the room block three times without our save the dates even going out, so we wanted to give everyone a fair shot at booking rooms or just knowing the city so they could book their air bnb or other travel reservations accordingly. So with all that said, if there is a particular piece of information that’s vital, like saving them money, I say buy a custom domain [only $20] so that it’s cute and include it!
How do I create my save the dates?
There are so many options out there! We knew from the get-go we’d use Minted. Minted has a huge collection of wedding, save the date and bridal shower designs created by independent designers. Unlike other invite suppliers, you aren’t just buying it as is off the shelf. Minted allows so much customization options and you can even work hand in hand with a designer, so you really do have a one of a kind, unique design without breaking the bank! You can customize anything from the wording, font, color scheme, shape and even the back. You can choose to place other engagement photos on the back or a fun print like we did. Our save the date design originally comes with a standard green swirly print, but the designer customized it in black for us. You can even work one on one with a designer to create a design you envision from scratch.
You can receive their wedding invite sampler packet here. You’ll be able to feel their different paper options [everything from standard, cotton and shiny pearlescent], see design options [like gold foil vs. letterpress] and take in the different shape options [rounded corners versus a unique cut out designs]. We loved the gold foil accent, so we decide on this feature for our save the dates.
The options with Minted are endless. It took us so long to decide on our final design since we had a list of five we loved. Ultimately, I narrowed it down to two and S picked the final version! Another bonus feature to mention, Minted does free address printing. I cannot even think of the headache it would have been getting our save the date addresses printed somewhere else or the additional cost other companies push onto the customer. Just another reason why we love, love, love Minted.
I hope this post was helpful in your save the date planning! I’d love to hear your experiences and any tips you have below. You can check out our engagement story, six month wedding update and Minted holiday cards as well. Xoxo Mindy
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In partnership with Minted. All opinions are authentically my own.