Howdy! Today’s etiquette inquiry comes from Liz. In her words…
I was hoping to get some advice and/or thoughts on save the dates — I’ve received mixed reviews on whether they are necessary or not. My fiance’ and I decided that it was a cost we were going to save, and had made up our minds not to do them. However, a dear friend and bridesmaid has offered to design and give us save the dates for our wedding gift. She is a very talented designer and I am excited to see what she comes up with. Now the question becomes, when is the appropriate time to send save the dates? And, do you send them to everyone you intend to invite?
Great questions! First, I thought I’d outline the scenarios when I feel save the dates are, if not necessary, helpful for guests for other engaged ladies who might be on the fence:
1. If you’re having a destination wedding, and a large majority of your guests will be making significant travel plans. I would define a “large majority” as anything over 50% of your guests, and definitely anything over 75%. A save the date will help your guests block off travel time, reserve days off from work, and get a good rate on plane tickets and/or hotel rooms.
2. If you’re holding your wedding over a holiday, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day. Since some of your guests will have long-standing plans for these events, you’ll want to put a bug in their ear early.
Once you’ve decided that a save the date is for you, Liz’s first question comes into play: when to send? Emily Post suggests 3-4 months before the big day, but I would suggest that up to 7-8 months prior is still within a reasonable range. Think about it — I know I plan out my days away from work far in advance, and I assume my guests would do the same. Just be ABSOLUTELY SURE that your guest list is set in stone before sending anything. Which brings us to Liz’s next question…
…do you send save the dates to everyone you plan to invite? The answer? Yes, absolutely. Once the save the dates are in the mail, the buzz about your wedding will begin to build. Your friends and family will start to talk. And if Aunt Joy (who lives in Savannah, 4 hours from the wedding site) received a save the date, and Cousin Anna Bell (who lives an hour away from the wedding site), did NOT receive a save the date, the chatter could start to spiral out of control. While it may seem silly to send local information to a local, it’s definitely the best policy to head off confusion. Plus, save the dates are exciting, and all guests should feel like an honored guest, excited to attend!
What do y’all think? Are you sending out save the dates? If so, how far in advance did you send them? If not, why not?
The save the date above is one of my favorite designs from Minted. Too cute!