There are many moving parts when it comes to wedding planning. Remembering event venue rules, vendor regulations, and creating guest lists are all a lot to juggle. And while we know you’re thrilled to share the news about your wedding with your friends and family, it’s important not to rush this first correspondence until every detail is reviewed and confirmed. Before you drop those cards in the mail, review some of the most common save the date mistakes that couples make. After all, you only get one first impression with your wedding guests—make it a good one!
“Bold Print”, designed by April Astudillo
SENDING CARDS TOO EARLY OR TOO LATE
Many couples want to know when to send save the dates. Avoid sending them out way too far in advance or so late people cannot block off their calendars. Save the date etiquette recommends mailing them six to eight months before the wedding. That way guests have ample notice to request time off work and book travel and accommodations. If you’re planning a destination wedding, it’s recommended you send wedding save the date cards nine months to a year in advance.
“There Will Be a Party”, designed by Angela Payne
FORGETTING TO PROPERLY INCLUDE THE NAMES OF THE HAPPY COUPLE
Lovebirds sometimes need a reminder on what info goes on a save the date. Most importantly, do not forget to include your names! Many card designs include an engagement photo of the happy couple. If you go that route, just featuring the first name of both parties should be safe. However, if you opt for a non-photo card, you should plan to feature both the first and last names of both people. The last thing you want is wedding guests confused about whose wedding they are planning to attend! When it comes to save the date name order, the bride’s name typically comes first. If it is a same-sex couple, choose any order you like. If you prefer to keep the text on your card as minimal as possible, you can opt to include your first and last names on the return address info printed on your envelopes.
“Trio”, designed by Kimberly FitzSimons
INCLUDING VENUE DETAILS WHEN IT HAS NOT YET BEEN CONFIRMED
In anticipation of the big day, couples are often excited to clue their guests in on the particular venue selected. However, unless you have a signed contract and have paid a deposit for that venue, we advise that you hold off on mentioning the venue on your card. Not only is it a bit embarrassing if it falls through, but this save the date mistake could also confuse people down the line. If you don’t have your exact venue nailed down by the time you send your save the dates, just including the city where the wedding will take place is perfectly acceptable (San Francisco, New York City, Kansas City, etc.). You can save the specifics for your wedding invite and wedding website!
“Shade Garden”, designed by Laura Hankins
When it comes to correspondence as important as your wedding save the date and invitation suite, it can actually be easier to make mistakes than you think, because you’re so in the weeds with other details. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any less cringe-worthy. We recommend picking your design and creating verbiage on one day and then returning to it the next day with fresh eyes to review your design before finalizing the cards. If using Minted, we make it easy for you to save designs to your account. Once you complete styling your card, a dedicated Minted design associate will review all elements in your design, make any necessary touch ups, and send a final digital proof for you to review. It never hurts to enlist an extra pair of eyes to review your final digital design either. Call on your best man or maid of honor to be your editor-in-chief and flush out any save the date mistakes before your order goes to the printers. If you do want to make some edits, know that we allow for unlimited rounds of revisions through your design associate before you sign off on the final look.
“No us without you”, designed by Pati Cascino
DECIDING NOT TO SEND SAVE THE DATES OR USING ELECTRONIC INVITES
It is perfectly normal to look for ways to cut wedding costs and stay within your planned wedding budget, but skimping on save the date cards shouldn’t be one of them! These cards are arguably one of the most important pieces of your planning because they ensure guests will be in chairs on your wedding day. It doesn’t make sense to work so diligently on venue research, hiring caterers, working with photographers, florists, and entertainers, to then haphazardly inform guests of the details you have spent weeks or months organizing.
Sending a save the date is even more important in 2021, so guests will have plenty of time to block their calendars in what will likely be a very busy wedding season with potential lingering travel restrictions surrounding Covid-19. Knowing the wedding date gives your guests a chance to make the necessary arrangements well in advance.
For couples considering sending electronic save the dates, think about how often emails get lost in spam folders or overlooked in busy inboxes. Older guests like grandparents may also find emails harder to manage. A physical card has the added bonus of serving as a constant reminder on the refrigerator and can also be saved as a wedding souvenir by your close family.
“Boho Love”, designed by Christine Taylor
NOT ORDERING EXTRA CARDS
Couples may receive conflicting advice on how many extra save the dates to order. We suggest ordering 5-10 more cards than you plan to send out. There are plenty of reasons why. You might accidentally mark one up incorrectly. It’s possible one or two may get lost in the mail and require a second send. Or, you could possibly think of a guest or two you want to include after you have finalized your initial send. Having a couple of extras on hand can also serve as cute memorabilia for the couple and the parents to preserve for years to come. Some brides have even chosen to photograph their unique wedding stationery in creative flatlay arrangements to share on social media or preserve in wedding albums. Feel free to share your flatlay photo with us by tagging @mintedweddings on Instagram!
UNINVITING SOMEONE AFTER THEY HAVE RECEIVED A SAVE THE DATE CARD
It’s really hard (near impossible) to eloquently uninvite someone to your wedding. While 2020 brides are familiar with how to do this gracefully, unless there have been extreme extenuating circumstances, it can be difficult to explain previously unknown capacity or budget constraints to would-be guests. Of all the save the date etiquette best practices, be sure to pay close attention to this one! Make sure you and your partner review every person who will receive your first wedding correspondence to make sure you’re on the same page. It’s a major etiquette no-no to exclude a person from receiving the official wedding invitation after they have already been sent your save the date. Where this scenario sometimes comes into play is when a wedding couple sends out mailers to more guests than a venue can accommodate, thinking 10-15% of their invites will decline.
So if you are wondering if you should send save the dates to B list guests, we strongly encourage you to cast a narrower net with your first wedding mailer. Ideally they should be sent only to your A-tier guests. As you start to gauge what your final headcount may look like, you can then trigger your wedding invitations to additional guests further down your list that may not have received one of your initial save the date cards. Following this strategy is a failsafe way to avoid any uncomfortable phone calls down the line.
“Synced”, designed by Melanie Kosuge
FORGETTING TO INCLUDE KEY DETAILS
When it comes to what info goes on save the date cards, the only absolute musts are your names, the date, and the location (city). It is also highly advised that you note “formal invitation to follow” so guests know they don’t need to take any action yet.
There are other details you can include if you wish, such as a gift registry, wedding website URL, or creative details like a QR code that links to a wedding proposal video. None of these extra details are necessary, but it’s important to think through the additional tidbits of info you feel are important to share in this first correspondence. Some couples, for instance, might be disappointed if they forgot to put wedding website details on the save the date, where guests may be able to learn more about activities or tours to try in the host city, secure special pricing through hotel room blocks, or read up on the couple’s unique love story.
“Harvest”, designed by Leah Bisch
GUESSING ON POSTAGE
Some couples like to get extra creative and send unique save the dates. So if you decide to send packaged sugar cookies with your name in icing, minibooks, drink coasters, magnets, or something else out of the norm, make sure you double-check the required postage. Take a sample mailer to the post office so they can provide you with the exact postage details. The last thing you want is your wedding correspondence not reaching your guests and coming back to you marked up with red “return to sender” stamps. Now there’s a costly save the date mistake! Also, don’t forget – if you’re sending envelopes internationally, you may need additional postage.
“Breezy”, designed by Ann Gardner