Sending save the dates can be a great way to give your guests advance notice, but when is the best time to send them out? In this post, we’ll show you the pros and cons of sending save the dates and offer expert advice on when to send them. Subscribe now to stay in the loop!
As the bride, getting your guests organized for your upcoming wedding can be a difficult process, but it all begins with a proper save the date. When exactly should you send them out? To help you nail the perfect timeline and plan for proper save the date etiquette, use our calculator by month to figure out the best time to send them, based on your wedding date. In this blog post, you’ll make sure you don’t send them too early or too late, giving guests ample time to prepare for the celebration ahead. Don’t wait: now is the best time to get save the dates out on time and make your wedding process as simple as possible. Let’s get started!
What Are Save the Dates?
A save the date is a card sent through the mail to let your guests know there is an official wedding date set (yay!) It gives your guests time to prepare for travel and other accommodations (child care for an adult-only wedding, lodging for out-of-town guests, enough time to pick the best wedding guest dress, etc.) It also gives them a heads up they’re on the guest list… so don’t send a save the date to anyone who is not officially invited.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of sending them (do you even need them?) along with the difference in mailing timelines based on local or destination weddings.
Pros and Cons of Sending Save the Dates
Should you send them? Do you have to mail save the dates? It depends on the location of your wedding: local or destination.
If you’re planning a local wedding, a save the date is optional; however, it is highly encouraged, as guests have become used to receiving them and enjoy the extra advance notice to prepare and keep your date on their calendar.
A save the date card also ensures more guests can attend your wedding, particularly during the busy season. For instance, in the summertime, you’re not only competing for your guests’ time with other weddings, but graduation parties, holidays such as Memorial Day, Father’s Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day, and family vacations.
For destination weddings, you DO need to save the dates: it is proper etiquette to provide as much notice to guests that your wedding will be held in a destination location.
Here’s EXACTLY When to Send Out Save the Dates, Based on Wedding Month
As a rule of thumb, save the dates should be sent approximately 6 to 8 months before the wedding date. There is a little flexibility here: some couples wish to send them earlier, as soon as 9 to 12 months ahead of the wedding. This is a good idea if you’re having a destination wedding, but is too early for local weddings.
Here is the calculator for when you should send yours out, offering you a comfortable six to eight-month schedule based on your wedding month.
For most weddings, here is an accurate save the date calculator to use based on your wedding month.
|Wedding Date||When to Send Out Save the Date|
|January||May to July|
|February||June to August|
|March||July to September|
|April||August to October|
|May||September to November|
|June||October to December|
|July||November to January|
|August||December to February|
|September||January to March|
|October||February to April|
|November||March to May|
|December||April to June|
Destination Wedding Timeline
If you are planning a destination, you can mail save the dates out earlier, but not more than 1 year before your wedding date. As a rule of thumb, send them 9 months to 12 months for a destination wedding.
Here’s an example of when to send save the dates 9 months early for a destination wedding OR busy holiday wedding.
The examples are below: i.e. if you’re getting married in January, send the cards in April.
Getting Married in / Send in…
January / April
February / May
March / June
April / July
May / August
June / September
July / October
August / November
September / December
October / January
November / February
December / March
Where to Order Save the Date Cards to Send Out
You can buy cheap save the dates or you can opt for more pricey ones. You can find both budget and luxury options below.
Here are a few save the date cards to share with you from the collection at Minted. There are many styles, color themes, seasonal picks, fun/witty options, price points, and more.
You may want to use a photo on save the dates to put your engagement photos to good use!
Should Save the Dates Match Invitations?
You may be wondering if your save-the-date cards need to match your wedding invites. No! They can, be they do not have to match invitations. This is because this type of card is more casual; wedding invitations are formal. Plus, you probably don’t have the color palette, theme, or specific style nailed down just yet and that’s okay!
You should try to choose a card that matches the:
of your wedding.
When in doubt, choose a simple design and provide the essentials: FYI, your save-the-date cards should include these things.
Save the dates are a helpful way to remind your guests of your upcoming nuptials. With ample time and a heads up, guests will be able to attend your wedding and have a less-frantic timeline to do so. The best advice is to send your cards out on time without mailing them too early or too late.
Now that you know when you’ll be sending save the dates for your wedding, pick out your design! Click here to shop and find a style that resonates with you, as a couple. You can also tap the button below to get started.
If you have any questions about this calculator, let me know in the comments.