The Dos and Don’ts of Save the Date Etiquette

save the date etiquette | Image: Elizabeth Messina

Save the Dates are a relatively modern invention in the world of weddings. They’re a great way to announce your wedding in a fun and personal way, and to keep your guests informed. But Save the Date etiquette can be a little confusing for the uninitiated. These dos and don’t will get you up to speed, so you can cross this item off the To Do list, and do it right.

DO send out Save the Dates. Sending a Save the Date isn’t mandatory, but I highly recommend it. If you’re planning a destination wedding or weekend-long celebration, you’ll be doing both yourselves and your guests a disservice by not letting them know as early as possible. Save the Dates give them time to plan their schedules and make travel plans, which makes it more likely they will attend.

DON’T send them too early…or too late! Six to seven months before the wedding is a good time to send Save the Dates. For destination weddings, you can send them up to nine months ahead, although I wouldn’t recommend any earlier. On the other hand, sending them just a few months before the big day won’t give your guests enough notice, and that defeats the whole purpose.

DO include your names, the location and the exact wedding date. Save the venue as a surprise for the actual invitation and just include the city, state (and country, for overseas weddings).

DON’T include reply cards. Unlike invitations, there’s no need to include RSVP cards with your Save the Dates. Guests aren’t expected to respond until they receive the invitation, although some may.

DO add your wedding hashtag and wedding website. A hashtag is a great way to get guests excited, especially if you use it throughout your wedding planning. Let guests know what it is so they can follow along. Then include the URL to your wedding website so they can get further details if need be (and fun facts too).

DON’T include registry information. It’s generally considered poor taste to include any registry information on your Save the Dates. Instead, post the information on your wedding website or ask your parents or maid of honor to spread the word.

DO send one Save the Date per household. There’s no need to send one per person – this can be an expensive mistake!

DON’T send Save the Dates to people you’re unsure about inviting. Of all the don’ts on this list, this is the biggest one. Once someone has been sent a Save the Date, there’s really no polite way to go back on inviting them to your wedding. If you haven’t finalized your guest list completely, only send out Save the Dates to those friends and family you are certain will make the final cut.

Follow these simple Save the Date etiquette rules, and the rest will be smooth sailing!


Header image by Elizabeth Messina Photography