Hey, you’re engaged! Now you’re wondering, “Do I really need to send save the dates?”
Here are the top 5 scenarios in which I’d recommend you send them (and a few bonus tips about times when you could skip them!)
- “GIMME ALL THE FANCY PAPER!” – you
TBH, sending Save the Dates is formally the “right thing to do” but in our increasingly informal world, some might not feel like they’re totally necessary. Fellow stationery lovers, this does not apply to you. Your Save the Dates are an opportunity to design something special. They could match the style of your wedding or could be a totally different vibe! Save the Dates are also a fun excuse to send something besides bill payments and emails; I’m always down for that.
- Getting married during a holiday or long weekend?
Sometimes your dream wedding date correlates with a national holiday. This can be good news for you and your guests! Everyone gets some extra time to party without cutting into their professional obligations. Holiday weekends (and major holidays in general) also tend to mean lots of out-of-town travel so your save the date will let guests know that they’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with you and your fiancé!
- Summer weddings are always a hit!
Everyone knows summer means travel! School’s out, the sun is shining, the flights are insanely priced. It tends to feel like folks are celebrating life every weekend! If you want to ensure your guests will be in town for your wedding, you’ll want to send them a heads up so they can plan longer vacations, road trips and even summer parties accordingly! Even better, if your guest list has some out-of-towners on it, maybe they can turn it into a mini-vacation if you send a save the date and give them a timeframe early enough!
- Pack your bags…it’s a destination wedding!
Tying the knot in your favorite locale and want all your besties to tag along? Destination weddings are an amazing time. Traveling to a cool place AND celebrating love? I’m in! Let your guests know once you do so they can start planning logistics and your RSVPs are sure to be flooding with calls of “sign my ass up!”. (Bonus points if you can keep the destination a fun mystery while still providing the general time frame. A previous Barrio couple did this and kept their guests on their toes as they tried to get the two slip up and reveal their secret! They were glad they hadn’t when some changes had to be made due to logistics. Since they hadn’t announced the destination all it took was a quick adjustment in their planning book instead of a new round of Save the Dates!)
A few bonus tips:
– Your guest list ever-evolving? Hold off for a bit!
Sometimes couples come to me with a “tentative” guest list. They start out with 300 of their closest friends + family, acquaintances, past teachers, the neighbor’s dog groomer, etc. but they eventually narrow it down to a smaller number. I highly recommend only sending Save the Dates when your guest list is finalized. You don’t want to send an excited “Save our date!!!!” to later have that same person never receive their formal invitation to the wedding…womp womp.
– Having a short engagement?
Sometimes ya just wanna do the damn thing! Skip the save the dates and send out your invitations. Guests will be happy to know the full details sooner rather than later especially if your wedding is less than a few months away!
– Eloping or having a micro-wedding?
You can probably get away with sending a nice notification or alert to your small guest list! When my husband and I eloped, I sent a digital Save the Date to our immediate families (about 11 people total) so that they could request the day off work, plan to travel into New York City early in the morning, etc. We spent some of the money we saved by eloping on sending announcement cards to a long, long list of our friends and family (pretty much anyone with a mailbox—we were excited, don’t judge!).
I hope you found these tips helpful! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about Save the Dates!