When to Send Save the Dates: All Your Save the Date Questions Answered

Planning a wedding (or really anything else) in 2020, was difficult given the uncertainties we all faced. It seems likely that our lives are on track to return to a place where we can make plans and stick to them again. Hallelujah! When planning a wedding, one of the first questions you’ll likely find yourself asking is when to send Save the Dates. Of course, first there’s the engagement, the endless stream of bubbly and what feels like a blanket of love. Once the initial haze wears off, the lucky couple will set a date. Sending save the date wedding cards is a step that should theoretically follow shortly after. Sometimes this can get pushed to the side when the avalanche of items on the wedding planning to-do list starts piling up. It’s wise to think ahead and prevent this from happening by marking your calendar with the approximate date for when you’ll do the actual mailing. This brings us back to the original question: When should you send your save the dates?

All your Save the Date questions answered…

But why stop there? We’ve taken every question imaginable about your Save the Dates and answered them below. Use this handy navigation to the answer to any and all questions.

When to send Save the Dates?
When to mail send Save the Dates for a destination wedding?
Why are Save the Dates important?
Are save the dates and invitations the same?
Who are Save the Dates for?
How to choose Save the Dates?
How to address save the dates?

When to send Save the Dates?

Answer: 6-9 months prior to the wedding.

Save the dates are more than just a date marker. Their main purpose is to give your guests time to get their ducks in a row so they can make it to your big day. With that in mind, sending your save the dates with plenty of time before your wedding date will provide your guests with the time required to make the proper arrangements. 

While nine months may seem like a long time, it will allow the people in your lives to take time off from work, find babysitters and make any other arrangements in order to attend your wedding. When you break it down and think about it — that’s a lot of tasks to take care of.

Easily send Save the Dates in minutes. Postable will print, address and mail them for you. We’ll even help you collect the addresses.

When to mail send Save the Dates for a destination wedding?

Answer: 9-12 months prior to the wedding date.

If you’re planning a destination wedding or have many out of town guests, you’ll need to factor in even more time. On top of the normal arrangements, the added time (and financial) consuming process of making travel arrangements should absolutely be accounted for.

Nine to twelve months is ideal, giving your guests enough time to look for plane tickets and lodging (on top of everything else). They’ll also likely need to budget for a trip like this so it’s best to give them as much notice as possible.

Why are Save the Dates important?

Your wedding Save the Dates serve a number of purposes that are essential to bringing your ideal wedding to life. 

They provide your guests with a date they can start planning for. 

Think of your Save the Dates as fancy date markers. They provide your guests with the date they’ll need to mark on their calendars. Without this very important information, your guests may not be able to move things around in their lives (hello, work schedules) in order to ensure attendance.  

They set the tone & theme for the big day. 

Not the primary goal, though still important — your Save the Dates help establish the tone and theme of your wedding. And while you may not have the full colorscheme decided, you can still use these cards to begin to illustrate your own personal love story for the whole wedding party to feel connected.   

Are save the dates necessary for weddings?

If you want to make certain that your guests will be able to attend your special day, then yes — save the dates are necessary for weddings. If you skip these and just send the wedding invites, your guests may* have enough time to prepare. It really depends on the number of guests, whether they’re coming from out of town or how tight their schedules are. 

All that to say, yes — Save the Dates are important if you want to ensure that the people you invite are able to attend. 

Are save the dates and invitations the same?

They’re the same, right?! Not quite.

When you plan your wedding one of the first tasks is to choose the special date. Without this, you’re not able to confirm a venue or any vendors. You have this date in mind well before you’re ready to send out formal wedding invites.

Save the dates are the bare bones introduction to your big day and serve mostly to give your guests a heads up so that they can begin making their plans accordingly. Once you’ve confirmed your venue and have most of your wedding day info down, this information will be included on your wedding invites.

Who are Save the Dates for?

Only send save the dates to the people that are officially on your wedding guest list. This is very important. If you decide to send out your save the dates to everyone you know without first thinking about who to invite — you will have a big etiquette no-no on your hands when it comes time to actually narrow down the list of people.

Think of these as pre-wedding-invites. The save the date tells your guests that more info is coming their way. Don’t bank on the ‘they won’t be able to make it anyway’ mindset — because they will make it work and you’ll have to explain why they didn’t get an invite.

How to choose Save the Dates?

If you’ve solidified your special date and have begun moving forward with your wedding plans, it’s time to choose and mail out your very own wedding save the dates.

With a gajillion designs to choose from, you may be a bit overwhelmed. And we don’t blame you. Your Save the Dates set the tone for the rest of your big day. Think of them as the introduction to your ultimate love story. No big deal, right?

Once you have a vibe in mind — choose a design that goes with it accordingly.

A few things to keep in mind when choosing your save the dates —

  • Color scheme
  • Location vibes
  • Theme
  • Formality level

If you have your colors selected, then great! Use them to choose your design. If you’re still ages away from making that kind of a decision, not to worry. What kind of venue will the wedding be held in — beach, city rooftop, barn etc.? This will give you some ideas about the vibe you’ll want to look for in a save the date.

Speaking of vibes, is there a theme to your wedding? The location may [or may not] play a role in your theme– if you choose to have one. Are you and your fiancé big on travel? Perhaps you’re planning a travel themed wedding. Or the two of you are huge movie fans and it’s all about Hollywood. If you decide you’re going with a theme, keep this in mind when choosing your cards.

Finally, the formality level of your wedding. Do you want all of your guests in gowns or is this more of a khaki and flip flops kind of event?

Again, these cards are an introduction to your big day. All you’re trying to do with the design is to keep the feeling consistent from start to finish. No pressure — if you choose to change your mind about the colors or the formality [or anything else] by the time it’s wedding invite time you still can! There’s also the option to do matching save the dates and invites.

The best part? It’s your wedding so choose whatever feels right.

Save the dates without engagement photos.

If you’re not into the whole photo thing — Save the Dates without engagement photos are totally a thing. And there are plenty of designs to choose from in that department as well. These types of designs will give you more to play with in terms of theme and color schemes.

[See: 15 Save the Dates Without Photos That Will Blow Your Mind]

Photo Save the Dates.

If you and your fiancé took the most amazing engagement photos, why not use them for your save the dates? There are a bunch of great photo templates out there which you can play with until you find the right one! Save the Dates with photos are great if you’re still largely unsure about the wedding aesthetic details. You can use a photo as the full background of your card so that the theme and colors are still up for grabs.

[See: 13 Save the Dates to Add Your Engagement Photos]

What Goes on Save the Dates | A Dissected Save the Date

It’s simple, really.

Names + Date + General Location

That’s it. Well, sort of. The two most important parts of a save the date are your names and the special date. If you’re choosing from a pre-designed selection of cards they’ll likely all have the words ‘Save the Date’ already on them as well. And lastly, include the general location of the big day. That may be in a city (especially important for destination weddings) or a resort name etc.

Easily send Save the Dates in minutes. Postable will print, address and mail them for you. We’ll even help you collect the addresses.

How to mail save the dates?

In the past you would have had to go through a process that takes hours to mail your save the dates. This would mean collecting mailing addresses from relatives & friends, finding the perfect save the date design and having them printed and mailed to you… Only then to painstakingly address hundreds of envelopes, re-doing each one like a million times because your handwriting is not what you thought it was.

Ok, so maybe you still want to do this — in which case have at it!

For those of us who would rather spend time doing just about anything else — you could pick out your save the dates and have them mailed for you by us (Postable) in minutes. Now, how does 5 minutes sound?

We’ll collect all of your guests’ mailing addresses for you and allow you to customize your own save the date (we work with some of the greatest designers out there). But the best part? We’ll print, address and mail out your save the dates for you.

How to address save the dates?

So you’re all set and ready to mail your cards, but you’re a bit unsure of how to address the envelopes. Who can blame you? When was the last time you sent something via snail mail?!

First, decide exactly who is invited. Is it just Darcy or is it Darcy and her hubby? Or is the whole family invited? Second, decide the formality level you want to use.

You have the options to use various titles or no titles at all. Still unsure exactly what to put on the envelopes.

Married couple

(formal) Mr. Jim and Mrs. Pam Halpert

(super-formal) Mr. and Mrs. Jim Halpert

(casual) Jim and Pam Halpert

(Family) The Halpert Family

Married couple with different last names

(formal) Mr. Jim Halpert and Ms. Pam Beesley

(casual) Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley

Hyphenated last name

(formal) Mr. Jim Halpert and Mrs. Pam Beesley-Halpert

(casual) Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley-Halpert

Unmarried couple living together

(formal) Mr. Jim Halpert and Ms. Pam Beesley

(casual) Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley

Married woman doctor or two married doctors

Doctor Pam and Mr. Jim Halpert

Drs. Pam and Jim Halpert

The Doctors Halpert

*Whichever spouse has the professional title should be listed first.

Families & children

If you’d like to extend an invite to the entire family, you can do so one of two ways. You can either write out all the names or simply just address the envelopes to the family name.

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Halpert
Philip and Cecelia

The Halpert Family

Don’t have addresses for your wedding guests? Postable can collect them all for you into your own free address book.

Can you skip the save the dates?

Sure. It’s your wedding — you can do whatever you want. That’s the beauty of having it be yours. But do keep in mind why these cards exist in the first place. They serve a pretty important purpose so be sure that this isn’t important to you before you nix save the dates altogether.