You’ve decided on the date of your wedding, and you are in the process of making all the required plans to ensure you have the best and most memorable day possible. Sooner or later, you’ll need to send save the dates, but who should you look to send them to? Should evening guests be included and receive this timely notification? Needing to know for our own special day, I decided to spend some time researching to find out exactly if this is something that you should do.
So, do you send save the dates to evening guests? You can choose to send save the dates to evening guests, as they do serve to provide a notice and give people plenty of time to prepare, plan and make arrangements ahead of your wedding day. However, save the dates can cause confusion as to what part of the day recipient will be invited to, so you may want to consider having sending different save the dates for different types of guests. Alternatively, you may want to send an informal save the date to your evening guests, like an email or text message; which clearly references the wedding reception.
Having separate save the dates will be more costly and will require a little bit of planning upfront, but it can help to set the expectations of your guests ahead of time and enable them to better prepare for the day.
Nevertheless, save the dates are considerate and helpful way to give your guests plenty of time to check their calendars and ensure that they will be available. It also hopefully means that the people whom you really want to be there will ultimately be able to come.
Let us now take a closer look at those similarly related and often asked questions, including of course, when you should be looking to send these placeholders around!
Do You Send A Save The Date To Everyone?
Whether or not you send save the dates to all of your guests is ultimately going to be a decision that you have to make.
Some couples decide to send informal save the dates to their evening guests (such as via email or reference on a telephone call or text) whereas others decide to only send save the dates to guests who are invited to the whole day.
Then there is the camp whom will send save the dates to all guests on their list; be it those who are invited to the whole day or just the reception.
Practically speaking, it does make sense not to save them for only specific guests, as all whom are looking to come to your wedding will need to know in advance.
That being said, there is the argument that your guests could make assumptions about the part of the day they are invited to.
For example, if you were to send save the dates to those guests whom you only intend are to be there during the evening and at the reception, they may presume that they are invited to the ceremony. This can of course cause issues further down the line, and awkward conversions when you later have to explain or clarify the situation.
Nevertheless, while it is more uncommon; you could consider sending separate save the dates to different types of guests.
Remember; the wedding invitation will follow in later months which will enable you the opportunity to outline your specifics; like the venue, time etc.
This is when it is easier to clearly define and set the expectations of your guests.
What Should A Save The Date Card Say
Save the dates should include the basic details about your wedding, but they are also can serve as a good opportunity to showcase your wedding style, personalities and even to share an engagement photo of you both.
Generally, save the dates should include the following pieces of information at a minumum:
- The names of both the bride and groom
- The date of the wedding
- The location of the wedding
- A statement outlining that the wedding invitations are to follow.
While it is good to include those things, and can help your guests; there are some things that are typically left off. Besides, some of these details may not have even been planned.
The most common ones to exclude are:
- The name of the venue(s)
- RSVP details
Some couples like to have and opt for informal and fun save the date, whereas others prefer to go the traditional route.
Neither is right or wrong and will come down to personal preferences. As is exactly what is included in the wording.
So, if you did want to mention that the guests are to be expected for the evening only, then you can add this detail.
Otherwise, simply sending your intended evening guests your standard send the date, but including this detail later on the wedding invitation is another option.
How Long Before A Wedding Should You Send Evening Invites?
There is no definite timeframe that you should look to send your save the dates out by. However, once you have decided on your wedding date, booked and confirmed it with the venue and have all of your other elements in place (photographer, catering etc), then you should look to send your save the dates out.
The sooner the better, in an ideal world. The more time that you can give your guests a chance to plan ahead is the considerate thing to do. It also means a higher chance that your guests will be able to make it.
However, if you are looking for a rough and recommended timeframe, then a good general rule to follow is 6-8 months before the wedding.
It does of course depend on how long in advance you book your wedding, and where the wedding will be taking place.
For example, if you are planning a destination wedding or one in which travel will be involved; then you may need to send your save the dates up to a year in advance. It’s the courteous thing to do because the costs involved will generally be higher for your guests.
From there, wedding invitations should follow, around 2-3 months after the send the dates are sent.
Do You Have To Send Save The Dates?
It is not technically mandatory to send save the dates, although it is a polite, respectful and advantageous thing to do.
As such, it is advised that you do so, and here is why:
- Your guests will appreciate the notice,
- You are more likely to have a positive response to your wedding invitations that follow, and you can ensure you ‘book’ your guests before they are presented with alternatives on the day of your wedding.
- They can help to build excitement for your wedding; both in respects to you as the wedding couple and the guests whom are invited.
- It can spark and incentivize you to get started on the wedding planning process.
Sending out your save the dates are one of a number of things you will need to remember to do during your wedding planning process.
While there are some general recommendations as to whom and when you should send them, there are no definitive rules on what you should do.
You actually have quite a lot of flexibility, and you should make your decision on what makes sense to you and your guests.
If that means sending save the dates to evening guests, that’s great. As is sending a slightly different memo.
Either way, getting these out to your guests as soon as you can will ensure that you maximize your chances of locking them in for your special day!
Hey, I’m Allison – a bride-to-be and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I have accumulated since researching for my wedding over two years ago. I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding.