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Wedding Save the Date Cards—Best Ideas and Wording

The sole purpose of save-the-date cards is to give the people you intend to invite to your wedding plenty of advance notice. If, for example, you are planning to marry during the holiday season or a holiday weekend, you'll want your guests to reserve you wedding date on their calendars months in advance. If you will be inviting guest from out of town who will need to fly in for the wedding, they will need time to make the necessary travel arrangements.

You should send save-the-date cards to all of your intended guests when either of these circumstances fit your situation. Even friends and family members who you already know will attend should be sent a card.

On the other hand, if you are not sure whether a particular person or couple will be invited to the wedding, don't send them a save-the-date card. And there is really no reason, and it's a waste of your precious money, to buy and send these notices when all of your guests live relatively nearby or the wedding will not occur during a busy time of the year.

Planning and Sending

Once you know all of the basic details about your wedding plans, place your order with your stationer. As with invitations, having these cards printed can take up to several weeks, so give your stationer plenty of time. You can mail these cards out up to six months before the wedding date.

Save-the-date cards can be designed to match the rest of your wedding stationery and ordered at the same time, or they can have a completely different look.

Getting your guests' attention

Some brides-to-be really want these cards to be eye catching so that they truly standout and serve as a visual notice. If this is what you have in mind, look for something unusual, such as scratch-off cards or magnets (that can be posted on your guests refrigerators). Maybe you will want to make your own cards, incorporating one or more of your wedding colors, a graphic design, or a photo.

You can buy save-the-date cards through most wedding stationery manufacturers and retailers. If you want to create your own cards or save money, look for a card-design software program. Michael's arts and crafts stores sells a good software program called "Wedding Invitation Kit" that costs under $25. The program is designed mainly for making your own wedding invitations, but it does include note cards.

What you should do

Since this will be your first written contact with most of your guests, it's important that they make a good first impression. Make sure that you spell each guest's name correctly. If you are unsure about the spelling of someone's name, look it up or contact someone reliable.

In your save-the-date, include the date, time, and place of the ceremony along with any other information that your guests will need.

Here is a sample of how your notice might read:

"Please save the date of Saturday, June 25, 2005, 2 PM, for the wedding of Karen Hinkley and Brian Nelson in Minneapolis, MN. Invitation and directions to follow."

Always follow up with the expected wedding invitation, which should be mailed about six weeks before your wedding date.

A nice touch that can truly be helpful to your guests is to list your web site address—assuming you will be updating it with more details.

What you should not do

Keep in mind the purpose of these cards. Don't include unnecessary or inappropriate information such as directions, the rehearsal dinner location and time, or registry information. (Incidentally, if you do list your name with a bridal registry, the only place that information can be included is in a shower invitation. Generally, good etiquette demands that you rely upon friends and relatives to circulate such details by word of mouth and only if asked.)

Since you are not trying to elicit a response, do not include a reply card. And last but not least, you should not e-mail your save-the-date information. Of course, there is always an exception to every rule, but try not to break this one.

About the Author

Jean Bachcroft is a former public relations director, the founder of Bachcroft and Aloha Labels, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Town and Country Shopping Bargains Magazine. For designer wedding, holiday, and year-round mailing and return address labels, you can visit her web sites at and at

For bargains and bargain shopping articles, visit Town and Country Shopping Bargains.

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