First things first, do I need to send save the dates?
In the world of digital communication, snail mail isn't as common these days. Though they're technically not required, it's still a courteous gesture to send save the dates in addition to wedding invitations. If you're planning a destination wedding or getting married during a holiday weekend, they're highly recommended to give your guests time to plan ahead.
What's the time frame for sending them?
That really depends on your wedding date, but a good rule of thumb to follow is six to eight months beforehand. For a holiday wedding or a faraway location, aim for eight months prior to your ceremony date so your guests have time to book their travel reservations.
What information should I include?
Unlike your wedding invitations, you don't have to list all the specifics just yet. Make sure to include the couple's names, the wedding date (for a wedding weekend, include all days), general location and a notice for a formal invite. You don't need to add much else but if you have a wedding website, use it to refer your guests to additional information.
Should I match my save the dates to my wedding invitations?
That's totally up to you. Since they're considered less formal than invites, you can use your save the dates as an opportunity to express your style or try out a theme you like. That being said, you don't have to stick to just paper either. Feel free to get creative with memorable ideas like refrigerator magnets, calendar stickers or luggage tags.
After you've sent your save the dates, make sure to include these details in your wedding invitations.