Engagement announcement photo at outdoor engagement photo shoot
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Save the dates, invitations, programs: there's so much to consider when putting together your wedding invitation suite. Before you start debating the merits of engraving versus thermography for your wedding invitation, you'll want to send out a save the date to your guests. They're an information snapshot of your wedding, so don't feel as if you need to share everything with your guests right away (plus, you probably don't have everything planned at this stage — and that's okay!). Here's a quick guide on what to include on a save the date.

The Location of Your Wedding

Even if you don't have the minor details of your ceremony and reception nailed down yet, you should know what city will be the site of your nuptials. Giving your guests this information will allow them to start planning out transportation details, budgeting for your wedding weekend, and coordinating accommodation plans. Mentioning the location is especially important if you're having a destination wedding or if the majority of your guests will be from out of town. Giving them plenty of notice will allow more people to prepare for the journey.

The Date of Your Celebration

There's always something to plan around: jobs, holidays, school schedules, and prior social engagements. Letting your guests know the specific date of your ceremony and reception will allow them to plan other things around your wedding instead of having to squeeze your wedding onto their booked calendar. If you're planning a destination wedding, consider including a span of days on the save the date. This will give them a better idea of when they will be arriving and departing, and they can plan airfare accordingly.

Preferred Hotel

Before you send out the save the dates, you should contact a hotel or two and secure a block of rooms for your guests. Doing so will ensure that your guests have a place to stay while they're in town, and they'll likely pay a lower rate since groups tend to receive a discount. Choose a hotel that is central to your wedding weekend plans so guests can easily return to their rooms between events.

Your Wedding Website Address

A wedding website is fantastic for sharing all of the details with your guests. You can fit only so much on a save the date or a formal wedding invitation, and a wedding website helps you to fill in the gaps. You can include the story of how you and your future spouse met or got engaged, interviews with the bridal party, and fun facts about yourself. The website is also great for practical details such as your preferred hotel's room block code (so your guests can receive a discount on their booking), info about parking at your venue, and times for the rehearsal dinner and morning-after brunch.

A Photo of the Two of You

The save the date is much more casual than a wedding invitation, so let your personalities show! Add in a sweet photo from your engagement shoot for the perfect finishing touch. What to include on a save the date is ultimately up to you and your soon-to-be-spouse, so be creative!

Looking for more ideas and wedding planning details? Here's when you should send out your save the dates.