Save-the-dates are an excellent way to give your guests advance notice of your wedding date. For out-of-town attendees who will have to travel to be there on your big day, these handy announcements are even more important—they'll allow your loved ones to book flights and accommodations in advance. And if you're planning on throwing your fête during the summer, the most popular season of the year for vacations and weddings, the earlier you can get on your guests' calendars, the more likely they are to be able to attend. Of course, save-the-dates are a lot more than a wedding planning tool—they're a way to share the joyful news of you and your fiancé's impending union. At the bottom of your save-the-date, be sure to add a link to your wedding website, where you can share the story of your relationship, from first date to proposal. Here's everything else you need to know about writing, addressing, sending, and save-the-dates.
There's a traditional timeline.
You'll want to send out save-the-dates about six-to-eight months before the wedding—potentially earlier, if you're throwing a destination celebration, and need to give guests time to request time off from work, plan travel itineries, and lock down lodging. Out of respect for your guests, it's important to send them out in a timely fashion—so definitely don't wait until the last minute.
Everyone who receives a save-the-date must be invited to the wedding.
While not everyone invited to the wedding needs to have received a save-the-date, everyone who receives a save-the-date must be invited to the wedding. This means that you won't be sending them out to guests on your "maybe" list—send them only to people you absolutely can't get married without.
Include a link to your wedding website.
Your save-the-dates are your first opportunity to introduce attendees to your wedding website, which will be a main source of information in the months leading up to the wedding. Be sure to have a well-designed website, stocked with preliminary info, sweet photos, and funny anecdotes, up and running before heading to the post office.
Don't send out save-the-dates without including...
...your wedding date (or weekend!), the general location (a city or town works, if the venue hasn't been booked yet!), and a notice to look out for a more formal invitation. It's important to note that save-the-dates are only phase one of your invitation suite. The full invite, complete with an RSVP card, should follow later, two months before the wedding date.