A common save the date mistake is not including enough information on your card. In the scheme of things, save the dates are a fairly new trend, and not every guest that receives one will be familiar with the practice. For this reason, the purpose should be clear. Include the following information
- Names and Event Description: Jane and Joe are Getting Married or Susan's Bat Mitzvah
- Event Date
- Event Location
- Invitation to Follow: To ensure that no guest will mistake it for an actual invitation
You want to give your guests adequate notice, but you do not want to mail your save the date so far in advance that they have time to misplace and forget it.
It is customary to send save the date cards four to six months prior to your event. However, if you are planning a destination or major holiday wedding, it is recommended that you send them nine to twelve months in advance. Also be weary about sending save the dates during the holidays, because you run the risk of it being lost in the holiday shuffle.
You want to give your guests adequate notice of your special event so that they can plan on attending, but you may be wondering if save the date cards are really necessary, especially if you are on a tight budget. Although save the date cards are not necessary for every event, they are highly recommended in the following instances
Holiday Weekend Events
People tend to plan far in advance for long holiday weekends. Typically, invitations are mailed six weeks prior to an event, where as save the dates are mailed four to six months prior to your event. Without alerting guests far enough in advance, you run the risk of your event conflicting with their scheduled holiday plans.
If more than a handful of your guests will be traveling to your event, bear in mind, they will need to plan ahead for flights, hotels, and perhaps time off from work. Advance notice is always helpful for guests in these situations.
Likewise, if you are planning a destination wedding, guests will need to book flights, hotels, and arrange for vacation time as far in advance as possible.
Seasonally Popular Tourist Locations
If your event is taking place in a popular tourist location, keep in mind that hotels may book up fast, so prior notice is helpful.
Though most big events take place on Saturdays and Sundays, this is not always the case. Due to venue reservation and cost, many events take place on Friday evenings. In addition, some choose to hold their event on a sentimental date, such as Valentine's Day. In these cases, it may be helpful to inform your guests far in advance, as they may need to take time off from work.
If none of these situations apply to your event, simply mailing your invitations approximately six weeks in advance should be sufficient.