Save the date wording is the most important part of the save the date card, which is used to give guests notice of when your wedding will be before they receive their official invitation. If you don't word the card correctly, people may find it confusing - or worse, they may think it is actually the invitation.
Etiquette Rules on Save the Date Wording
There are few hard and fast etiquette rules regarding save the dates. They are a relatively new custom, and many couples still don't even send them out. A save the date is expected to be less formal than the invitation, although you're welcome to make it formal if you wish. What you need to include is the following information:
- The name of the couple getting married
- The date of the ceremony and reception
- The city and state where the event(s) will take place
- The words "formal invitation to follow" or something similar
You don't need to include the time of the event(s) or specific addresses, but you may want to include the address of your wedding website, if you have one, and travel and accommodation information, especially if you're having a destination wedding or you're expecting a lot of out of town guests. That way they will have enough time to arrange and book their travel.
The "formal invitation to follow" lets people know this is not, in fact, the invitation. Some of your invitees may have never have gotten a save the date card before and might just assume this is all they will get, if you leave it out. If so, they will wonder why they only received limited information.
Most save the dates are either small cards or magnets, so you likely won't have enough room for anything extra, like a poem or a story about the proposal. Just keep it short, sweet and to the point.
If you want your wording to be on the formal side, go with something like this:
Please reserve Friday, January first, two thousand and ten for the wedding of Mary Smith and George Jones. The event will take place in Palm Beach, Florida. Formal invitation to follow.
If you want your wording to be more standard, try this:
Mary Smith and George Jones are getting married. Please save the date. January 1, 2010. Palm Beach, Florida. Formal invitation to follow.
If you want to be more casual, that is fine as well. Lots of save the dates have wording such as this:
George and Mary are tying the knot! Come celebrate with us. January 1, 2010. Palm Beach, Florida. Invitation to follow.
Even if you're planning a very formal wedding, it's okay to go with a casual save the date. Some couples like to tie their save the date to everything else in their wedding package, though. This includes both the wording and design. This is completely up to you.
Who Gets a Save the Date Card?
Your save the date wording doesn't have to include guest's names, but you do have to be careful who you send these cards to. Make sure you finalize your guest list before you mail them out, since anyone who gets one must be invited to the wedding. It would be incredibly bad form not to do so - not to mention the potential for hurt feelings. The inverse is not true though. You can add to your list later without sending out additional save the dates. These new additions can simply receive invitations.
Send the date cards are a useful way to let people know the date of your wedding before you send out the formal invitations.