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What are Save-The-Date Announcements?

By Deborah Ng
Updated May 16, 2024
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If you’re getting married and would like to alert your guests to your wedding date, you might consider sending them save-the-date announcements. The beauty of save-the-date announcements is that you can advise your guests of your wedding date long before the invitations are mailed. These handy cards let guests know they will be invited to the wedding and allow them to mark their calendars accordingly.

Save-the-date announcements are especially useful to guests who will be traveling from out of town. By learning the wedding date in advance, they can book a room or make travel arrangements at a time when it’s most beneficial to do so. For instance, if a certain airline is offering a discount for those who book six months in advance, they’ll be able to make plans within the appropriate time frame.

Save-the-date cards aren’t only used for weddings, either. They’re useful for graduations, communions, confirmations, retirement parties and bar mitzvahs, just to name a few. Use them to announce any major event in your life. You’ll find save-the-date cards at the same place in which you’d purchase invitations. In fact, if you choose your invites early enough, you can have save-the-date announcements printed on the same stock using the same pattern.

Save-the-date announcements don’t need to be fancy, and there’s no special wording involved. Basically, they can be anything from business card sized notes to elaborately printed stationery. The words “Save the Date” are printed at the top, and the pertinent details are outlined underneath. A sample might read:

Save the Date

John Smith and Jane Doe are pleased to announce their wedding date on 21 July 2008.

Save-the-date announcements can be as simple as the words printed on a plain or colored background, or they can be ornately engraved cards. Unlike wedding invitations, there’s no real etiquette involved. The wording doesn’t have to be in any particular order, and it’s even acceptable to use computer generated labels for the envelopes.

There’s no set time for sending out save-the-dates. If you set your wedding date a year and a half in advance, by all means, send out the cards then. Most people like to send them out within six months to a year before the wedding. Save-the-date announcements can be ordered from your local invitation or print shop, and they can even be found online. In most cases, you’ll have them within two weeks of ordering.

Your guests are sure to appreciated receiving save-the-date cards for your special event. In these busy times, the earlier we can plan, the better.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon317152 — On Jan 31, 2013

Basically, it's a reminder -- telling people ahead of time. It's common sense. An invitation is more like an updated save the date.

By anon272526 — On Jun 01, 2012

Why can't you just announce that the couple are engaged and state the wedding date? Why you explicitly need to tell people to "save the date"? Seems redundant. "Save the date" seems to imply the date may change. If the date is tentative then don't state the date. I'm a big fan of plain English. Just say what you mean.

By anon39662 — On Aug 03, 2009

I think that Save-the-Date cards should include everything an ordinary invitation should include (I mean, I'd do that). Or, you can just contact the planner and ask.

By anon33529 — On Jun 07, 2009

I'm confused by this.

Isn't a wedding invitation redundant if a previous announcement of a ceremony is mailed? What is the benefit of sending out the initial invitation/announcement if the second one will do the same thing?

Jeph in Oregon

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