Wedding Planning 101

Yay, you’re engaged! Now what? Save the Dates!

Congrats, you’re engaged! Now what? This post will be about Save the Dates.

Now that engagement pictures are finished and the guest list is finalized, it’s time for Save the Dates! Save the dates = the teaser for your wedding and the start of the wedding festivities becoming real!

If you haven’t taken engagement pictures yet, but you are still planning to before you send out save the dates, make sure to read my tips on planning engagement pictures before you get started.

A good rule of thumb is to send out your Save the Dates 6-8 months prior to your wedding date, so your friends and family can start planning.

For our Save the Dates, we used PhotoAffections because they have so many different designs to pick from. Photo Affections is reasonably priced and can ship quickly (1-2 days)! The best part about ordering through them? They can address, print, stamp, mail and ship your Save the Dates so you don’t have to! If you are still finalizing your guest list’s address, they have an option to just add the return address and names on the envelopes. We chose this option and they did a great job, one less thing to worry about. Another benefit of using them is they will give you 85 free prints (4×6) each month for a year (a year, no joke!), you just have to pay a small shipping charge.

Here are some tips for planning Save the Dates:

Find the style and colors you like.

This is an intro to your wedding and the first impression guests will see regarding your wedding. Think about your colors. Think about your wedding style (classic, simple, elegant, etc.). If you are still deciding on your colors, but you really like your wedding website theme and you want everything to have a consistent look, The Knot has a partnership with Minted. Minted has a lot of great Save the Date design options as well.

Browse Pinterest for inspiration.

Pinterest is your best friend during wedding planning. I’ve probably mentioned it on every post, but it’s a great place for tips, ideas and inspiration for all things wedding and engagement. Look through different save the dates ideas before you start designing.

If you took engagement pictures, include them on your Save the Date!

Share your exciting engagement photos with your guests! You can add one big photo, a couple small ones, a photo strip and so much more. You only send out one save the date, make it count! The invitation is usually more formal and might not include photos (I didn’t) so the Save the Date is the best time to share your pictures.

Give the important details but this is just a teaser for guests to start planning.

We included our wedding date, location, time and a link to our wedding website. You may also want to include , “Formal Invitation to Follow” or “Invitation to Follow.” Additional details should be on your wedding website.

Before you send out Save the Dates, make sure your wedding website is up to date. 

Your guests are going to go to your wedding website when they receive your Save the Date (if you include a link). Make sure it is as up to date as you can make it. If it is not, you will get a lot of questions about travel and registry.

On our wedding website, when we didn’t have all of the information we put “check back here soon” but we tried to put as many details as we could before we sent out save the dates.

Ceremony, reception, travel details and registry are the most important details to have on your website. At first we added a password on our website, but then we realized guests would have to remember the password every time they needed to access our site. The password will be more of a nuisance for the actual wedding day when guests want to quickly check details. If you do have a password, make sure to provide it to guests on the Save the Date if you do (it can be on the back).

Over-order the number of save the dates.

Thank me for this tip later. You should over estimate the number so you can keep a couple, account for Save the Dates that may get lost in the mail or any envelope names that may get messed up.

Be very clear about who is invited on the envelope.

The invitations will be more formal, but include parents’ names and family or address to specific people on the envelope. I’ve included some Save the Date envelope etiquette below. 

Need some help addressing Save the Date envelopes?

Here are 6 tips:

  1. Address the guests with their professional titles (Dr.) or “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Ms.”
  2. Write the guests full names with no nicknames or abbreviations.
  3. If you’re including kids, you can put individual names on the second line after their parent’s names or you can write “and family” on the second line.
  4. Spell out the addresses completely (don’t use abbreviations) and use the correct postal codes.
  5. Spell out the city but you can use abbreviations for the state.
  6. Provide your return address on the envelope. It should be displayed in the upper left corner or on the back flap. Some people even use a stamp to mark the back flap.

Happy Wedding Planning, hope this was helpful! Leave a comment if you have any engagement picture questions. If you are still in the initial planning stage, make sure to check out 6 tips to plan your wedding to help get you started.


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