Info for save the dates and 3 things to be sure to include

Guest post by kristenbyers
'Til Death Do Us Part save the date magnets available here.
‘Til Death Do Us Part save the date magnets available here.

Our Save the Date postcards turned out pretty well, and I have received many compliments. But if I could do them all over again, I would do a few things differently.

If you're wondering what info to put on save the dates, here are the three things I forgot, that we really should have included on our postcards:

1. Our return address

I guess postcards don't usually have a return address, and we didn't include them on ours. At first we were blissfully unaware that some of our postcards might not get delivered. This is becoming an issue as I find out that a few friends and relatives did not receive their postcards (and one woman who received a bridal shower invitation never received her save the date postcard prior to the shower invite, so she was really confused — yikes!).

2. “Formal invitation to follow”

As silly as this sounds, some people thought that this postcard was their actual invitation. I thought it was pretty clear that it was just a note to save the date, but apparently you can never spell things out TOO much.

3. The wedding location

I didn't think it was necessary to include this detail since there is TONS of location information available on our wedding website, but people are still confused. I think this might have something to do with the photo that we used of the two of us kissing in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. (My fiance and I live in New York, and we flew our photographer out here to shoot our engagement photos. However, the wedding is in Michigan.)

Whether they're a postcard or something other cute format, save the dates should always include:

  • you and your fiancé's names
  • the wedding date (or dates, if you're doing a multi-day or wedding weekend)
  • location (including a town or city, if you know it)
  • reminder for a formal invitation to follow.
  • bonus: include a link to your wedding website, so folks can find more info

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Comments on Info for save the dates and 3 things to be sure to include

  1. I just sent out our Save the Dates two weeks ago and I wish I would have seen this post before I did!

    We assumed people would understand what a save the date card is and that full invitations would be sent later – we were wrong.

    If I could do it again, I’d definitely include “formal invitation to follow” or something like that.

    • The reason why most people still confuse save the dates with invitations is because they have been receiving invitations only (and no save the dates) for decades and even so have managed to attend loads of nuptials. From the way I see things, the save the date thing has become more of a recent trend and therefore not so much “proper etiquette.” So the many people who haven’t been keeping up with any recent wedding trends are naturally going to be confused when they receive a save the date.

    • This happens even when you DO include “Formal Invitation to Follow”

      Some guests would ask me a question about the ceremony and I would say more information was coming in the “official” invitations… they replied “I already have an invitation?” thinking the save the date was the invitation even WITH “Formal Invitation to Follow” wording!

      Either way I still support using the wording since MOST people read the whole Save the Date. 🙂

    • So agree. I didn’t even put ‘Save the Date’ on ours because it just seemed implied – I’ve gotten so may I know what they are. But, we’ve already had at least two friends (my age, so they should be familiar with save the dates) say they’ve gotten our “invite”. It’s not that big of a deal really, since they will get an actual invite later and there shouldn’t be any confusion then, but still.

      I did include our wedding website, but there is zero RSVP info available yet and we don’t even have times for the day finalized on our site so it’s not like these could’ve even been the actual invite.

  2. Ok, I did two out of the 3, but as I haven’t mailed them yet, I think I can still put the return address on them! Thank you!

  3. I included all three bits, but I still had people asking how to RSVP when they let us know they’d gotten them. It says “formal invitation to follow” on it, but even spelling it out doesn’t mean people will get it right away. It seemed most of the people who asked are friends of ours who are still unfamiliar with wedding etiquette.

  4. Ok, i hate to be that person, but does anyone have guests who are actually looking at the wedding website? I would never look up anyone’s website, i know my family wouldn’t do it, and I think I only have a small handful of friends that would check it out. Obviously it’s not right for me, but who IS it right for?

    • As soon as I got a friend save the date last year I went straight to their website. I even RSVP’s right then and there.
      So if you are wondering who it is right for, me: late 20’s-early 30’s lady who spends most of her day working online. I think most of our friends checked out the website too, so add slightly geeky people with iphones/androids.

        • That’s her faux paus and not yours, if there was an actual RSVP option on the website. Seems like silliness to me. Why provide that as an option if you want the RSVP cards back?!?

          • I won’t be even doing paper RSVPs. Saves on postage. They’ll go online or call a bridesmaid. Old school mixed with new school 🙂

        • We aren’t even including an RSVP card. Our invitations have an “Information” card included that states at the very top that all RSVPs must be done on our website. We even have an app for our wedding that’s linked to our website so people can RSVP on the website or on their phone via the app. It’s saving us a bunch on extra invitation costs as well as postage.

          • We are also fore-going the RSVP cards, and just providing an information card with the invitation, that tells them to RSVP by calling or texting either of us (with our phone numbers on the card).

      • I go to the website for every wedding I’m invited to that has one. I love them. I know at least some have gone to ours already.

    • Most of our family is internet savvy, so we’re dong RSVPs on our website. I think websites are more geared toward the younger generation who is already on the computer a lot

    • Maybe it’s just a 20-something thing. I have looked at every wedding website I’ve ever been told about. I love them! There is so much info on there. I was even actively searching for a website for a couple of friends who got married last year and I was surprised to find that they didn’t make one!

      • I LOVE that they can have so much information. We have lots of things that simply wouldn’t fit on an invite. We get to save money by not having RSVP cards, and we get to let our guests know just what’s up!

    • I looked up my ex’s wedding website when I saw an invitation on a mutual friend’s fridge. Yes, I’m admitting to a little cyber-stocking.

    • So we haven’t had that many people look at our website…not a big deal, because it’s pretty basic. However, we did have two people we never expected look at every page on our website: my fiance’s grandparents, who I didn’t know even used a computer!! It was totally unexpected…but nice that they checked it out, haha!

    • My demographic: mid 30s professional in the U.S. Whether I’m interested in other information, the one thing I always hit up a wedsite for is registry information. One of the greatest things in the land of Internet for me is that I can find a link to the registries, browse them, buy a gift and have it sent directly…all before the actual wedding. I also find them helpful for things like where to stay, something else I’ll just book online.

      I sent our save the dates and people received them about a month ago. 70 sent for 125 total guests for a June 1 wedding. I’ve had about 30 visits to our wedsite, so far, which I think is solid. The other thing is that making the wedsite really wasn’t difficult or terribly time consuming (and I’m not the most tech savvy person, the template was just easy to use), so even if nobody else visits it, I’m not going to have any morose feelings about “I worked so hard on this and nobody used it.”

      • If you’re looking at direct mail marketing stats that’s a 42% roi! WOW! 3% is usually good. Well done. 😉

    • I used my wedsite for RSVPs (which saved us on the invite costs.) It also linked to our wedding registries (which we opted not to put on our invites), as well as directions/ info about the wedding day. There were a ton of benefits to sharing info this way— RSVPing was easy for people to do and for me to keep track of, and there were very few registry related questions directed my way.

      I also included fun stuff on the site- wedding party introductions, engagement pictures, our engagement story, etc- but that was mainly for my own enjoyment. It ended up getting read by quite a few curious friends and relatives who hadn’t heard the full scoop. You can take or leave creating a wedding website, but it can be a really helpful tool!

    • I wish I had thought to include our wedsite address on our save-the-dates. We have more than a few guests who are flying in and need the extra time to find cheap flights, rental cars, and figure other logistics. Being able to see the location of our venue with respect to our hotel and the airport is a big help to them, especially since some are making the trip into a mini vacation and they plan on exploring the extended area. Because we didn’t plan ahead and have the wedsite ready to launch, we instead had to contact all those guests individually with the details, which kind of defeats the purpose of the wedsite (they’re all late-20s to mid-40s and internet savvy).

    • I actually didn’t include my wedsite in the STDs. STDs go out like 6-8 months prior to the wedding! No one needs the information now. I wanted to get the STDs out ASAP, and didn’t have the time to build a complete wedsite.

      Besides, who knows what details will change between now and then?

    • We are doing a rsvp online only, there will be nothing in the invitations. Its a small wedding so only about 40 invites are going out only a couple of older people that probably do not do computers but we will call them. The MAIN reason for the RSVP online is we have a awful post man/service. Also there is a similar address to ours in town and we constantly get each others mail. so to be safe & save money we opted to do it that way

  5. I also had a problem getting them machine processed, as the formal invitation to follow was covered up by the mailing barcode on one side, and the wed-site was covered up on the other side. Get them hand processed or avoid putting important things near the bottom edge.

    • Our post office refused to hand process anything. They said they just don’t do that anymore.

  6. We used the URL of our wedding website as the vertical dividing line between the recipient address area and the message area on the back of the postcard. I thought we were being clever, and it was really pleasing from a design standpoint, but hardly anyone looked close enough to realize what it was. I realized this when we started to get a lot of “Do you have a website? What about a registry?”

  7. I put all of mine in envelopes because, to be fair, I didn’t feel like I wanted names and locations and dates out there for anyone to see.

    I also sent mine out with Christmas Cards, so I was going to be using that letter rate stamp and return address anyway.

    I just wish I would have not typoed my year on the reverse.. October 2012 instead of 2013. I had people call to joke that they had missed it, even though it was correct and HUGE on the front.

    • I just flat out sent out cards with the wrong year on them… and the only person who called me on it was a friend who really didn’t need one anyway because she never plans more than 2 days in advance. No one else even mentioned it (though I didn’t send very many, only to the people who would need to travel)

  8. What are peoples’ feelings on using photos on save the dates? Anyone else not a fan of doing this? Seems like everybody puts photos on theirs but I am uncomfortable with it – not sure what else to put on there though design-wise.

    • I actually love the photos…MrOhs and I just got invited to a wedding for one of his cousins, and I didn’t recognize the groom’s name, but I did recognize his picture. (I have met him! Phew!) So I think it’s nice, especially for people who might know the bride OR the groom, but not both.

    • we made ours super simple to go in Christmas cards. We printed out on card ‘our first names are tying the knot’ ‘please save the date 21/09/2012 in Gloucester’ ‘Invitation to follow’
      We then put a little stamp of a bike on it (as we both cycle a lot) cut out the card and attached it to a playing card then stuck little bows on the top. I then put holes in the cards and strung them up with string so people could put them on the Christmas tree.
      we’re not really the kind of people to use a picture of us. It would have felt a bit weird to be honest.
      I didn’t want to spend much money on them as I didn’t think people would pay that much attention to them.
      The only questions i’ve had is one person asking where our registry is at. (we don’t have one yet) and a couple of people asking. When is it again???? Its right there on the SDT! lol.
      I think simpler is better — the less info, the less to confuse people.

    • Meh, we chose to have awesome-looking save-the-dates without using a photo at all (Royal Steamline ftw!). I personally don’t like photos on stuff like that either, but that’s just because we aren’t photo people in general (I realized earlier this year that we don’t have a single photograph displayed anywhere in our house…) so I don’t think it’s weird at all. I doubt anyone would notice. People aren’t going to be thinking “why on EARTH didn’t they use a photo!?!?”, you know?

    • We didn’t put a photo on our save the dates. The design we chose (from had a photo background, but the text itself was bright, graphic, and large. I made a “photo” of a charcoal-colored rectangle using Microsoft Paint and uploaded that as our background. They looked great!

    • We’ve done a vintage postcard style ‘save the date’. The photo we’ve used is one I took of the view from where we’re having our wedding ceremony – rolling green hills with mountains in the background, and no people. We have postcard style text on the front saying ‘Come visit Castlereagh’, and on the back text along the lines of ‘Liana and Andrew are getting married on date XX at Castlereagh Hall please keep it free, we’ll be sending out formal invitations later in the year’. This way people know where it is and can make travel arrangements, and the full details will come later in the year.

    • Ours were a cute design based off of the “Adventure Book” from Up on the front. I get that some people are uncomfortable having their picture and personal information go through the mail. Our Thank You cards are postcards, but we’re still putting them in envelopes because it’s a picture of us.

  9. Wow, either this post came too late or just in the nick of time! We already printed our save the date cards but I was already planning on including an additional slip of paper with our wedding website address on it. Going to add the wording “formal address to follow” as well!

    Of course, the one thing we almost forgot on our cards (helpfully pointed out by our friend who wound up designing and screen-printing them) was our NAMES! Let this be a lesson to always have a second set of eyes….

    • We kinda did this with the Name thing, our return address stickers as well as our save the date, lacked our Last Names. And the “photo” of us was a commissioned piece of caricature art lol oops!

  10. We actually didn’t do save the dates or invitations since we’re keeping the wedding really, really small. We did send out wedding announcements in advance though, and I have been surprised how many people have interpreted that as an invitation. You really can’t spell it out too much.

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