The DC Ladies Recap: Save-the-Date Etiquette


Save-the-Dates – Etiquette

Q: My wedding is exactly a year away, when should I send the save-the-dates?   Is it too early to send them over the next month?

A: My personal opinion is that with different engagement lengths, the “right” time does vary.  Generally, I advise couples to send save-the-dates anytime within 10 months to 6 months ahead.   Any later than 6 months would be too close to the formal invitation and defeat the purpose.  In addition to a confirmed date, couples should have a confirmed location for their ceremony and reception and have created a wedding website, prior to sending the save-the-date.   The website doesn’t have to be complete, but it should let guests know to come back and check for additional information.

Q: I’ve sent save-the-dates but have heard from some friends that they cannot attend my wedding, should I still send them a wedding invitation?

A: Yes, even if your guest will be unable to attend the wedding, they should be sent the invitation.  All friends and family members that receive the save-the-date must also be sent an invitation.  This is proper etiquette; the invitation lets them know that (even if they cannot make it) they are still invited.

Q: Do I have to send a save-the-date to everyone on our guest list?

A: Yes and no.  The main rule is to only send save-the-dates to people you really want to attend.  You shouldn’t send one to a friend or family member if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to invite him/her in the end – once it is sent, you cannot take it back.  If you have a big guest list and want to limit the number of save-the-dates you purchase, it would be perfectly acceptable to send save-the-dates only to out of town guests that will need to make travel arrangements.

Q: Do we need to add “and guest” or can we decide that with the invitations?

A: It’s best to be up front with who is invited, you should think about who will be invited before sending save-the-dates.   If you want to invite a friend with a date, to avoid confusion ask in advance what his/her name is, and then add his/her name to the save-the-date.  If you aren’t sure if a date will be invited, address the-save-the-date in the name of your friend only.  However, it may be a good idea to know your answer (of whether a date is invited) in case they ask! This is also important for families with children; they’ll need to know if they should plan for child care.  Make sure to address their save-the-date with the names of family members invited – including children if you want them to attend.

Questions?  Email me anytime – –