It’s a common assumption that wedding invitations and save the dates are the same thing. Of course, this makes sense considering that both are used to notify guests when the wedding will take place. While invitations and save the dates have some similarities, however, they are two unique tools each of which has its own purpose.

Save the dates are traditionally mailed to guests sooner in advance than the invitations, reminding them to “save the date.” By giving guests a head’s up on when the wedding will take place, couples will have an easier time orchestrating this special day. This is particularly important for couples with out-of-town family and friends who must take time off from work for the wedding. Save the dates will reveal the exact date of the wedding, allowing guests to make the necessary arrangements so they can attend.

So, what information – other than the wedding date – should you include on your save the dates? Most save the dates consist of nothing more than a single card or piece of stationary displaying the couple’s name, wedding date, city, and state of venue, and a notification at the bottom that says something along the lines of “formal invitations to follow.”

Even if you intend to use save the dates, it’s still recommended that you mail out standard invitations as well. Saves the dates are only intended to inform guests of when the wedding will occur, whereas invitations contain all of the pertinent details about the event, including the venue address and directions, date and TIME of the wedding, where guests should park, and RSVP contact information.

Still not convinced that save the dates are worth your time and resources? Check out some of the benefits listed below:

  • Serves as an advance notice to help remind guests of the wedding date.
  • Boosts the attendance rate of your wedding.
  • Creates a new piece of wedding memorabilia that can be used for scrapbooking or similar purposes.
  • In addition to notifying guests of the wedding date, save the dates can also be used to officially announce your wedding.
  • Save the dates are fun to make!

When Should I Send My Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates?

If you asked ten different professional wedding planners this question, you would probably get ten different answers. With that said, most couples try to send out their save the dates as soon as they become engaged. The sooner you notify guests, the easier it will be for them to take off work and make arrangements to attend. Formal invitations, on the other hand, are usually mailed out 1 to 2 months before the big day.