So you're engaged! Congratulations! And you've picked your wedding's date and location and now you're thinking...do I need to send a Save the Date? The answer isn't always yes and spending money on something you don't need is probably not the best idea for your wedding budget so let's explore why you might need a Save the Date.
YOUR HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING!
Now that sounds like a ton of fun. So if you are boarding a plan or expect a large number of your guests will need to travel and book accommodations you should definitely send a Save the Date. Make sure to include information regarding where to stay and how long people should plan on being there...meaning if you are having a welcome dinner or party, a sending off brunch make sure you indicate that this will be a weekend of events! This will allow all of your friends and family to make plans that suit them. And really the best thing you can do is get a website and put all of that pertinent information there so your guests can refer to it when booking.
IT'S A HOLIDAY OR HOLIDAY WEEKEND
Even if it's not Christmas or New Year's Eve you'd be surprised at how many plans people have regularly planned for Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th and Labor Day, giving your guests an early heads up will allow for decisions to be made about those traditional plans!
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO INCLUDE?
It's a great spot to include your engagement photos if you've taken them, if not you don't need to forgo a photo...the Save the Date below was designed for a destination wedding in Ireland and my friend and favorite photographer had taken this one on a trip to Ireland and it was the perfect color palette and not a literal interpretation of an Irish wedding so we used that as the focal point.
Beyond the design you should include your names, the date and the city and state of your wedding, you don't need the actual location. And of course you want your guests to know they will receive an actual invitation in the future so include a line like "invitation to follow." If you've set a website put on there too!
Sending Save the Dates at the right time is also important, you can send them up to 6 months in advance and earlier but anything after that will come so close to your wedding invitation that it may be an unnecessary expense.
So if you need it, send it and make sure you have a little fun here, give people an idea of what to expect. Is your wedding going to be the party of the year? Then make it fun. Are you planning a romantic and elegant wedding? Then you should nod to that feeling with your Save the Date too. Consider something different than a card in an envelope...postcards can be cool and cost effective, a letter is also a beautiful way to fill everyone in, magnets are always popular choices too.