Etiquette: What You Should Know About Save the Dates.

Save the Dates: An important part of starting your wedding planing. It's becoming increasing more popular to send Save the Dates. Not everyone does it, but most people do. But where do you start? How far in advance do you send them? Does everyone get one? It's a lot to think about! Well, perhaps this will help with some of those questions.  With a little help from The, the following Q&A on Save the Date Etiquette will answer some of those questions.

Q. Do we have to send a save-the-date? 
A: Of course, you don't have to send one if you don't want, but it will give guests the heads-up about your wedding plans. Between travel arrangements and busy schedules, sending a save-the-date will increase guests' chances of attending your celebration. And that's the goal, right? 

Q. When do you send them? 
A: As a general rule, it's best to start spreading the news at around six months prior to the ceremony (eight months for a faraway destination). This gives guests plenty of time to book their travel, save a bit of cash, and ask for days off from work. Any earlier, and they may toss the notice aside. Any later, and it might as well be an invitation.

Q. Do we have to send save-the-dates to everyone? 
A: Just to the people that you want to come to your wedding. Even if you have already received confirmations from certain guests, you still need to send them a save-the-date (bridesmaids, siblings, and parents). But remember: Only send to those that you definitely want to attend. Once these are in the mail, there's really no turning back.

Q. Do we need to add “and guest,” or can that wait for the invitations? 
A: It's best to be clear about who is invited to the wedding, even this far in advance. By including the actual names of every intended guest on the envelope, you are less likely to have any assumed invitees (like your third cousin's new boyfriend), or general confusion (is your seven-year-old niece invited?). Being upfront about who is invited also gives families with uninvited kids ample time to plan for child care, and out-of-towners time to figure out hotel room shares. 

Q. What if we send save-the-dates and then change the date or location? 
This scenario is very unlikely, since no couple should send out formal wedding information before setting the plans in stone—but stranger things have happened. In the event of an unexpected change of plans, your best bet is to update your wedding website, pick up the phone, and start spreading the word. You do have the option of sending out another mailing that explains the dilemma—but a personal, verbal notice is the best way to avoid confusion. (If your guest list is a bit overwhelming, enlist the help of your bridal party.)