The date is set and your wedding venue has been secured! Now it’s time to start gathering a guest list and thinking about your Save The Dates.
While these notices aren’t required, they are widely popular and very helpful for out of town guests who will need to make travel plans. According to the Emily Post Institute, Save the Date cards are typically sent four to eight months prior to the wedding, but up to a year for destination weddings. That’s a wide range, and we would definitely recommend erring on the side of caution by giving your guests as much notice as possible.
Electronic Save the Dates have become increasingly popular in recent years. These provide the same information a traditional, printed card, but have some unique benefits.
Continue reading to learn more about online Save the Dates to see if one is right for you, and how to create your own!
Printed vs. Online Save The Dates
Benefits & Downsides of Printed Save The Dates
If you’re looking to go a more traditional route, printed save the dates are the way to go. (Who doesn’t love receiving something special in the mail?) Sending a postcard or magnet are two popular options our team has seen in recent years. With your wedding months away, it can be really fun to have something tangible to remind you and your loved ones of the fun ahead.
On the flip side, printed save the dates will require a bit more budgeting than a virtual save the date. Think: design costs (if any), printing costs, and postage will be are all things to be mindful of.
Benefits & Downsides of Electronic Save The Dates
Virtual save the dates are a great option if you don’t really need a save the date, but want one anyway, or want to reduce paper waste. Additionally, they are also a way to cut back on your budget so that you can make room for something else! Last but not least, online save the dates save you time. Planning a wedding is a big undertaking; a virtual save the date saves you time stuffing envelopes, writing out addresses and going back and forth to the post office — all you need are email addresses!
There are a few downsides we’d like to point out here for virtual save the dates. It’s possible that not every one of your guests will be tech-savvy. Thankfully, you will have your formal invite headed their way at a later time, but it may not hurt to check in with your grandparents to make sure they have your wedding date saved on their calendar. Some guests may also find virtual save the dates unprofessional or too informal.. and to that we say, it’s your day! How you want to inform guests is up to you as a couple (as is every other detail of your big day).
How To Create Your Own Online Save The Date For Free
Now that you know a bit more about electronic save the dates, it’s time to create one! You can use a website like Paperless Post, but be aware there may be costs involved with certain templates or sending to a large list size. Here’s a step by step guide (and video) on how to create a customized virtual save the date for free (or at least, super cheap).
- Login into a free design program like Canva or PicMonkey.
- Search “Invitation” or “Save The Date” to view templates already in the platform.
- Customize the one you like most with your information, wedding colors, fonts you like, etc. This is also a great spot to incorporate some of those swoon-worthy engagement photos you have!
- Download your design and save it to your computer. Then, head to your email inbox and start crafting a brief message to accompany your beautiful save the date image.
- It will be easiest to have everyone’s email address before sending out your save the dates. If you plan on having a wedding website on a platform such as Zola, there are options to send wedding guests a link to a contact form that will collect their best email address that you can easily pull from. You can also compile a list in an Excel or Google sheet.
- Before sending your save the date, make sure you include some text to avoid getting trapped in the dreaded spam folder. It can be helpful to reiterate details like the date, location, and that there is a “formal invitation to follow”. You can also link to your wedding website if you have one. Don’t forget a friendly signature from both of you!
- Blind carbon copy (BCC) everyone on the email and don’t forget to include your own email address to see the finished product!
Now that you know the differences between printed and online save the dates, it’s time to start working on the option that is best for you. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!