Save the date vs invitation? The difference between save the date cards and wedding invitations? When it comes to figuring out whether you should send a save the date card or invitation, don’t think of it as an “either/or” decision.
It’s perfectly fine to send out both. There are some practical reasons why you might want to mail one instead of both selecting between a save the date and invitation can depend on timing, budget, and preference.
But in most cases, for most brides-to-be and grooms-to-be sending both makes sense.
Save the date vs invitation
Sending save the dates gives your guests enough time to travel to your wedding destination if needed. If it’s a destination wedding or you’ve planned an elaborate weekend away, sending save the dates is a good way to give guests plenty of time to make travel plans. It also gives them enough time to book rooms at your hotel if that’s part of the celebration.
Sending invitations lets your guests decide whether they can attend your wedding or not before it gets closer to the date. If you’re planning a small, intimate ceremony and dinner that’s only a few weeks away, inviting your guests after you send save the dates may be too late for some of them. Some people book trips and make travel arrangements far in advance, and you want to give them enough time (and encouragement!) to do this.
Types of wedding invitations
Now let’s talk specifics. There are general differences in the content of saving the date cards and wedding invitations, but there are also huge differences in paper stock, printing processes, design elements used, the number of pieces needed basically everything that goes into making these two items different. Just about every element you can think of is affected by the type of invitation you choose.
Types of saving the dates
Save the date cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they’re generally much smaller than wedding invitations. They can be as simple as a piece of card stock with an engagement photo on it or as ornate as a vintage map with your names and wedding date printed on it. The main purpose of a save the date is to announce your upcoming wedding and give your guests enough time to make travel arrangements, if needed. Some people put their save the dates in an envelope, while others send them flat with a stamp. It’s really up to you!
Types of wedding invitations
Invitations come in as many shapes and sizes as save the dates. They can be as simple as a piece of card stock with your name and wedding date on it, or as ornate as a colorful letterpress creation that requires a custom envelope liner to protect it. The main purpose of an invitation is to request your guests’ presence at your wedding ceremony and/or reception. Some people put their invitations in an envelope, while others send them flat with a stamp. It’s really up to you!
Wedding etiquette for saving the date cards versus wedding invitations
Now that you know what goes into making save the dates and wedding invitations different, what about sending one over the other? Wedding invitation etiquette is still in flux, but in most cases, it’s perfectly fine to send both a save the date card and an invitation. If your guest list is on the smaller side, sending just one might be enough to send the save the date when you’re planning a destination wedding or an intimate celebration that’s more than six months away. For everything else, though, send both!
If you’re not sure whether to send a save the date or invitation, err on the side of caution and send out both. But don’t worry: If your guests show up without an invitation (which can happen these things happen!), they’ll be seated anyway.
Budgeting for Save The Dates And Wedding Invitations
When it comes to wedding invitations, you have two options: send both a save the date and invitation or just send an invitation.
Knowing what goes into making them different might help with your decision-making process when it comes to choosing one over the other. But if saving money is your ultimate goal, there are some things you can do to cut costs without sacrificing quality.
First, look for free save the dates and free wedding invitations online. There are so many beautiful designs available through invitation-making websites! Of course, you can always purchase save the date cards or invitations at your local drugstore or stationery store, but that may also increase your cost.
Next, decide whether you’ll send you save the dates and invitations through snail mail or email. If you choose to send both through the post, consider sending them in large outer envelopes rather than individual inner envelopes so they can be addressed together and postage can be combined.
Not only is buying wedding stationery costly, but it takes a lot of time and energy, too. If you go with snail mail, order your envelopes and stamps well in advance so you have time to address them before the cards are ready to be mailed. As for email? You’ll want to make sure your guest list is accurate before sending out either type of invitation the last thing you want is for someone who has RSVP’d yes to receive a save the date card or invitation that doesn’t apply to them.
Searching for wedding invitations? Try Etsy!
Etsy is one of our favorite places to find gorgeous wedding invitations, even if you have a limited budget. Check out what’s available by searching “wedding invitation” on the site, or search by the vendor to find something that matches your taste!
How to Decide Between Save The Dates And Wedding Invitations
Are you wondering whether you should send save the dates or wedding invitations first? It’s a tough decision, but here are some tips for sorting it out.
What’s your guest list like?
If you have a big family and/or friends, it might make more sense to send save the dates rather than invitations the post can be expensive! You’ll probably want to include information about when and where the wedding will take place in your save the date card’s message section, so you can give your guests plenty of notice before the actual wedding date.
Sending an invitation is more traditional, but it might be better to send out save the dates when you need to get in touch with people quickly for an event that’s several months away. Save the date cards also make great calling cards (especially if they’re double-sided) and can be used as placeholders until you receive your official invitations.
If you’re forgoing traditional wedding invitations, that’s a different story. You’ll want to send out save the dates first, preferably three months before the wedding that way, they have plenty of time to RSVP before the actual date arrives.
Where will the wedding take place?
If you’re getting married somewhere local, it might make more sense to send save the dates rather than invitations. Your guests will need enough notice before your big day if they’re coming from out of town, and you’ll want to give them plenty of time to book travel arrangements or plan their vacation days. If you’re not married near your hometown, however, you’ll probably want to send traditional invitations.
How formal is the wedding?
If your wedding will be casual or informal, you can probably get away with sending save the dates even if it’s a black-tie event. But if you’re hosting a very formal affair, consider sending traditional invitations instead, especially if you have a strong list of international or out-of-town guests.
When should I send my save the dates? Send you to save the date cards at least three months before your big day, so guests have plenty of time to book travel arrangements. If it’s not possible for them to come during that time, they can always decline your invitation in advance.
What should my wedding invitations look like? There are no rules when it comes to wedding invitations, but if you want yours to stand out and you have the budget for it we recommend sending traditional invites that are personalized with foil debossing or letterpress. If you’re not keen on traditional wedding stationery, consider a unique invitation that reflects your style, such as a digital or paperless invite.
So how do I get started? Deciding on the save the dates first is a good way to go if you’re not sure which wedding invitations to send out first. If you need help finding beautiful save the dates that suit your wedding and your budget check out Etsy, which offers plenty of customizable options.
How to Decide Between Save the Date and Wedding Invitations
As soon as you start planning your wedding, you’re going to be bombarded with a lot of invitations. It can seem overwhelming at first! Making sure that you send out the right invitation is important not only for comfort but also for etiquette. Once you start getting responses, that’s when the party (or lack thereof) starts! There are two main types of invites, Save The Dates and Wedding Invitations, but before we jump into what they are, let’s cover a few basics:
When to Send the Invitations?
The first thing that you have to decide is when you should send out your invitations. Traditionally, wedding invitations were only sent out in April and May so that people could plan accordingly. With everything happening so early, it is very much possible that you send your invitations in January or even February! However, there has been an increasing trend of sending the invites later and later. Because people are much busier nowadays than they were in previous years, weddings are happening later. This means that it may be more appropriate to send the invitations in March or April instead.
What Kinds of Invitations do You Need?
Deciding between Save The Dates and Wedding Invitations is important because you need different kinds! Save the dates are typically sent out 6-8 months before your wedding, while wedding invitations should be sent out around 3-5 months before.
Save The Dates
Save the dates are typically just a postcard that you mail to your guests. It should contain information about when and where your wedding will be, but it shouldn’t have any formal invitations on it. Save the Dates are also sent out 6-8 months before your wedding but remember! You should only send these out after you have sent your wedding invitations (and they should be mailed together).
The Wedding Invitation is the more formal invitation that contains the actual date and time for your wedding ceremony. You can go as simple or as ornate as you want with this invite, but it’s important to remember that this will be the second round of invites that you send out. This is because there are a lot more people invited to a wedding than a Save The Date, and they need enough time to make arrangements.
The first time that you send an invite should be around 4-6 months before your wedding date. This is when people can start making travel arrangements and be available on your wedding day. The second round, which is sent out 3-5 months before the date, is when people need to make hotel arrangements and such. This ensures that there aren’t any conflicts or problems with their schedule.
The importance of saving the date and wedding invitations
Save the date vs invitation? The save the date and wedding invitations are an important part of your wedding. They will set the tone for what is to come and how people should dress, both in terms of formality and beyond that: they do appeal to visual senses and tell a lot about your style and tastes.
It’s very easy to make mistakes with these invitations, what with all the different designs and styles that you can pick from. Sometimes the design itself is a common mistake – for example, making it too complicated or not picking a font that’s readable enough. People often choose something very fancy-looking but they only have one point of focus: if it’s too complex, people won’t know where to look and they will be distracted from the message you are trying to send.
Typefaces don’t have to be fancy or elaborate but instead, it has to be clear and bold enough that people can read them with ease. They also need to match with your picture – a serious-looking invitation needs an equally formal font, while a more comical photo might call for something more jocular. The rest of the invitation should also reflect this, whether it’s the font or even the shape of the invitations themselves. It’s easy to get carried away with these designs, especially if you are planning your wedding all by yourself and you did not have much experience in making graphic design choices before. A good tip for this is to hire someone who can help you with all of these choices, not only because you might need an opinion but also because it’s difficult to make graphic design decisions on your own.
Just as important as the invites are the details that come along with them. Wedding reception cards, thank-you cards, etc., should all go out at least two weeks before your wedding date so guests have enough time to plan their trip and buy a gift if they need to. The most important thing is that it gives them enough time to think about whether or not they can come!
When deciding on your save-the-dates, be considerate of your guests’ schedules. Since many guests will have already made travel arrangements for other holidays or events between your save-the-dates and wedding, they will need to know the exact date of the wedding as soon as possible. So this means sending out invitations at least six months before your actual wedding date.
Make sure you take into consideration that not everyone lives in a big city or even near one. Allow plenty of time for people to travel. For the guests that live out of town, you can mail them your invitations or give them a call. To take the guesswork out of it for yourself, include an RSVP card with your invitations so that replies will come back directly to you. No more costly phone calls!
Speaking of cost, getting married in the 21st century can get quite expensive. So you want to be smart about the way you spend your money. When deciding on invitations and save-the-dates, it would be a great idea to check out some of the many online invitation companies that offer free samples and affordable prices.
You should also consider stationery stores. Have them make your invitations and other inserts. Mail-order catalogs also make excellent sources for stationery items. You can save a great deal of money by choosing the right paper and using coupons or purchasing during sales!
Remember to be creative, have fun with your save-the-dates and wedding invitations, but don’t forget to think about all the details that go along with them! The last thing you want is to have all of your invitations well overdue. The guests will laugh at you and your disorganized self, but it’s better than not getting the laughs when you’re tying the knot!