Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Lately I have been designing save the dates and invitations for clients and I wanted to give insight on my knowledge of when to send both announcements. From planning my own events, to researching on my own - below I have outlined a general guideline for anyone to follow.
You have your venue and event date booked and now you're at the point of finalizing your guest list. Have you thought about the save the dates and/or invitations you want to send out? Depending on the type of event you're hosting you may or may not need to send save the dates as they are essentially optional. Sending a save the date would be common courtesy for any wedding or destination event to be sure one plans accordingly if they need to make travel plans or extended arrangements.
In regards to both invitations and save the dates, don't place the order until you have a final guest count number. This will help you save money to be sure you only order what you need. However, I do recommend ordering about 5-10 extra in case you have last minute guests to invite or if someone's stationary gets lost in the mail. Plus, be sure to keep one for yourself as a keepsake!
Remember - only one save the date and invitation is sent to each family, not each person. When going through your guest list, your final guest count number won't necessarily be the number of save the dates or invitations you send. Make sure you go through and order a save the date and invitation for each family! Essentially one per household. On the envelope you can address everyone invited. This happens more often than you think - I always count, re-count and count again to be sure!
If you are mailing save the dates, I would suggest mailing these out 6-9 months prior to your event, based on the destination. If you are doing a destination wedding or event celebration, I recommend mailing the save the dates about 8-9 months prior to the event to allow one to make travel arrangements (often save the dates will include a wedding or event website site with further information on the event and travel accommodations). Alternatively, if your event is more local, mailing save the dates at least 6 months prior to your event allots enough time for one to plan accordingly.
In regards to invitations, generally they should go out 2-3 months prior to any event. Most invitations, without a save the date, are for local events and 6-9 weeks is enough time for one to make arrangements as needed. If you had sent a save the date a few months back, the invitations provide more details on what to expect - whether food will be served, preferred attire, time frame, etc.
As tedious as it may be, I suggest researching the best promotions between different websites. Some websites offer free shipping while some offer a percentage off the total based on how many you need to order. Based on the website you purchase through, they will send an additional promotion in the mail in which can be used for invitations, thank you cards or other stationary in the future. I have included a few websites at the end of this blog that I have personally ordered from before and have worked with in the past. I would highly recommend their products.
Don't think you have to order everything from the same website. Save the dates are sent out months prior to the invitations so utilize the best promotions at that time and so forth with the invitations. For example on a personal standpoint, I ordered our wedding save the dates from Shutterfly and our invitations through Minted. Both websites often have free shipping codes and other offers based on the season. Take the time to research - if you don't have time I would be happy to research for you!
A few websites that are very affordable (and often have promos) include -
I offer a la carte services through The Bridal Binder in which I would be happy to design, order, address and mail your stationary for you. This can be time consuming and with your approval of the invitations and an excel sheet of a guest list, I will take the work load off your hands and keep you updated on the RSVP list - if you didn't already have a point person. I love to personalize projects and adding a save the date stamp in your event colors would be something I include!
I personally designed the bachelorette save the date below through Zazzle and they have matching invitations as well!
If you have further questions or interested in my services please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to assist you!