Before we get into when you do you send save the dates for your wedding, let’s have a quick recap on what they are. Essentially, they are a simple way of letting your guests know when your big day is, so that they can ‘save the date’ and make sure they are not double booked. They are not essential but they can be useful if you are getting married during peak wedding season (summer) or other key holiday dates.
So now we know what they are, the big question is when do you send save the dates? As a general rule I suggest no more than two and no less than one year before the big day. In my opinion, around 18 months before your wedding is the sweet spot. Follow up with your invitations, with all the important extra details between 4 and 8 months in advance of the big day.
Why is 18 months the best time to send save the dates for your wedding?
Because they only need to contain the bare minimum of information, just your names and wedding date, save the date cards can be sent very early in your planning process. In the UK, many couples book their date and venue one to two years in advance. Sending a save the date card to your nearest and dearest at around 18 months before the big day, should mean that you have these basic details firmed up. This also gives your guests plenty of time to plan, book holidays/leave from work, and arrange travel and accommodation if they need to.
Can you send save the dates more than 18 months before?
Yes, of course you can. As I mentioned earlier, the only details you need to include on your save the date cards are your names and the date. If you have your venue and date booked earlier then by all means let your guests know as soon as you want to. I often find that couples planning a destination wedding will send their save the dates earlier than 18 months. This can be helpful for your guests if they need to plan time off work, travel, passports, visas etc. If you do want to send your save the date cards more than 18 months in advance, I recommend no more than 2 years in advance.
Why would you not send them later than 12 months before?
This is the biggy isn’t it? And again there’s no right or wrong answer, but my general rule is no later than a year before the wedding? Why is this? Well, I advise sending your invitations between 4 and 8 months ahead of the big day. So if you plan to send save the date cards, it makes sense to leave a reasonable gap between them and your invitations. If you have less than a year to go before your wedding, then you could think about sending your invitations a little earlier and forgo the save the date cards. Sending your save the date cards at 12 months means you can leave a good 4 to 6 month gap before you follow up with the formal invitations.
There are exceptions to this ‘rule’ though. Sometimes couples feel that, with under 12 months to go, they ‘need’ to get some formal communication out to their guests but they do not yet have all the detail they want to include in their invitations. Typically this could be something like menu choices, or accommodation details. In this instance, of course, go ahead and send out save the date cards later then follow up with your invites a little later.
When to send save the dates: a couple of examples to illustrate
Here are a couple of examples. A summer and a winter wedding, to help you decide when do you send save the dates.
WEDDING IN JULY 2025
Ideally send save the dates in January 2024. You could send as early as July 2023, and I recommend no later than July 2024.
WEDDING IN DECEMBER 2025
Ideally send save the dates in June 2024. You could send them as early as December 2023, and I recommend no later than December 2024.
For your free, quick reference pdf download for when to send save the dates for your 2025 wedding, pop your details in the form below.
Final answer: when to send save the dates for your wedding
Save the dates are a really handy way to let your guests know about your wedding plans, and get a marker in their diary. My recommendation is to send save the date cards about 18 months ahead of your big day. Give your guests the basic details about your wedding, your names and the date (include the venue if you think it will be useful). Then follow up with invitations four to eight months later. You can send your save the date cards earlier than this (up to 2 years in advance) if you want to. This can be useful if you are planning a destination wedding. I don’t advise sending save the date cards any later than a year before your big day, unless you have a particular reason to do so.
Don’t forget to allow plenty of time to have your save the date cards made
So, now we’ve determined when to send save the dates for your wedding, remember to factor in a little time to have them made too. Generally, I can turn around save the date cards in two to three weeks. But of course, this can be longer during my busiest stationery making seasons (November to January, and May to August).
When you book me to make save the date cards for your big day, you can also book in production slots for your wedding invitations and on the day stationery at the same time. This just means you reserve a space in my schedule so that, when the time comes, all you need to do is finalise your design and numbers, sign off your proofs and I wait for your beautiful stationery to be made.
If you’re ready to get started on your wedding stationery journey and would like to talk more about designing and ordering your save the dates with me, hop over to my contact page (click that button below), where you can book a call, video chat, or in person studio meeting with me. Or, if you just want to ask me more – send me an email using my contact form. I’d love to hear from you.
Want to save the blog so you can find it later? Save the image below to your wedding planning board on Pinterest. You could pop over there and give me a follow for lots more tips and inspo too!