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Formal Invitation to Follow
One of the most meaningful parts of a wedding is having all of the people you love in one place. Many will travel from near and far to give a hug, raise a glass, and celebrate a new chapter in a story now written together.
Rarely ever are so many friends and family gathered at once, which makes coordinating their attendance an undertaking in itself. To make sure calendars are clear for the big day, many couples send save the dates before sending wedding invitations. These notes give guests a simple heads-up, so they can mark the day and plan accordingly.
It might be one of the smaller considerations on the wedding to-do list, but save the date wording can be tricky. (After all, it’s not something you do every day!) In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about wedding save the date etiquette.
As a rule of thumb, save the dates should generally be ordered, designed, and sent six to nine months before the wedding date. Your guests will appreciate your consideration of their time as they request off work and make travel plans. For destination weddings or dates that fall near holidays, it’s thoughtful to send save the dates even farther (nine to twelve months) in advance.
Wedding invitations traditionally include titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., Rev., etc.), but these are optional for addressing save the dates. It’s ultimately up to you, but for guidance on how to invite different kinds of guests, read on.
Single guests can be addressed simply with their first and last names, or with a singular title, if preferred. If you’re extending an invitation for a plus one, add “and Guest” after their full name.
Married couples can be listed plainly or include titles as well. If the couple has distinguished titles (such as doctors, reverends, or military personnel) and you'd like to include them, it’s appropriate to list the person with the formal title first.
If a couple is sharing an invite, but not a last name, be sure to include both of their names on the envelope. You may only know one of them, but writing both names extends a more personal invitation — especially if the couple has been together for some time. Write the name of the person you are closest to first. If you’re close to both, traditionally the man’s name goes first; if you’re addressing a same-sex couple, you can list in alphabetical order.
To invite entire families, you can simply list the last name followed by “family,” or list out each name. For families with young children, listing out children’s names makes it clear that children are invited.
There are a lot of options for save the date wording, but we recommend keeping it short and sweet. There are three things your save the dates must include:
It can be tempting to provide all of the details you’ve worked hard to arrange so far, but details are best suited for the actual invitation. Some couples opt to include a personal website, linking to wedding information such as hotel accommodations, venue, and registry. If you have a website, feel free to include the URL near the bottom of the save the date. Another option is to add, “Formal invitation to follow,” reassuring guests that details are on their way.
Save the dates can also give a sneak peek into the style of your wedding. The more formal invitation will follow, so wording-wise, this is the time to be creative! Feel free to use the limited text you have to match your wedding style and add a personal touch. Here are a few examples to get you started.
Classic and Formal
Leigh Grace Torwalt and Joshua Mason Young
Request your presence
at their wedding ceremony
December 5th, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana
Formal invitation to follow
Modern and Minimal
Save the Date
Benjamin + Sage
Formal invite to follow
Playful and Fun
Pencil us in.
Katie Bergwall and Eric Andersen
July 26th, 2020
Invitation to follow
Have Your Date?
Wading through wedding save the date etiquette advice can be overwhelming, but sending these notes early goes a long way in making sure those you love are with you on the big day. With these basic save the date tips, you’re ready to send your first short and sweet announcement. Once you’ve landed on wording and style, all that’s left to do is find the right card.