Sending Save-the-Dates — A Great Debate!

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— With 10 years of experience and more than 150 weddings under her belt, it was a natural progression for Katrina to set-out on her own venture as a Wedding Coach. Katrina focuses on providing guidance and support for wedding couples who wish to actively plan their own wedding but also wish to benefit from the expertise of a pro throughout their planning adventure. A person with a true entrepreneurial spirit, Katrina also owns and operates Subtle Details Lifestyle Management Company.

Are Save-the-Dates a Must for Your Wedding?

In the past 15 years destination and long weekend weddings have substantially increased in popularity. Along with this trend came the modern day practice of sending save-the-dates prior to sending out formal invitations to wedding guests.

The original purpose of save-the-dates was to provide guests of a destination or long weekend wedding with advance notice so that they could have sufficient time to make travel arrangements, book time off work, find deals, etc. Of course, this purpose still holds strong for those hosting a wedding afar or over high-travel dates or long weekends. But if you’re hosting a wedding closer to home, is it really necessary to invest in save-the-dates for your wedding? The simple answer is no.

Leave us face it, the concept of save-the-dates took the wedding industry by storm. So much so, that many couples now feel obligated to send them prior to their formal invitations in order to not buck modern day wedding etiquette (or as I like to say ‘wediquette’). But if your wedding is being held close to home and outside of peak dates, it is far less necessary for you to follow this practice. Of course, if you would like to send save-the-dates out of desire, rather than obligation, it is a great gesture and courtesy to your guests.

Another factor to consider is your budget. When maintaining a strict budget is a top priority, eliminating the use of save-the-dates can be a great way to save. The average cost to send 100 basic save-the-date cards within Canada is approximately $175 with shipping, postage and tax included ($1.75 each). To some, $175 may not seem like a lot of money but when combined with the cost of formal invitations, it can really add up.

In many cases, save-the-dates are a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘need to have’ so make sure to look at the big picture and all factors before making a firm decision; a great practice to get into for all of your wedding planning decisions!


  1. Your save-the-date should reference the same guest names that will be noted on your formal invitation. If you forego adding the names of the invited guests to the save-the-date this could result in frustration and disappointment when the formal invite is received. To avoid any hurt feelings, keep it consistent.
  2. Save-the-dates should be mailed 6 months in advance of your wedding date (8 months if you are hosting a destination or long weekend wedding). Sending them any later than this defeats the purpose of a save-the-date and sending them too early may cause them to be disregarded and set aside.
  3. Although a great gesture, it’s not necessary for you to send save-the-dates to your entire guest list. If you have the desire to send save-the-dates but also need to reduce cost, consider sending your save-the-dates only to the people that you want to ensure attend. The others will receive notice when formal invites are sent.
  4. Keep them simple! Postcards seem to work best as they eliminate the need for envelops and also limit how much information can be included. If you go too crazy with the details, they might as well be your invites. And if budget is a focus, try and leave the creative wow-factor to your formal invites.
  5. Only send Save-the-Dates once you have secured your venue. In recent years, some couples have jumped the gun by sending their save-the-dates as soon as they’ve picked their wedding date but before they’ve confirmed a location/venue. This could spell disaster if you are unable to find a suitable and desirable wedding location for the date that you have announced.

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