Save the date cards are an introductory part of your wedding stationery and their design often sets the tone of the event. But addressing save the dates may be a little tricky. It's a once in a lifetime event, what in most cases means two things: we want to do it right and we hardly have any experience in this area.
For your convenience we prepared a full set of rules which should be implied partly or in entirety, depending on the level of formality, together with few samples and the basic etiquette, so you'll know how to properly address wedding save the dates.
Rules For The Envelopes
1. Everything is written by hand. This is not only time consuming (save the dates are typically ordered months before they are needed), but demands certain handwriting skills as well. Many brides hire a calligrapher for this task, but contemporary etiquette allows printed wording on STDs and envelopes for less formal weddings.
2. Spell it out. All names are written in full, nicks or initials are not allowed. Same stands for addresses (Boulevard, not Blvd) and numbers under 20, although in recent years the rule where all street numbers and zip codes are used in figures has been applied. Only exception to these rules is abbreviation for titles Mr., Mrs. and Ms. (please note Miss is used for unmarried women under twenty one and Ms for unmarried women over this mark).
3. Use titles. Again, no abbreviations: Professor, not Prof., Reverend, not Rev., etc. with only exceptions for Mister, Mistress and Miss already written above. If a married couple both use the same title (for instance Doctor), a plural may be used (Doctors). A married couple is always written in the same line.
4. Names of invited children under 18 are written below the names of their parents (or step parents), each in separate line starting with eldest on the top. If they are older than 18, each gets a separate invitation. If children are not invited, it's considered as a poor taste to note that fact on the invite. Instead of that, inform invitees by word of mouth, that children are not invited. 'And family' is not used at any circumstance.
5. If you are inviting singles and don't know the names of their current significant others, try to find them out first. Remember - you need a full name, not a nick. If you can't, it is appropriate to add 'and guest' after his or her name.
6. And how to address save the date envelopes on the back? A return address of the host is written by the same rules, but in general the name of the host is not included. RSVPs are out of the question in this case, they are used at invitations only.
7. Everybody who gets a save the date announcement, gets an invitation, but you can of course invite guests who didn't receive save the dates too. In general these two numbers should be equal but in reality, due limited budgets and other facts of real life you should make sure a save the date card is sent at least to people who need to plan a travel to your wedding while closest friends and family members don't need to get these friendly reminders, because they are probably already well informed about the wedding.
8. Use real stamps. Save the date invites, just like other wedding stationery, should not be run through the machines, because the process will very likely at least partially damage them. Instead of that you can take them to the post office personally and request that the stamps are hand cancelled, so the envelope and its content stays in best possible condition.
9. While it is not unusual for an ultra formal wedding to send save the dates more than full year ahead of the wedding, for majority the rule of four to six months (eight for destination weddings and popular holidays) should be just fine. It's also good idea to forget the rule about the months and send save the date cards right after the date of wedding is set and the list of guests is finalized.
Sample Wordings Of The Save The Date Invites
For formal weddings use this template:
Please save the date
to celebrate the wedding of
Ann Beatrix Cooper
David Edward Field
Saturday, Seventeenth of June
Two Thousand And Seventeen
Formal Invitation To Follow
For casual weddings next example may work just fine:
Ann and David are tying the knot
June 17, 2017
Invitation to come
Of course the location should be included only if we are 100 percent sure about it, otherwise just stick to the date. At less formal weddings an URL of a website, dedicated to the wedding of the happy couple, may also be included. This address can provide a lot of useful info, like about accommodation and transport, which can be constantly updated and available round the clock.
Save the date etiquette is relatively new, because this part of stationary is actually a replacement of older engagement announcements and the formality is less rigid. At casual weddings even an electronic STDs are completely tolerable.
While a classic save the date invitation on paper is still the only appropriate choice, less formal weddings use several alternatives, like STD postcards, photo cards or STD fridge magnets. In these cases you'll be probably short of space, so titles and middle names can be omitted. In recent years save the date cards are often synchronized with a wedding theme, what means they can inspire your guests months before the big day. Let your creative juices flow!