Congrats, you’re in the process of planning an amazing wedding!
We can already envision the flowing champagne, the diamond ring glistening on your finger, and the love of your life twirling you around during your first dance ...
It will be BLISS!
But, you have some important decisions to make between now and then. Some are big, and some are small — like deciding whether to send wedding save-the-dates.
If we’ve learned anything from Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big, it’s this:
Plan the wedding you WANT — not the one you think you should have.
We are not about to let those pre-invitation invitations throw you off your game!
Here are the pros and cons of sending save-the-dates, so you can decide for yourself whether or not you should have them.
Tip: Keep your wedding plans organization with a DIY Wedding Binder!
Pros of Having Save-the-Dates
Can’t wait to share the news with everyone you know? Save-the-dates are a great way to do that!
Here are five great reasons why they belong in your invitation suite:
Photo: Real Bella Weddings
1. Guests Will Have Plenty of Advanced Notice
Most couples send wedding invitations out about two months before the big day. But for some people, that’s just not enough notice.
After all, we get our Coachella tickets a good eight months in advance!
So if you only give two months’ notice, some of your guests might already have that weekend booked.
Save-the-dates go out about six months in advance. Unless your guests are jet-setters with way better social lives than us, six months is usually more than enough time to get your big day on their calendar.
Getting married in spring or summer (aka peak wedding season)?
Someone else you know might be having their wedding on the same day! Therefore, those little cards can prevent your wedding from turning into real-life Bride Wars …
2. Guests Can Start Making Travel Arrangements
Having a destination wedding on a beach? Saying your vows on a tropical island? If so, save-the-dates are a must.
Let’s repeat that:
If you’re having a destination wedding, save-the-dates are a must!
Your guests need time to book flights and make hotel arrangements. The sooner you tell them about your big day, the more time they’ll have to buy plane tickets and book a room.
If they book it far enough in advance, they may even be able to save money on travel packages.
3. Guests Can Schedule Time Off Work
Unfortunately, work is a part of day-to-day life. While some people have flexible schedules, others do not.
If you’re getting married on a weekday or out of town, your guests will probably have to take the day off.
Photo: Real Bella Weddings
The sooner your guests know your wedding date, the sooner they can request time off and start getting ready.
They want to celebrate with you! To watch you walk down the aisle looking like the most beautiful bride ever! They'll appreciate that you gave them plenty of time to prepare.
4. You Can Share the Link to Your Wedding Website
Couples love making wedding websites. And we do too! You can fill them with cute photos, include links to your registry, and add little stories about how you met.
But what good is that fab wedding website if no one has the link to it?
And that's just one more reason to love save-the-dates — you can include your wedding site URL!
That way, everyone can see the hard work you put into creating your page and tear up just thinking about what a beautiful bride you’ll be.
5. You Can Show Off Your Personality
Want to show your creative side in a fun way that will get your guests excited about your wedding? Or course you do! That’s one reason we LOVE save-the-dates.
And they come in every shape and size — from photo cards to save-the-date magnets.
If you’re a DIY Frida Kahlo, you can even make your own with watercolors on some nice paper, or stamp them with a family monogram.
And those ADORABLE engagement photos you spent an entire Saturday afternoon shooting? Well here’s the perfect place to show them off!
They don’t have to match the rest of your wedding stationery. A little matching never hurt anyone, but it’s okay if they’re not the exact same colors as your bridal shower invitations, wedding programs, or thank-you cards.
They just have to showcase your personality and give your guests the heads up that a fabulous wedding is about to take place (get ready for a lot of “CONGRATS!” texts when you send them out).
Need to know more about WHEN to send them? Check out When to Send Save-the-Dates [+ Proper Etiquette].
Cons of Having Save-the-Dates
Not convinced by the five great reasons we just listed above?
That’s okay — it’s always good to weigh your options.
Here are four reasons why you might want to skip the tradition of sending save-the-dates:
1. They’re an Extra Expense
These cards will cost you — both in printing and postage. If you’re on a super tight budget, you’ll want to nix this from your list of essentials or opt for a digital version.
But before you cross them off, remember:
You don’t have to go crazy. There’s no reason to spend $300 printing photo save-the-dates, or hiring someone to do professional calligraphy, if it’s not in your budget.
They can be really simple, and there are tons of affordable options out there.
Some couples make their marriage announcement during the holidays. If that’s your case, include your save-the-date message on your holiday cards. Why not save money and cross two things off your to-do list at the same time?
2. You Can’t Eliminate Guests at the Last Minute
Save-the-dates might not be formal invitations, but they are a pre-invitation to the party. Anyone that gets one is going to expect a formal invitation to follow. Once you send them out, you can’t remove anyone from your guest list.
How many people should you have at your wedding? Read Your Full Guide to Wedding Guest Plus One Etiquette
3. You’ll Need to Book Your Venue Early
If you’re a last-minute kind of girl, sending save-the-dates might not be in the cards for you.
Photo: Real Bella Weddings
The whole point of sending them is so that your guests know (at the very least) the date and the city where your wedding will be. Without the details figured out in advance, those cute, floral save-the-date cards won’t do you any good.
4. They Take Time
You have people to see, places to go, cakes to taste, and dresses to try on. You’ve got to find a DJ, plan a rehearsal dinner, pick out bridesmaids dresses — the list goes on.
Still looking for the perfect bridesmaid dresses? Check out the Bella Bridesmaids Collection!
If you don’t want to go through the fuss of writing return addresses on dozens of envelopes, don’t feel bad about it.
Wedding invitations are the official invites, and your guests will receive them in the mail a few months from now. For most guests, that will be more than enough!
We’re not here to convince you that you should or shouldn’t send save-the-dates. It’s YOUR special day — so it’s up to you!
But here’s the reality:
Sending them is one of the best ways to ensure that the people you want at your wedding will be there. After all, the whole point of a wedding is to celebrate with the people you love!