After getting engaged, setting a date was the first task Tyrell and I completed on our wedding checklist. The date that we chose is 6/20/2020. And even though we decided about 18 months prior to that day we knew we had to act quickly as it is a popular day in the middle of wedding season. We reserved our venue in January of 2019 and we sent out our first set of Save The Dates in June of 2019, one year in advance.
We quickly began getting questions about our decision making. Why are you sending these so soon? Why are you sending more than one set? Will everyone on your list receive every Save the Date? Well, I am here to fill you in on our Save The Date timeline!
Just some quick info – we included our engagement pics on the invites and Save the Dates!!
First Set of Save the Dates – One Year Prior to Wedding
After doing some research online, we found most sites suggested 6-8 months prior to the wedding. However, many noted that for destination weddings or if you know people are traveling to give them extra time. While we decided against a destination wedding (that was a definite possibility!) we still have majority of our friends and family that we knew would be traveling long distance to attend our celebration. Between Tyrell and I we had guests on our list from 4 countries and 18 states. So yes, we decided to send out save the dates one year in advance.
This first set of Save The Dates did not go to every single person on our list. This first set only went to friends and family that do not live in Idaho or Utah. Our wedding is set to be in Salt Lake City, UT but we are both originally from Idaho. The reason these two states did not get early save the dates is because they are so close and easy to travel between.
On this first set of Save The Dates we included the date, location, and then informed our guest that hotel and travel information would be coming at a later date.
Second Set – 8 Months Prior to Wedding
This second set of save the dates fell into the safety zone that majority of websites recommend. We decided to stay on the earlier end of the recommended time because 6/20/2020 is a popular day to get married! We have quickly realized this as we try to reserve venues, caterers, etc.. Not only is it numerically pleasing but it is a peak Saturday in the middle of wedding season. Honestly, we have already spoken with so many other couples planning weddings for summer of 2020 that we wanted to ensure our day was in everyone’s minds ASAP.
This set of save the dates went to everyone on our list. We will use the exact same list as we send out invites. In addition we printed extra and keep them on hand in case we realize that someone was forgotten or it gets lost in the mail. We did not do this with the first set as we knew we would be sending out another round.
One important thing we did was send these Save the Dates to the obvious people as well. What do I mean by that? My grandma and I speak on the phone or text nearly daily. She knows every detail about my wedding planning and has been a huge help getting Tyrell baptized. I still sent her a Save the Date in the mail and IT MADE HER DAY!!! I also sent one to everyone in our wedding party, our parents, and our siblings. Just because you think they should already know your date, does not mean they don’t deserve a Save the Date!!
This set of save the dates included travel tips, hotel recommendations (we have one blocked off), and a note about attire. We also included our wedding website on this save the date. On the website we have our registry info, more details about travel, what to do in Salt Lake City, and a question section on our website! We didn’t want to send this out on the first set since we weren’t sending them to everyone.
Again, we chose to send these out 3 months in advance which is on the earlier side of recommendations. The reason we did this is because we needed an accurate head count for the hotel and also catering. With so many people traveling we wanted to ensure that we had rooms and food for everyone!
Obviously, every family received the invites! We did ensure to address them so that families know kids are welcome and all of our single friends and family can bring a plus one! We also printed extra invites so that my dad could hand them out as people came into his restaurant for anyone he had forgotten to add on our list. (Dad has literally forgotten my name so we did NOT trust the accuracy of the list he gave us.)
With the invites we included all of the necessary info! On the invite was of course date, time, and location. We reiterated hotel and travel info. Our wedding website was also listed again. We added additional details of attire and a schedule (ceremony & reception times). Then separately was the RSVP. The RSVP included number of attendees, drink idea, and a request for a picture! I will keep you updated on what the pics were for later.
There you have it! We were very ahead on the schedule but it worked out perfectly! This is honestly the ideal timeline for destination weddings or people like us who have family across the globe! My biggest piece of advice is to be super respectful of your guests and their planning / traveling. Give them adequate time without making them feel rushed!
Best of luck and send me any wedding planning tips you may have! I am in the trenches here!