He’s put a ring on it, a wedding date has been chosen, and you’ve finally booked a venue! Now, you’ve got to figure out the best way to get the save-the-date announcement out to your guests. (And it most definitely isn’t, “Eh, my wedding is next month, you can come right?”)

Save-the-date announcements, which have recently become more commonplace, are different and separate from formal invitations. Invitations have become more of a formality (cum confirmation and reminder) and are usually sent out anywhere from 3 months to 8 weeks prior to the actual date. Save-the-date announcements on the other hand, are done ahead of that because with crazy low fares from budget airlines, many people plan their holidays up to a year in advance, so you’ll want to book their dates, pronto!

When it comes to weddings, we believe that it’s always, always better to play it safe, and it definitely pays to be prepared. Here are our top 6 tips for your save-the-date announcements.

 

Save-the-Date Tip #1: Don’t Take Your Time

 

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Does this convey a sense of urgency?

 

As soon as a date is confirmed, aim to make the announcement at least SIX MONTHS before the actual wedding date. Naturally, you’d want your dearest family and friends to be there to celebrate this special occasion with you, so it is in everyone’s best interest to announce your wedding date ahead of time! This is especially important if you’re having a destination wedding, or a local one and there are guests coming from outstation or overseas. If your wedding is taking place during a very popular wedding or holiday season like December, let the kiasu in you take over and make sure your wedding gets into everyone’s calendars before that beach getaway or Euro trip!

 

Save-the-Date Tip #2: Wear Your Guests’ Shoes

 

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If I fits, I sits.

 

To understand the kind of considerations they have to make, that is! There are many reasons why giving notice is a good thing. They may need time to save up to attend the wedding (if it’s not going to be held locally), they may need to plan their annual leave requests at work, or they may need to organise childcare arrangements if they are parents and they intend to only attend the wedding as a couple. So, the earlier you send out the notice about your wedding, the better it will be for your guests.

 

Save-the-Date Tip #3: Invite with Intention

 

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*gulp*

 

Your save-the-date list will also effectively be your wedding invitation list. If you send somebody the announcement, you should follow it up with a formal invitation. A typical announcement would include the phrase “Formal invitation to follow”, so that your guests will know to expect it. It would be awkward, and not to mention incredibly rude if you have to retract it. So if there is anyone you feel iffy about, leave them off your list!

Depending on your families’ culture as well as your own preference, do consider if you still want to send a formal invitation to those who have informed you that they will not be able to attend your wedding. This is because if a formal wedding invitation is sent, a gift (monetary or otherwise) is typically sent in return regardless of attendance. If you feel uncomfortable imposing this on your invited guests, then you can opt not to send the formal invitation, but be sure to acknowledge their responses!

 

Save-the-Date Tip #4: Start Thinking About the D

 

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Instagram-worthy!

 

D for design, obviously. If your wedding is going to have a theme, it would be nice to have your save-the-date echo that. This will give your guests a hint of what there is to come – for example, if it’s going to be a church wedding, a rustic garden party, and so on. Having said that, there is no fast and hard rule about this. Do what suits the both of you and what you’re ultimately happy with!

 

Save-the-Date Tip #5: Paper vs. Paperless

 

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Nope, not stressful at all!

 

With the advent of social media, many couples use the Facebook event page to send out invites. While this does make management of your guests list and RSVPs easier, it can also be a little bit too informal, as many of us get lots of random Facebook event invites. Similar to emails, it can be missed out, or your guest may not use their Facebook accounts very actively. While we’re not saying that online invitations are an absolute no-no, it should supplement a printed announcement rather than replace it altogether. You can also use these online avenues to collect the home addresses of your guests so that you can mail out the formal invitation later.

Another thing to consider when it comes to going paperless is older guests – especially friends of your parents and relatives. They may not be on Facebook or even have an email account, so in this case, print is necessary, and in fact, an expected etiquette of people from that generation!

 

Save-the-Date Tip #6: Make “Répondez S’il Vous Plaît” a Child’s Play

 

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This uncle knows what he’s doing.

 

Don’t forget to ask your invitees to RSVP! It is advisable to give several options to do so – via email, WhatsApp, or even by SMS – to make it easy for everyone. However, be sure to keep an updated master list somewhere to avoid any confusion!

 

And there you have it – all you need to know about making that save-the-date announcement. Follow the list, keep your wedding planning stress-free, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a happy bride!

 

By Ann Lee.

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Read also: Chic Bride: Booking A Wedding Dinner Venue

Booking A Wedding Dinner Venue – Asking the Right Questions

Still scratching your head over where to celebrate your wedding? Our venue checklist is so good, you’ll want to marry it! Get the checklist here.