Category Archives: Wedding Invitations

Save the Dates vs. Wedding Invitations: What’s the Difference and Do You Need Both?

If you’ve recently got engaged, you’re probably being hounded by friends and relatives asking you questions like “have you picked a date yet?” and “when are you going to send out save the dates?”
If you’ve not been invited to many weddings before, you’re probably wondering: what exactly is a “save the date”, and is it the same thing as a wedding invitation? Are they both necessary?
A save the date is a standalone (and very important) piece of wedding stationery which is completely separate to a wedding invitation. It’s sent out several months before the invitation, and its sole purpose is to inform your future wedding guests of the wedding date. It doesn’t contain any other details about your wedding day celebration, and it’s not meant to be replied to. Formal invitations are then sent out closer to the big day, along with a reply card.
This guide will further explain exactly what the difference is between a save the date and a wedding invitation, what information you should include on each, and whether you truly need to send out both.
What Is a Save the Date?
A wedding save the date is, essentially, like a formal “heads up” about your upcoming wedding. Its purpose is to act as an engagement announcement, and let your potential guests know when the wedding date will be. That’s it!
A save the date is not the same thing as an invitation (there’s no reply card, so the recipients aren’t expected to RSVP at this stage). However, anyone who receives a save the date should receive an invitation eventually. So, only send them out once you’ve decided exactly who you want to invite, and confirmed that the venue will be big enough to hold them all (if everyone says yes).
The purpose of a save the date is to inform your invitees of the wedding date well in advance, so that they can book time off work and avoid making any other arrangements on the day in question.
Once you’ve organised all the little details, such as what food you’ll be serving and what time the ceremony will start, then you can send out the formal invitations.
What Information Goes On a Save the Date?

A traditional wedding save the date contains the following information:
• The names of who’s invited (usually on the outer envelope, not on the card itself)
• The names of the couple getting married
• The wedding date
You don’t need to include the wedding venue. However, if you’re tying the knot more than an hour away from where your invitees live, it’s a good idea to include the name of the town at least. This will give your invitees some forewarning that they’ll need to travel.
A save the date usually ends with “invitation to follow”, to let guests know to expect a formal invite later on.
How Far In Advance Do You Send Save the Dates?

Because the only purpose of a save the date is to spread word of your wedding date, you can send them out practically as early as you’d like. The only thing you need to do before sending save the dates is to book your venue. You don’t need to have finalised any other details.
Save the dates are usually sent out 4-6 months before the wedding. You can go earlier than this for destination weddings.
However, we wouldn’t recommend sending them any earlier 12 months out. Otherwise, you run the risk of the recipient thinking “that’s ages away – I’ll deal with this later” and then completely forgetting about it.
What Is a Wedding Invitation?
A save the date isn’t the same thing as a formal wedding invitation – although everyone who receives a save the date must also receive an invitation, according to traditional wedding etiquette.

Think of the save the date card as a pre-invitation – something that tells the recipient that they will soon be invited to a wedding, and to keep the date free. The formal invitation is what actually invites them. Wedding invitations are typically bigger than save the dates, and may be folded, or come with several inserts containing all the important details.
The key difference between a save the date and an invitation is that you have to reply to an invitation, whereas you don’t have to respond to a save the date. Invitations come with reply cards to fill out and send back to the host.
What Information Goes On a Wedding Invitation?

Unlike a save the date, whose only purpose is to inform the invitee of the date of the wedding, there are many parts to a wedding invitation. The invitation is sent once you’ve finalised all the details of the big day, and need to communicate these details with your guests.
As well as the date, your wedding invitation should include:
• The wedding date
• Name and address of the ceremony venue (and reception venue, if it’s different)
• Directions to the venue(s)
• The ceremony start time (and reception start time, if it’s being held at a different location)
• Accommodation details for guests that need to stay overnight (names and numbers of local hotels)
• Menu card (if you’re allowing your guests to choose between different meal options)
• Some way for the guests to RSVP (such as a reply card or an e-mail address)
• The RSVP deadline
If you have a wedding website, you can use this to provide additional details (such as nearby parking, public transport routes, and gift registry information). Include a link to your wedding website on the paper invitation.
How Far In Advance Do You Send Wedding Invitations?

If you’ve sent save the dates, your invitees will already know the date of your wedding long before they receive the invitation. This means they’ll already have had a chance to book time off work, or make other necessary arrangements so that they can attend your wedding.
You can send your invitations out anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks before the wedding. This will give your guests ample time to organise travel arrangements, return the RSVP card, and inform you of any dietary requirements (if applicable).
Do You Have to Send Save the Dates and Invitations?
Sending both save the dates and wedding invitations is the “done thing”. It’s part of traditional wedding etiquette, and therefore it’s what your wedding guests will be expecting you to do. Not sending save the dates may cause some confusion.
There are two main reasons why it’s useful to send save the dates.
• They give guests a heads-up on when the wedding will be, long before you’ve sorted out the fine details that you’ll need to put on the wedding invitation.
• Guests will know for sure that they’re going to be invited. Even if they’ve heard the date of your wedding through the grapevine, they might not know whether they’ll be included. Receiving a save the date will put their minds at ease.
Save the dates give guests the go-ahead to book time off work, childcare, and so on. But if you’re willing to send your wedding invitations early, you don’t strictly need to send save the dates.
When Save the Dates Might Not Be Necessary

Depending on what kind of wedding you’re having, it doesn’t always make sense to send save the dates. Save the dates may not be necessary if you are:
• Having a very small wedding, and you’ve told your guests the date personally (via phone call, for instance)
• Spreading word of your wedding date another way e.g. through Facebook
• Having an impromptu wedding that has been arranged at the last minute
• Working with a small budget, and can’t afford to send both save the dates and wedding invitations
If you aren’t sending save the dates, you must send your invitations well in advance of the big day. We’d recommending posting your invitations 4-6 months out – around the same time that you would normally send save the dates. Otherwise, by the time the invitations arrive, you may find that your invitees have already made plans, or can’t book the time off work.
Of course, this does mean that you’ll need to finalise all of the little details of your wedding much earlier than you’d have to if you sent save the dates. This can be stressful. We’d still recommend sending save the dates, if possible – then you’ll have more time to put together your invitations.

14 Unique Ideas for Wedding Save the Dates (Cards, Magnets and More)

The save the date is the first piece of wedding stationery that you’ll need to order and send out to your prospective guests. It’s vital that you make a good impression, as for most of your friends and relatives, this will be the first they hear about your wedding!
Traditionally, save the dates are sent out between 4 and 12 months before the wedding. They serve as an announcement of your upcoming marriage, as well as disclosing the date, so that your guests can book the day off. Further details (such as the location, start time, and dress code) are sent later on, with the invitation.
When it comes to save the dates, you can always go classic and timeless (with a printed save the date card that matches your theme). But if you want to stand out, here are some unique ideas that will wow your invitees.
1. Photo Upload Save the Date Cards

Photo upload cards allow for true personalisation by letting you add any photograph of your choice to the front of your save the date. What better way to make use of that beautiful engagement photoshoot?
If you don’t fancy using a photo, you could even design your own artwork to scan and upload instead (such as cute cartoon or caricature of the two of you). It’s so much more personal than choosing a generic design or template.
2. Photo Upload Fridge Magnets

Save the date magnets have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Your guests certainly won’t forget your upcoming wedding if the reminder is stuck to the front of their fridge or filing cabinet!
There are many different save the date fridge magnet templates available, but we love the flexibility of blank save the date magnets that you can personalise yourself. You can upload photographs or designs of your choice, as well as personalising the text.
3. Save the Date Business Cards

We absolutely love these small save the date cards, which are around the size of a standard business card. Not only are they much cheaper to print and post than a standard-sized save the date, but they’re perfect for carrying around in your purse or wallet. Keep a few on your person, and if anybody asks when you’re getting married, you can simply whip out a card! Choose from one of our many templates, or create your own entirely from scratch.
4. Save the Date Keyrings

Who doesn’t love keyrings? They’re cute, small, and help you to find your keys when you’re rummaging around in the bottom of your handbag. They’re also pretty cheap to order in bulk.
You can have a metal or acrylic keyring engraved, or buy the clear plastic kind that allows you to slip a piece of paper inside. Simply personalise your keyring with your wedding date, and you’ve created a unique and fun save the date.
5. Personalised Mugs

Whether you prefer tea, coffee or hot chocolate, everyone loves a good mug. So, why not send a personalised mug as a practical and personal save the date? At 123Print, you can have your wedding date printed onto a quality ceramic mug, and even add a photograph if you’d like.
Choose from a single image or a wraparound image, and either edit one of our templates or start from scratch. Your guests will use their new mug for years to come, and they’ll think of you every time they enjoy a hot drink.
6. Save the Date Notepads

Personalised notepads are usually used as business stationery. However, we think they’re a fantastic choice for a unique and practical save the date. You can personalise your notepad with your wedding date and a message, using a blank design or one of our colourful templates.
Every time your invitee uses their new notepad, they’ll be reminded of your upcoming wedding, heightening their anticipation. And once the big day is over, the notepad will serve as a lovely keepsake of the day.
7. Mini Desk Calendars

Mini desk calendars are extremely cheap, come in many colours and designs, and can be bought individually or in bulk from many stationers and printers. All you have to do to turn a desk calendar into a save the date is to circle the date of your wedding, and add a note explaining that you’re getting married!
Mini desk calendars are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so relatively cheap to send by post – and they a cutesy touch to any office or study setup, which your guests are sure to appreciate.
8. Save the Date Flyers

Think glossy, mirror-finish flyers are only for advertising products, services, or public events? Think again! With our custom flyer printing service, you can design your own flyer from scratch to use as a save the date. You can choose from three sizes:
• DL (210 x 99mm)
• A5 (210 x 148.5mm)
• A4 (210 x 297mm)
Why not design a flyer to ‘advertise’ your wedding as if it was a music festival, or vintage carnival, for example? Your guests will love your originality.
9. Engraved Coasters

Drinks coasters come in a huge range of different materials such as wood, plastic, acrylic, stone, and glass. Most of these can be engraved or printed on, either by hand, graver or laser. You can order personalised coasters with the date of your wedding, or buy plain ones and take them to a professional engraving service near you.
Coasters are perfect for unique save the dates, and will also serve as a lasting memento for your guests. They’ll be reminded of your wedding day every time they lift up their cup of tea!
10. Save the Date Bookmarks

If you or your partner loves to read, or if your wedding theme is based on a novel (e.g. Harry Potter), personalised bookmarks may be a perfect way to announce your upcoming nuptials. Bookmarks are small and cheap to print, and can be customised with the date of your wedding, or even a photograph of the two of you.
Paper bookmarks are the most common kind, but you can even purchase personalised leather bookmarks if you want to go the extra mile (and add a vintage feel to your stationery).
11. Postcards

Save the date postcards are perfect for destination weddings, whether they’re being held in another country or simply a scenic part of the U.K. You can choose a picturesque photo for the front, or upload your own.
One of the biggest advantages to save the date postcards is that you can put them straight into the post box without an envelope, saving money and paper. You can even get postcard-themed wedding invitations to match.
12. Stickers

It’s not just kids that adore stickers. They can be just as fun for grown-ups, too! Personalised stickers are, like magnets, perfect for adding a touch of fun to a save the date card.
But unlike magnets, stickers can be stuck into diaries and on calendars – meaning your guests certainly won’t forget the upcoming celebration. Have personalised stickers printed, or buy some blank stickers and customise them yourself.
13. Scratch Cards

Everyone loves the excitement and anticipation of a scratch card. But what if, instead of scratching off to see if you’ve won some money, your invitees could scratch to reveal the date of your wedding?
You can order custom scratch card printing from various websites and printing companies. Turn your save the dates into an interactive experience, and your guests will be talking about them for years.
14. Personalised Rubber Stamps

Did you know that with 123Print, you can order personalised rubber stamps with any message of your choosing? Choose from small, medium or large stamps, and customise them using our easy online tool. Add the date of your wedding (and the happy couple’s name, of course), and choose from many different available ink colours.
Once the stamp is shipped to your home, use it to customise any piece of stationery you like, and turn it into a save the date! You’ll then be able to keep the stamp as a memento for years to come.

What Information Should You Include on Your Wedding Invitation?

A wedding invitation is just like an invitation to a very important, very exciting party. The only real difference is that there’s a lot more information that you have to include to help your guests prepare for the big day. Your invitees will need to know everything from where to go, to what to wear, to what their menu options are.
There would be nothing worse than ordering your wedding invitations, only to realise when they arrive that you’ve forgotten to include an important detail. What a waste of time and money that would be! Luckily, we’ve put together this handy guide for you to look over while you’re writing your invites. That way, you’ll be sure not to miss anything out.
Names of the Bride and Groom

The first thing your guests are going to need to know is who’s getting married. Your full names should feature front and centre of your wedding invitation.
Traditionally, the bride’s parents act as the hosts (because they’re the ones paying for the wedding. So, this part is normally written from their perspective. For example:
Angela and Robert Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding of their daughter
Susan Alice Smith
to
Jonathan Mark Richards
If the groom’s parents are hosting, of course, you’d write the names the other way around.
At modern weddings, it’s becoming more common for the couple getting married to act as their own hosts. You might word it as such:
Susan Alice Smith
and
Jonathan Mark Richards
invite you to join them in the celebration of their marriage
Are you going for a more casual feel? If so, feel free to word it any way you like. For example: “Susan and Jonathan are tying the knot!”
Address of the Venue

Your invitees will need the full name and address of the wedding venue. Make sure to include the postcode, so that guests who are driving can input this into their car’s satellite navigation system.
If your wedding breakfast or wedding reception will be held at a different venue (for example, you’re getting married at a church but having the reception at the village hall), then also include the full address of the reception venue. You could include this information on a separate ‘reception card’ if it won’t fit on the main invitation.
Ceremony Start Time

Obviously, your guests need to know what time to be there. You should always write the actual time that the ceremony will start. Your guests will naturally arrive around 20-30 minutes before this time.
Don’t be tempted to put an earlier time to be ‘safe’. If you write 11:30, your guests will likely turn up around 11, meaning they’ll have to wait an hour for the wedding to start!
If there will be a break of longer than an hour between the wedding breakfast and the reception, include the reception start time too. This way, guests that choose to go home in-between will know what time to come back. It’s also helpful to include an approximate end time.
Wedding Website

Wedding websites are extremely handy in this day and age. You can include all the extra information and details here that you can’t fit on the invitation itself (such as the gift registry). Get your wedding website up and running before you send the invitations out, and include a link to it on the invitation.
Directions

It’s a good idea to include either written instructions or a map to help guests find your venue. This is particularly helpful for older guests, who might not simply be able to Google the address.
Add this to the invitation itself, if there’s room. If not, you could have a separate ‘Directions’ card, or make a ‘Directions’ page on your wedding website.
Other helpful bits of information you could add include:
• Telephone numbers for local taxi companies
• Public transport details (the name of the nearest railway station, local bus routes and timetables)
• Nearby car parks and their fees (if your venue doesn’t have on-site parking)
Nearby Accommodation

If any of your wedding guests will be travelling to attend your wedding, you should include details of nearby accommodation (local hotels and B&Bs). Include a few different options at various price ranges, as your guests will all have different budgets.
You can even enquire with local hotels before you do this, if you’re expecting more than 10 guests to need hotel rooms. Many hotels will offer a special discount for your guests if you reserve several rooms in advance.
You can put this information on the invitation itself, or on a separate note card. Alternatively, have an ‘Accommodation’ page on your wedding website. Feel free to skip this if all of your guests are local (living within an hour’s drive of your venue).
Menu Options

If all of your wedding guests will be eating the same food, there’s no need to include the menu. You might not have even finalised the menu before your invitations are sent out, and that’s perfectly OK.
However, if you would like to offer your guests a choice of food, you’ll need to include the menu along with their invitation. This will allow you to put together a pre-order to give to your caterer before the wedding.
Most people do this by including a separate ‘menu card’, with check-boxes next to each meal option so that your guests can indicate their choice.
Gift Registry Details

Traditional wedding etiquette states that you should never include your gift list on the wedding invitation itself. This is because it can be seen as tacky or ‘gift grabby’. But wedding guests are expected to bring a gift, and you’ll want to give them some guidance on this.
So, most people give guests this information in one of two ways:
• Have a ‘gifts’ page on your wedding website, with a link to your registry, or an indication of the kinds of gifts you’d like (vouchers, cash, etc)
• Spread gift registry information through word of mouth. This is how it was always done before websites existed! Tell your wedding party, close friends and family where you’re registered, and ask them to pass this information on to any guest that enquires.
Dress Code

Most weddings in the U.K. are formal affairs (also known as ‘black tie optional’). This means that men come dressed in a formal two-piece or three-piece suit, and a necktie or bowtie. Ladies can either wear a formal dress, a trouser suit or a skirt suit. If you don’t give your guests any hint as to what to wear, that’s what they’ll assume.
If you have a different dress code in mind, or even a theme that you’d like your guests to match (such as ‘beach chic’), you should mention this somewhere on your invitation or on your website. Nobody wants to turn up to a wedding under- or over-dressed.
Additional Information

We’ve covered the basics, but depending on the specifics of your big day, there might be other things that your guests need to know. For example:
• If the wedding will be held entirely outdoors, mention this so that your guests will know to bring appropriate footwear and umbrellas
• If there’s an adult-only policy, you must include this information prominently somewhere, so that your guests can arrange babysitters for their children
• Will guests have to pay to park on-site? They’ll assume that parking is free, unless told otherwise
• Is the bar cash-only or card-only? Make sure everyone comes prepared!
• If you’re not going to be serving a meal at your evening reception, you may wish to advise evening guests to eat before they arrive
Simply put yourself in the place of one of your guests, and think about what you’d want to know.
RSVP Instructions

Finally, and most importantly, you must give your guests some way to reply to the invitation! You have a few options here:
• Include a reply card with your wedding invitation (along with a stamped, addressed envelope for your guests to send it back in)
• Add your e-mail address or phone number for your guests to contact you on
• Have a form on your wedding website that your guests can fill out and send to you digitally
Make sure that as well as giving your guests space to write their name (and the name of their ‘plus one’), there’s also space for them to list any dietary requirements, such as allergies and intolerances.
Don’t forget to also include an RSVP deadline. This is the date by which your guests must have sent their response. Make this date at least a week before you need the final head count, so that you can chase up anyone who’s forgotten to reply.
Are you ready to start designing your perfect wedding invitations? If so, click here to view all of our beautiful wedding invitation templates, or create your own from scratch. They’re all fully editable and customisable, and supplied with envelopes for no extra cost!

Why Are Wedding Thank You Cards So Important?

If you’re getting married soon, you may have heard of the long-standing tradition of sending thank you cards (or notes) to your guests. You may have also heard that thank you cards are outdated or unnecessary in the digital age – but you’d be wrong!
Sending physical thank you cards or letters to your wedding guests is every bit as important a gesture nowadays as it was many decades ago. Thank you cards are how you’ll show everyone who spent time or money on your wedding that you appreciate them.
Once you become a husband or wife, you have a few short months to write and send a thank you card to every guest that attended your wedding (and everyone who sent a gift in lieu of attendance). This guide will talk you through thank you card etiquette and discuss exactly why they’re so important.
What Are Wedding Thank You Cards?
Thank you cards are exactly what they sound like. They are greetings cards which the bride and groom send out after the wedding has taken place. Their purpose is to thank everyone who contributed to the wedding – by buying a gift, helping out financially, providing a service, hosting a pre-wedding event, helping out with set up or cleaning, or simply attending the wedding and sharing in the experience.
It’s thought that thank you cards have been around in some form for hundreds of years. They’re a long-standing wedding tradition, and remain a crucial part of wedding etiquette to this day. No matter whether you’re having a tiny, intimate celebration or a huge bash with hundreds of attendees, it’s important to thank everyone who’s spent their time or money helping you celebrate.
Why Is It Important to Send Wedding Thank You Cards?
At this point, you may be wondering: are thank you cards really necessary in 2021 and beyond? The answer is yes, and here’s why.
• The sending of thank you cards is an established tradition that your guests will be expecting you to uphold. This is especially true for guests belonging to older generations.
• Your guests will have sacrificed a lot to spend your wedding day with you. They may have had to book time off work, arrange childcare, travel long distances, and even fork out for a new formal outfit in order to celebrate with you.
• The average wedding guest spends £40 on a gift for the bride and groom. That must be worth a card! It’s simply rude not to thank someone for spending money on you.
Another great reason to send thank you cards is that they make wonderful keepsakes for those that attended your wedding. At 123Print, you can find thank you cards to suit just about any wedding theme or colour scheme. You can even create your own design!
You can save plenty of time by ordering your thank you cards in advance. You can even address and stamp the envelopes before your big day, if you have the time. (Obviously, you can’t write the cards themselves until you’ve opened your gifts.)
Aren’t Wedding Thank You Cards Outdated?

One of the most common and widely-spread myths nowadays is that wedding thank you cards are ‘outdated’ or ‘old-fashioned’. And it’s definitely true that lots of wedding traditions are being uprooted in favour of more modern ideas. But it isn’t the case with thank you cards.
No matter what kind of wedding you have, whether you follow all the old customs or throw them out the window, it’s still crucial to thank all of your guests. They were still willing to take an entire day out of their lives to help you celebrate your marriage, and that’s something that deserves your gratitude.
Why Can’t I Just Send a Text?

But do you have to send an actual card? Can’t you just text a ‘thank you’ to your guests, or send them a Facebook message? Well, you could, technically. The problem, though, is that this is going to be seen by the vast majority of your guests as tacky and rude.
If you really haven’t got the time to send out thank you cards, your best bet is to call your guests individually to thank them for attending your wedding. But phoning everyone will take so long that you might as well just send a card – and you’ll have to give them a good reason why you’re not doing so.
How Do You Write a Wedding Thank You Card?
Let’s get down to business, then: how do you actually write wedding thank you cards? Here’s our fool-proof formula.
1. Order your cards in plenty of time. We’d recommend using a professional printing site such as 123Print. Order more than you think you’ll need, in case you make a mistake or smudge the ink.
2. Write all of your cards by hand. The time and effort you put into this will show, and your guests will be grateful.
3. Start by addressing your recipient by name. Thank them (and their plus one) for attending your wedding, and mention how happy you were to have them there.
4. Thank them for their gift. Talk about what they bought you and how much you like it. If they gave you money, tell them how you plan to use it. (If they didn’t give a gift, skip this part.)
5. Include a touching or funny memory you have of them from the wedding day, e.g. “It was so fun dancing the Macarena with you, especially as we’d had a bit to drink!”
6. Finish by wishing your guest well. Both the bride and groom should sign the card by hand.
It may be tempting to draft a generic message of thanks and copy it into every card, changing only the recipient’s name. Do not do this – it will be obvious, and will come across as lazy.
Who Gets a Wedding Thank You Card?

As a general rule, all of your wedding guests should receive a thank you card. You can send one card per family or per couple. It’s important to send everyone a card, even if they didn’t bring a wedding gift. They still took a day off to celebrate your marriage with you.
You should also send a card to anyone who sent you a wedding gift, even if they didn’t attend the wedding.
Should you send thank you cards to your wedding suppliers (e.g. your photographer)? You paid for their services, so you don’t need to – but the gesture would be appreciated all the same. It’s completely up to you.
How Long Do I Have to Send Wedding Thank You Cards?

A common myth is that you have an entire year after the wedding to send thank you cards. This is not true. If 6 months pass with nothing in the post, most people will have assume you’ve forgotten them.
Instead, a good rule to go by is this: you have 1 month (starting after the honeymoon) for every 50 cards you have to write. So, if you had 150 guests at your wedding, you have 3 months in which to write your cards.
That might not sound like much time, but it’s plenty if you think about it logically. You’d only need to write an average of 1.6 cards every day to have them all done on time.
You don’t need to wait to send the cards all at once. Post the most important cards first – guests that sent you particularly large gifts, helped out the most financially, and those that are likely to care the most about receiving a card (usually older relatives).
What Happens If I Don’t Send Thank You Cards?

The world isn’t going to end if you don’t send wedding thank you cards. However, it will come across as rude and ungrateful, especially to anyone who bought you a gift or helped out with your wedding.
Some of your guests won’t mind, but others are bound to be offended if you don’t send a card. They’ll be less likely to attend events that you invite them to in future, and it may put strain on your relationship with them.
So, don’t delay: order your wedding thank you cards today from 123Print!