What is a save-the-date? A save-the-date is a notification of your wedding date to those you are expecting to invite. They come in all forms -- postcards, magnets, engagement photos, emails, etc.
When should you send out a save-the-date? Typically, couples are sending out save-the-date cards as soon as they decide on a date and place. This can be anywhere from 12 months to 3 months out from your wedding date. If your wedding is more than a year away, it is best to wait until it gets a little closer.
Who should get a save-the-date? You can send this to anyone, as long as you are definitely inviting them! It is extremely rude and tacky to send out a save-the-date and then as your wedding date gets closer, realize that you either don't have the budget to invite certain people or you feel that you are no longer in a close enough relationship to invite them. Unless your guest list is etched in stone, it's best to just send a save-the-date to close family and friends who will no doubt be invited to your big day.
Do I really need to send a save-the-date? Although it's not an absolute necessity, it is mainly for your guests to make arrangements, and this is especially helpful for long distance guests who may need to make flight reservations or secure accommodations. If your wedding is on a holiday weekend, a save-the-date will hopefully cause your guests to avoid making vacation plans for that time as well. Because you only send out your invitations within a couple of months of your wedding, sending a save-the-date in advance will ensure that more of the people you love will be able to attend your wedding.
Where can I get my save-the-date? There are many websites out there where you can create a customized save-the-date card or magnet. VistaPrint and MagnetStreet are two popular websites that many of our clients have used. Some photographers offer this product with your engagement photos, and stationary companies and websites like My Personal Artist and The American Wedding make them as well. There are so many types and styles, from an airline boarding pass postcard to a photo magnet, and most of these sites are very budget friendly as well - have fun and happy shopping!
(photos from mypersonalartist.com and magnetstreet.com)