Difference Between Save the Date & Wedding Invitations


Although at first glance, save-the-date cards may appear to be identical to wedding invitations, they are not. These two pieces of wedding stationery that couples often choose to send to guests do indeed serve different purposes, but with the same common goal of letting people know when your wedding day is. This way people are able to clear their calendars and join you in celebration.

Save the Dates

  • Save-the-date cards are typically sent about six to eight months before the wedding. They are sent to inform guests of the date of the wedding far in advance, so they will not make other plans on the day. They typically do not include much information beyond the date of the wedding and the web address of the couple's wedding site, if they have one. Many couples choose to send a postcard with their engagement picture on the front, while others send a standard printed note card.

Wedding Invitations

  • Wedding invitations are usually sent six to eight weeks before the big day. The invitation is filled with details about the couple's wedding day, including the date, time, ceremony location, reception location and directions to these venues. There is typically a response card included, which guests are asked to send back to the couple indicating whether or not they will attend. Many couples also give guests a meal choice that they also need to reply to with their attendance response. A card indicating stores where the couple have registered for gifts is also often included in the wedding invitation.


  • Save-the-date cards and wedding invitations should be sent to anyone you know you want to attend your wedding, even members of the bridal party. Exercise caution when sending save-the-date cards, as you must follow every wedding invitation up with a save-the-date card. If you are unsure as to whether you want to invite any prospective guests, don't send them a save-the-date card, then you can revisit your decision when it's time to send your wedding invitations.

How to Address?

  • Make sure to address your save-the-date cards in a way that indicates who will be invited to the wedding. If you don't want people with small children to bring them to the event, only include the adults in the family's names on the save-the-date card. Or if you do not want single people to bring a date, simply include their name only on the save-the-date card, not "and guest."


  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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