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While your partner’s earnest confession of love and a heartfelt proposal may have been met with a resounding “Yes!” from you, chances are that you are still getting used to the fact that you are actually engaged.

Now that he has put a ring on it, it’s time to make things official and let the news sink in, not just for yourself, but for your future wedding guests, too. We’re talking about the first communication of your upcoming wedding - yes, the save-the-date card. This pre-invitation notice is now a key component that should be on your wedding checklist. And its purpose is bigger than just letting family and friends know that you are going to tie the knot. Here’s everything you need to know about save-the-date cards.

Here’ what your save-the-date should look likeInvitation Design: Pink Whistle Man and Radhika Pitti Studio

Is a save-the-date really required?
Sending a save-the-date message is really gaining ground and rightly so. This simple communication conveys the good news of your engagement and also allows your guests ample time to schedule their personal plans - extremely useful for people who live in other countries or if you are planning a destination wedding. Your guests can plan how to make it to your nuptials and they will also be aware to not fix anything for those dates that may clash with your own functions - this is especially important for family members as guest lists often overlap.

When should you send the save-the-date?
The ideal time to send out your save-the-date is four to six months before the wedding is scheduled, especially if it is a destination wedding. Letting guests know when and where your wedding will be taking place will give them enough time to make travel and stay bookings and also gives them the opportunity to benefit from the lower prices offered when booking early.

What details should be included?
A save-the-date card is to give your guests a heads up about your wedding so that they can plan their attendance in advance. Therefore, the most important detail should be the date and general location. You don’t have to have every last detail decided and added. Details such as the venue, timings, themes and dress codes can wait till later. After all, this is only an intimation, not the invitation.

Things to incorporate are:
1. Names of the bride and groom
2. Dates of the wedding functions
3. The country and city where the celebrations are set to take place
4. A note that lets them know that a formal invitation will follow
If you have created a website dedicated to your wedding, adding in the web address will be useful for your guests to refer to.

Who should receive it?
Everyone who you intend to invite for your wedding; which is why you need to be sure about your guest list before you send out your save-the-date. In case you have divided your guests into two groups, one definite and one tentative, refrain from sharing the save-the-date with individuals in the latter group until you are sure that you want to include them.

What should the mode of correspondence be?
You have the freedom of choosing between electronic messages or physical cards. Couples often prefer emails or instant messenger texts (such as WhatsApp) because it is convenient and has reduced environmental impact. Some couples send their save-the-date messages in the form of a video, making it engaging and exciting for the recipients. That said, many couples feel more drawn to physical cards for their keepsake value.

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