We recommend that all of our clients (whether their guests local or not) send out save the date cards as a courtesy for their invited wedding guests.
What is a save the date? A save the date comes well before an invitation and lets your guests know that you're tying the knot in a fun and more casual way than a formal invitation. We usually create them as a post card (though mailed in an envelope) and list the bride + groom's name, wedding date, and on the back of the card you may list your wedding website and direct guests there for lodging and travel information and wedding updates.
Save the dates are critical these days, especially when you are asking your guests to travel from out of town or overseas to your celebration.
When do we send them out? We recommend sending save the date cards out 10-12 months in advance for foreign or out of state weddings. This allows guests ample time to make travel arrangements. For in-state weddings where most guest are local, mailing out the save the dates 6-8 months in advance is perfect (be sure to think ahead for holiday weekend weddings).
Should a save the date card represent the style of the wedding or what we anticipate the invitations to look like? No! We tell our clients to have lots of fun with the save the date - use fun colors and a funky text - things you likely won't do for a more demure wedding invitation!
Happy Planning, Aleah + Nick