For many, the save-the-date card is the first look your loved ones will get at your wedding celebrations. That means it’s paramount that it not only reflects your relationship, but what the wedding style will be. When it comes to crafting the perfect save-the-date, the endless choices can be daunting – design, material, fonts, and much more! Western Australia Wedding + Bride’s Lucy Wadelton explores how couples can choose unconventional save-the-date cards that represent their unique love story and the celebration to come. 

In a 1922 publication, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home, the author, Emily Post, reminds her readers that giving notice of your wedding is not only polite, but essential. In the one hundred years since Post made waves with her ideas on social decorum, the tradition of informing guests of the date you’ve put aside for your wedding has become a fun addition to any couple’s wedding planning and preparations. So, although you may know everything there is to know about wedding invitations, save-the-date cards are underappreciated opportunity to announce your special day in a playfully creative way.  


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Rising to popularity in the early 2000s, the save-the-date card is a fairly common practice among the soon-to-be-married. Quickly growing from optional to necessary, the practice is one of those essential steps to tick off leading up to your wedding. Although wedding websites are widely used in the digital age, there’s truly nothing like the physical, tangible reminder that save-the-date cards serve as. Electronic notifications can be easily forgotten, overlooked, or lost in cyberspace. Customised cards, however, frame the entire wedding in an anticipatory light – ensuring your guests get a taste of the magical day ahead – as well as a beautiful keepsake.

Aside from being a thoughtful and romantic way to announce your wedding date, the save-the-date card is incredibly helpful to your guests and is ultimately very functional. The save-the-date card respectfully acknowledges that your guests are busy people, and by giving them plenty of notice, they can plan and prepare accordingly. It’s recommended to notify your guest list of your wedding date at least six to eight months in advance, or ideally a year prior. If you have loved ones coming from other cities or your wedding is a destination one, this is your guests’ chance to make travel and accommodation arrangements – especially important for a destination wedding. Save-the-date is a gracious reminder to your guests and a fun way to generate excitement and hype leading up to the day itself.

Mirroring some of the elegant and minimalist designs on trend for wedding invitations, save-the-date cards are known for their simplistic style. In 2022, save-the-date cards are defined by trends such as neutral colour palette, gold foiling and geometric patterns or shapes. Many people’s go to save-the-date designs are monochromatic, minimalist and employ elegant cursive fonts with embossing, or a matte finish. An engagement photo shoot – be it in a photo booth or with a seasoned photographer – is a very popular way to add that extra special element to your save-the-date.  


You may feel that what’s trendy doesn’t resonate with you, and a more unconventional approach might work. Beyond the minimalist, formal or elegant cardstock, there are a plethora of quirky and creative save-the-date ideas. You may opt out of a card altogether, and try magnets, baked goods, tea bags, gifts, or keepsakes such as coasters or enamel pins. This adds a quirky yet practical touch to your wedding stationery, one that guests can appreciate even more than a few months’ notice. This is a great opportunity to make something sustainable and avoid the dreaded paper waste of a plain card. It’s also an opportunity to customise the save-the-date reminder to fit a wedding theme. Consider a beautiful, illustrated map for a forest wedding, a luggage tag for a destination wedding, a polaroid picture for that retro vibe or a mini book filled with photos for that extra memorable touch.

Some couples decide to make their save-the-dates interactive, with a do-it-yourself element. For example, providing guests with a save-the-date that allows them to literally tie the knot, is an outstanding way to let them know you’re doing it figuratively with your partner. Or perhaps a ‘pencil it in’ miniature calendar and pencil for them to circle the date themselves. Imaginative designs such as these can be the perfect opportunity to truly show everyone who you are as a couple and to get everyone involved with your wedding celebrations. And it doesn’t have to stop there – you can incorporate origami, chalk, embroidered handkerchiefs, balloons – truly the world is your oyster!

No matter your style, its always important to create a save-the-date card that shows your guests who you and your partner are. Gifting the guests something that represents the unique dynamic that is your love story will not only excite them about your wedding day but include them in the romantic preparations. Special references to your relationship, perhaps movie quotes from the film you saw on your first date, or even a vinyl-themed card of you and your partner’s song, can be a heart-warming and emotional touch. Going even more niche, you might decide on a themed save-the-date card of a book or television show you both love, references to your hobbies or a defining place or experience in your romance.   

As a rule, save-the-date cards are encouraged as a fun, creative and kind gesture to your guests that formally says “Hey! Keep this date free”. This is especially important for destination weddings, weddings that are in the work week or may fall on public holidays. However, socially, we’ve come a long way from Emily Post’s etiquette rules of the roaring twenties. Save-the-date cards are more than just a reminder, but a colourful and inviting introduction to your wedding celebrations, and it’s important that they reflect such. So, when you’re preparing for your big day, consider making save-the-dates not only an integral part of your wedding planning, but a fun and joyous one too.

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