Curious about why the stationary trend developed? A lot of people wonder about whether it is necessary to send out both save the date cards and wedding invitations, but there is a very good reason that a formal announcement ahead of the invite has become so popular in recent decades.

Notifying guests early is essential if you want to get a good turn-out for your big day. If you’re wondering about why this piece of wedding etiquette has become so essential then read on below for a brief history lesson.

Emily Post and etiquette

Emily Post was the queen of etiquette and her 1922 book on etiquette set the standard to follow back in the day. It’s still regularly referred to and relevant to etiquette today. Back then she emphasised the importance of giving guests plenty of notice, although back in those days three weeks was thought to be perfectly significant.

With the changing pace of life and increasing digitally connected age, this is no longer sufficient. Guests lead busy lives and often have to travel long distances to celebrate with the happy couple, so it’s polite to give many months of advance notice.

The generally accepted guidelines have gone all the way up from three weeks to three months in modern times for invites, although save the date cards are expected much sooner, especially for destination events.

The rising need for an early announcement

The early noughties saw the introduction of save the date cards for events and increases in the generally expected notice periods for events.

The digital age meant that people were busier than ever and more spread apart, so couples were finding it was necessary to give their guests the heads up before invites went out, to make sure they’re dates were reserved and to give them the breathing room to work out the details of the wedding before sending out invitations.

Before the noughties air travel and long distance communication weren’t as common, so it was often family and friends who would live in close proximity to the event venue who would attend. It was usually sufficient to communicate the time of the wedding by word of mouth, as it would be immediate circle attending.

The changing way of the word saw many couples adding formal save the date cards as an announcement to friends and family to ensure that their bases were covered, although it was generally considered to be optional and more appropriate for larger events or couples with a lot of long-distance family and friends.

Change from an optional nice to have to a wedding must-have

As time has worn on the popularity of save the date cards has continued to rise and they are generally a must have for most weddings nowadays. A lot of couples will opt to include them to ensure that guests keep their calendars clear for their wedding time.

People’s lives and schedules have become so busy that save the date cards are no longer viewed as optional but rather a must-have for most events, not just weddings.

They’re a great way to signal to guests that they should set aside a time or plan to travel. If the wedding is a destination one then 12 months out is a polite and appropriate time to give guests the heads up with save the date cards so that they can properly plan and save. If you don’t have a lot of guests travelling then six to eight months is a good amount of time to set aside for notifying guests.

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