Save the dates are often the first wedding-related cards you’ll send. It seems simple enough, but you might be wondering how to address the save the dates. While 6 to 8 months before your wedding is the perfect time to send your save the dates, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you might send them slightly earlier. This gives everyone ample time to make arrangements to join your celebration.
You enthusiastically told everyone about your upcoming celebration. You decided on a wedding date, location, and planned out your save the date cards. Now, it’s time to write and send them.
How to Address Save the Dates
Many couples feel stuck when it comes to addressing save the dates. Most of us don’t send many letters by postal mail any more, so questions about etiquette and wording often spring up.
The good news is save the dates are simple to address. They’re often more casual than wedding invitations, so you don’t need to worry about rules and etiquette. The main concern is being clear about who is invited and correctly spelling names.
Think of writing your save the dates as a helpful practice run for your wedding invitations. You’ll be familiar with wording everything, and you can make mistakes without using up all your wedding stationery.
So, how should you address your save the dates? To help you get started, here are some of our recommendations and tips.
Be Consistent About Titles
There’s no rule that says you need to use titles (Mr., Ms., and Mrs.) when addressing your save the dates — the level of formality is up to you. If you forego titles here, you can still use them on invitations. For formal save the dates, you’ll want to reference any formal titles of address of your guests.
If you choose to use titles, keep this consistent for all adult guests throughout your save the dates and wedding invitations. You could also think about whether you want to use titles for children (more on this later).
Spell Your Guests’ Full Names
Although save the dates aren’t formal invitations, it’s still customary to use full names. You don’t need to include initials or middle names, but many couples avoid nicknames or shortened versions of names.
However, there are no hard rules. If your friend Steve has always been known by his middle name, use that instead. The goal here is to make your guests feel welcome, so use whichever name they prefer.
State Who is Invited
You’ve built your guest list around your loved ones, friends, and how many people you can welcome at your reception. That’s why it’s essential to clarify who is invited on your save the dates. It saves people from wondering whether they have a plus one, and it means you won’t have any unexpected guests.
Include the Names of Invited Children
It’s especially helpful to be clear about who is invited in a family with children. Parents need to know whether to find childcare for their kids or if they’re welcome to bring the little ones.
Some couples like to address save the dates to the whole family. Others like to list the names of everyone in the family — only do this if you remember the spellings of everyone’s names. If you list all guest names, include the children’s names on the line underneath the adults’ names. This also makes practical sense — it’s hard to fit many names on one line.
Write the Full Address
Though save the dates are less formal than invitations, it’s still widely accepted to feature the full address on envelopes.
Use the full versions of street names, towns, and cities — you can abbreviate the state. Make sure you include the right zip code. For international guests, check their country’s address format in advance.
Include a Return Address
There’s one last thing to feature on the envelopes for your save the dates — your return address. While this isn’t essential, it helps prevent stray invitations from getting lost in the post. It’s also a sneak peek at who the correspondence is from, which is exciting.
If you add a return address to your save the date envelopes, write it on the front left corner of your envelope. Or, you can add it to the back of your envelope instead.
Examples of How to Address Save the Dates
It’s your wedding, so it’s up to you how to address save the dates. The guidelines and tips above can guide you, but as always, feel free to add your personality into your wedding planning.
To further simplify things, here are different ways to address save the dates to guests and families.
How to Address Save the Dates to a Single Guest
You could address people by their full names with or without formal titles (Mr. for adult males and Ms. for adult females). For female guests under the age of 18, Miss is the standard title.
If you’re inviting a guest and they can bring a plus one, make this clear on the envelope and invitation. If you know a significant other’s name, it’s lovely to include it. Otherwise, you could add “and guest” so it’s clear that your invitee is welcome to bring a date.
- Sarah Smith
- Ms. Sarah Smith
- Sarah Smith and Peter Frost
- Michael Long
- Mr. Michael Long
- Michael Long and Guest
How to Address Save the Dates for Married Couples
When addressing save the dates to married couples, tradition suggests you list the man first, but this is completely up to you. Many couples choose to work alphabetically or list the person they’re closest to first, and you’ll need to decide this for same-sex couples.
As with invitations for single guests, you can include or leave off titles. You may wish to include some titles, as when a guest is a doctor or ranked in the military. This depends on how formal your save the dates are, which could reflect the formality of your wedding.
- Mrs. Rebecca Palmer and Mrs. Samantha Young
- Bradley and Hannah Thomas
- Mr. Bradley Thomas and Mrs. Hannah Thomas
- Mrs. Hannah Thomas and Mr. Bradley Thomas
How to Address Save the Dates for Unmarried Couples
This is similar to how you’d address the envelopes for a married couple — the only real difference is there are more last names to feature. These guidelines can also apply to married couples who have different last names.
As with married couples, feel free to list your guests’ names in whichever order feels most comfortable. Again, feel free to follow or buck the tradition of naming a man first (This is an obvious must for female same-sex couples.) It depends on the level of formality and your personal preference.
- Melissa Yates and Richard Walker
- Richard Walker and Melissa Yates
- Mark Howden and Will Salter
How to Address Save the Dates for Families
When inviting families, it’s your choice whether to address the whole family or list family members individually. If you want to use titles, tradition suggests that girls should be Miss, and boys don’t need a title. Many couples find listing titles for children takes up too much space, while others enjoy the extra touch of formality.
- George, Tina, Matthew, and Imogen Wilkinson
- Mr. George, Mrs. Tina, Miss Imogen, and Matthew Wilkinson
- Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson and Family
- The Wilkinson Family
Get Ready for Your Wedding Invitations
Many couples think of their save the dates as a test run for wedding invitations. This makes a lot of sense, as you and your fiancé will send them to the same guests and prepare both in a similar way.