Many of them came round to seeing the point of the Save the Date card however when I explained how useful it can be in certain situations, and how, although they are not necessary for every wedding some weddings really benefit from a Save the Date card sent 9 months to a year before the wedding.
Here are the occasions when I think they are appropriate ...
1. You are getting married abroad.
If you are getting married abroad its a really good idea to send out a Save the Date as well as an invitation. Many guests will need to book time off work and have plenty of time to think about researching flights and accommodation and possibly if they can afford to come at all. As a travel agent in a previous life I was always telling customers to book their flights early if at all possible ( especially if long haul ) to get the best prices ... so give your guests the best opportunity to do this as well.
You can give your guest's the dates they will need to be there and the destination on your Save the Date card and perhaps a link to a website you have set up with more details regarding booking flights and any local accommodation you recommend.
A formal invitation can then be sent approximately 2-3 months before the wedding with any more detailed information they need to know.
2. Many of your guests are coming from abroad or long distances.
In exactly the same way that if you are marrying abroad, if you have guests who are coming from abroad or from elsewhere around the country and are going to have to travel to your wedding and possibly stay overnight or all weekend, you need to give them the best opportunity to arrange their travel arrangements, book flights and trains and arrange accommodation.
3. The wedding is mid-week.
Lots of couples are getting married 'off peak' during the week now ... it's a great way of cutting down your costs really quickly as many venues are much cheaper mid-week.
However this does mean that many of your guests will need to book time off work to attend your wedding. Even if yours doesn't lots of work places require their employees to book time off in advance at the beginning of the financial/holiday year so sending out an invitation 2-3 months in advance may mean that certain people you really want to come to your wedding are unable to get the time off work. Sending a quick Save the Date 9 months to a year in advance gives them the opportunity to plan this in.
4. The wedding is peak holiday time.
This is again really about giving families the opportunity to book time out of work. During the summer holidays and school holidays time off work is at a premium and many people will be competing with their colleagues for time off work so they can take their families away whilst the kids are off school. Many people work weekends or shift work, so even if your wedding is on a Saturday or Sunday don't assume that they won't need to book time off.
Its also a good idea to send out Save the Date cards if you are getting married on a bank holiday or a popular date like Christmas as people will book in things to do on this date much further in advance.
One last piece of advice on Save the Dates ... make sure you only send them to people you are absolutely certain are going to receive an invitation! There can be nothing worse than receiving a Save the Date to someone's wedding and then not receiving an invitation and realising you were on some sort of B List!
There is some debate on whether to send Save the Dates to your evening guests. I personally think its perfectly appropriate to send evening guests Save the Dates if they are likely to need any of the advance warning that I have listed above ... if you have evening guests coming from further away for example.
I hope this advice has cleared up any issues you have had regarding Save the Date cards.
Any further questions or if you would like to order Save the Dates from Knots & Kisses please don't hesitate to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website http://knotsandkisses.co.uk