It’s a courtesy to notify all your guests of your wedding’s exact schedule, usually through save-the-date cards preceding a wedding invitation. However, as save the dates typically include the whole wedding day, you may be confused about whether to send these to evening guests.
So, do you send save the dates to evening guests? No. This prevents evening guests from assuming they’re scheduled for the entire wedding day. Other ways, such as save-the-evening cards, are more appropriate for evening guests. These are like save-the-date cards, but express their expected time in the evening.
Practicing proper etiquette even as early as the stage of notifying your guests of your wedding schedule will clear up any misunderstandings. All you need to do is be direct about the time and date you and your evening guest have agreed upon. On that, here are some ways to practice the proper etiquette:
3 Proper Ways to Notify Evening Guests
Verbally inform your evening guests of your wedding schedule.
Throughout the whole wedding planning phase, evening guests are typically more tolerant of informal approaches. Since they won’t be staying too long at the wedding (and since they’re commonly set for the after-wedding party) they usually don’t need a lot of polite formalities.
With that in mind, you can simply verbally inform your evening guests of the time and date of your wedding evening. They can then confirm whether or not they can attend at that date and time. However, keep in mind that this approach may not work for all evening guests, such as elderly guests who may expect a bit more formality.
Send save the evening cards.
Instead of save-the-date cards, you can send save-the-evening cards written in a similar template. These cards are functionally the same as save-the-date cards and they’re also given around the same timeframe. The only difference is that their written date and time match the expected schedule of your evening guests.
Additionally, you can also give your save-the-evening cards different designs to differentiate them from your save-the-date cards. Evening guests may appreciate that extra care and attention. Then, as with a save-the-date card, you can follow this up with a formal wedding invitation to your wedding evening
Skip save-the-evening cards and send them a formal evening invitation.
On that note, while evening guests are typically more tolerant of informality, many couples simply choose to send their evening guests a formal invitation to the evening portion of the wedding. This is probably the most common alternative to sending your evening guest a save-the-date card.
This formal invitation will have everything an evening guest needs to know. It should cover the time, date, and location of the wedding, with all the specialties of a normal wedding invitation. Of course, you can also choose to make the evening wedding invitations unique, such as through an evening-themed design or heartfelt message.
Furthermore, it’s best to send out the formal invitation to your wedding evening at the same time as the save-the-date cards for the guests. As with a normal wedding invitation, you can include allowances for plus ones and an RSVP card to give your chosen evening guests a definite deadline to confirm their attendance.
Do you send save the dates to evening guests? No. However, the etiquette and manner in which you inform your evening guests of your wedding’s schedule are still vital. This will largely depend on their needs and circumstances, as well as your preferences.
No matter the case, your highest concern is that you and your evening guest are on the same page to prevent any awkward hang-ups and perhaps even serious misunderstandings.
Notifications like save-the-evening cards or formal invitations are good but general ways of doing so. Ultimately, their effectiveness relies on how well you know and communicate with your evening guests.