By Riley & Grey|Wedding Planning|February 29, 2024

Aren’t Wedding Invitations the Same as Save-the-Dates?

Image from Riley & Grey

If you’ve ever wondered why people send wedding guests very similar information twice, you’re not alone. But are wedding invitations the same as save-the-dates? The short answer is no, they are both important components of wedding communication, and they serve different purposes in the wedding planning process. Let’s break down what each of them do and say.


Save-the-dates are typically sent out well in advance of the wedding date. They serve as a heads-up to your guests, informing them of the upcoming wedding and asking them to reserve that date on their calendars. At this point, the details of the wedding are likely not yet solidified, so all of the pertinent information is not yet available to share. Save-the-dates are especially useful for guests who might need to travel long distances or make arrangements in advance to attend the wedding. They usually include:

Basic Information

  • Names of the couple
  • Date of the wedding
  • Location or city (especially helpful for destination weddings)
  • A note that a formal invitation will follow

Optional Information

  • Wedding website URL (for guests to find more details)
  • Accommodation options (if applicable)
  • Any other pertinent information about the wedding plans

Save-the-dates are typically less formal than invitations. They can be sent in various formats, including printed cards, magnets, emails, or even creative items like coasters or bookmarks.Riley & Grey members enjoy sending free digital save-the-dates directly from their wedding website, and directing guests to their website for updated information.

Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are more formal and detailed. They are sent out closer to the wedding date, usually 6-8 weeks before the event. Invitations include all the necessary information your guests will need to attend the wedding. This includes:

Essential Details

  • Names of the hosts (often the parents)
  • Names of the couple getting married
  • Date and time of the wedding ceremony
  • Venue(s) for the ceremony and reception
  • RSVP information (how and by when to respond)

Additional Information

  • Dress code
  • Directions to the venue(s)
  • Accommodation details (for out-of-town guests)
  • Wedding website URL (for more information)

As you can see, the information guests need in order to be informed about the event can take up a lot of space, and that’s where wedding websites become really helpful.

Wedding invitations set the tone for the event, reflecting the formality and style of the wedding itself. They are typically sent with a reply card and a stamped envelope to make it easy for guests to RSVP, or instructions on how to RSVP at the wedding website.

Overall, save-the-dates are a preliminary notice to let guests know about the wedding date, while invitations provide the formal details and request for attendance. Both are important parts of wedding etiquette and planning and let guests know what to expect from both a vibes and informational perspective.