Considering a Digital Save-the-Date? Here's What to Know

While your guests save your date, we'll save you a headache.
cathryn haight the knot
Cathryn Haight
cathryn haight the knot
Cathryn Haight
Commerce Editor
  • Cathryn is a commerce editor at The Knot, where she focuses on all things gifting and stationery
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Cathryn spent years as a food editor
  • Cathryn holds a bachelor's degree from Trinity College and a certificate in publishing from Columbia University
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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Maybe the sustainability aspect of going paperless appeals to you, or maybe you'd just appreciate saving a few bucks on stamps. Regardless of the exact reason, sending a digital save-the-date could be helpful in reaching your unique wedding goals. To level with you: If your heart is set on paper, but you're afraid of the cost, you can find vendors within your budget on The Knot Vendor Marketplace that'll suit your spending limit. And you can absolutely send an electronic save-the-date, then a paper wedding invitation. We're digging deeper into the ins and outs of sending a save-the-date online below, so don't feel like you have to make a decision right now. Give it some thought and give this a scroll, we'll help you make the right choice.

In this article:

Can You Send Digital Save-the-Dates?

You can definitely send an online save-the-date—it's a great way to keep under your stationery budget (if you're looking to splurge on other elements), get the wedding word out quickly and keep the pertinent info in an easily accessible place (your guests' phones). Though, even if your virtual card will reach your loved ones in a matter of seconds, you should still try to stay in the polite timeframe of how far in advance to send save-the-dates, which is between six and eight months.

How to Send Digital Save-the-Dates

Regardless of which method you choose, first thing's first: Make sure you have an email address for each household invited. Check now, we'll wait.

Make Your Wedding Website Do Double Duty

If you'd rather pour your heart and soul into making your wedding website as informative as an encyclopedia and you don't mind being a little untraditional, use the web page as the centerpiece of an email save-the-date. Compose an email message announcing you've set a date and instruct guests to click the link to your The Knot wedding website. Just be sure that the special day they should mark their calendars with is front and center in your website design so they don't need to go searching for it. (While using your TK wedding website as an electronic save-the-date from The Knot is a great workaround, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop if we release online save-the-dates in the future.)

Use an Online Invitation Service

There are myriad online invitation services out there that offer online save-the-dates to suit every style. Some are hyper-realistic, where guests see the "card" get pulled from a virtual envelope. Others feel much simpler. Regardless, you'll definitely have lots of choices in terms of save-the-date ideas. Tip: These types of sites often have built-in online RSVP functions (since their virtual stationery also works for other events). It's essential to make sure guests don't think this is where they should send in their RSVPs for your celebration. If you can't toggle this function off, customize the text to ask guests a cute question like, "Are you excited?" Or, if you're sending an e-vite save-the-date, but paper wedding invitation, use this space to easily collect guest mailing addresses.

Email a Custom Digital Download File

If you want the ease of email, but don't want to deal with the extra bells and whistles that come bundled in with online invitation services, opt for a digital save-the-date template. Though these are designed to be printed and mailed, there's no rule that you can't send a high-res version of the virtual file via email. You can likely customize your save-the-date wording and really get the look of a paper card. Just make sure all of the essential information is present and accounted for on the save-the-date file, though, you can include a clickable link to share your wedding website in the body of the email to help loved ones navigate to extra details like your The Knot registry.

Where to Find Digital Save-the-Dates

Take a moment to peruse a few of our favorite options for online save-the-dates (and invitations). There are so many stunning options, but if you're still not quite sure digital is your thing, you can design and order free save-the-date samples from The Knot Invitations to feel out if you're a paper person.

  • Paperless Post: We're always continually impressed at how elegant Paperless Post manages to make their online stationery. I guess it's no surprise, since they work with the experts at Rifle Paper Co., John Derian and other notable paper pros. This is a great choice if you want realistic elements incorporated into your e-save-the-dates, like an "envelope" and some visible paper texture. You can also make an online save-the-date with your own custom design. Note: You must purchase "coins" to send out their designs, most of which start at two coins per virtual save-the-date, but many are free for the first 50 sends. Coins start at 25 for $12 and cost less per send if you purchase a larger quantity.
  • Evite: Evite has some great options for save-the-date e-cards—from those featuring vintage-vibe wildflowers to others showcasing the ever-trending doodle/scribble style—many of which are available for free. You'll also notice a slew of styles with fun animated features, which come in handy if you're the type of couple who loves the whimsy of that "confetti falling out of a birthday card" feel. For premium designs, the pricing for single-event packages ranges from $17.99 to $99.99, depending on the size of your guest list.
  • Bliss & Bone: If you want a digital save-the-date that looks like it could hang in Athena Calderone's house, check out Bliss & Bone. The look of this online stationery is natural, ethereal and realistic, with textural paper, optional shadows and special adornments (for example, life-like butterflies could land on the edges of your card). There's also plenty of room for customization, with plenty of background and text options to choose from that feel fresh and akin to high design. Styles here typically fall under two dollars per send.
  • Etsy: Etsy is a mecca of independent designers that create unique save-the-date styles. Typically, designs come in the form of an editable PDF template, so you'd edit that template, download it and save it to send as an email attachment to your nearest and dearest. It's especially budget friendly, since you only need to pay the purchase price of the design and not shell out per send. Price depends on the individual shop you choose.

What to Know About Electronic Save-the-Dates

Before you start planning what to put on your save-the-dates, mull over these considerations and tips for going digital.

1. They're Wallet Friendly

In some cases, bundling your entire set of wedding stationery (save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you cards and so on) together can be a cash saver. But if you've got your eye on different vendors for different items and bundling may not be an option, digital save-the-dates can cost a fraction compared with paper ones, especially when considering the cost of postage along with the cards themselves. FYI: The average cost of wedding invitations is up from last year, so it's totally fair to save where you can.

2. They're Sustainable

One of the biggest draws for couples to select online save-the-dates is that they're the perfect preview to an eco-friendly wedding. No paper is used and therefore no paper is wasted or tossed from beginning to end, making digital mailers much more sustainable (yet equally as pretty) as their physical counterparts.

3. They're Not Ultra Formal

By nature, online wedding invitations and save-the-dates feel much more informal than real stationery. You won't quite get the same richness of layering and texture, and it's something to consider if you're throwing a black-tie bash at a high-end venue. Your stationery is the first preview of your wedding vibe, so it's smart to ensure it's cohesive with your other details.

4. They're a True Time Saver

If you're erring dangerously close (or even a hair beyond) the six-month mark (the latest we recommended sending save-the-dates), digital save-the-dates can help keep you in line with etiquette, since you won't have to deal with the delay of the post.

5. They're Mixable and Matchable

It doesn't have to be all or nothing when it comes to digital wedding stationery. For example, you can send virtual save-the-dates that will coordinate with your impending paper wedding invitation. Or you can send mostly online cards to the tech-savvy members of your guest list, but order a handful of paper cards to deliver via snail mail to the attendees that are not as well versed in computer tasks.

6. They're Still Beholden to Paper Etiquette

Just as you would for a physical piece of wedding stationery, your digital save-the-dates should only be sent once per household, with the individual names of each invitee clearly listed. This helps you avoid having to scrounge around for the emails of any teenage guests or risk certain individual's cards getting lost in the inbox abyss or spam folder—we wouldn't want those recipients to believe they weren't invited to your nuptials.

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