Save the Dates & Invitations - The How To

Guest Author: Kaylee Page

Save the Dates and Invitations are valuable assets in making a successful event. But they aren’t the same! As an Executive Assistant, I’m often handling both as well as managing the RSVP’ing, adding the details to the calendar, etc.   

With that perspective in mind, here are a few points to consider when addressing both so as to maximize the experience:

Save the Dates are simple.

A Save the Date is simple and has a simple purpose. It’s a notification that an event is happening and that you’d liked folks to hold a date and time on their calendars and anxiously await further details. It’s the first you’re guests will experience of your event so make it count – beautiful and branded – but keep it simple.

Where can you go wrong?

By providing too much information on a Save the Date it can come across like an invitation. By the time you send the actual invitations your guests (or their assistants) will be left wondering, Did I already get this? 

To avoid this confusion, ensure that both the Save the Date and Invite are noticeably different (all while maintaining your brand). The best sure-fire way to do this is to keep the Save the Date text as simple as possible.

Need Examples?

Save the Date: Sponsor Appreciation Event
October 8, 3pm-6pm.

Save the Date: MyIdea Presents Speaker Jackie Maxwell
March 12 @ 12PM.

If it’s a corporate event, maybe (maaaaaybe) you add a little additional details just to wet their appetite and get it on their calendar.

And I’ll just say it: Don’t put an RSVP on the Save the Date! That gets confusing – for everyone. The assistant has to go back and search the email log and try to recall if an RSVP was made.  If there is no assistant to provide a response, the attendee will end up providing their RSVP six times, which is a waste of their time. So keep it simple and easy – there is only one call-to-action with a Save the Date and that’s to… Save. The. Date. 

For Invitations, remember to include:

  • Title of Event
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Attire
  • Special instructions (parking, bring a suit, food menu) 

A good rule-of-thumb is to imagine your guests are coming to the event without you there. Do they know when and where to show up? Do they know why they are attending? Do they know what to wear? Do they know if the event serves a meal (if not, they may want to eat beforehand!)? Do they need a suit and towel – or pen and paper? Are gifts or donations being made?

When to send a Save the Date

For the social events, Save the Dates are crucially important for summer months, spring breaks (high school and college) and the major holiday seasons. For corporate events, Save the Dates need to go out 3-6 months in advance for high level executive calendars and 1-2 months out for the ongoing events in the corporate world.

Following these simple tips will leave you and your guests informed and excited for your upcoming event.

About the Author: Kaylee Page is an event planner, a writer, and overall manager of details at Start Garden.