What Should I Write?
When creating save-the-date cards vs. invitations, while both can be simple and direct, save-the-date cards can be even more so. For instance, you do not need to provide detailed information on the save-the-date card such as the exact location or RSVP information. Because save-the-date cards are still a relatively new idea, expect some calls from guests. Explain that this card is an advanced notice that they will be receiving a formal invitation and that you were hoping to provide sufficient time to ensure that they will be able to attend.
What you should definitely include on your save-the-date cards is the reason for the event, the date and the general location. Here are some examples:
Save the date! Wesley and Buttercup are tying the knot on September 15th, 2010 in Faraway, England.
Please save the date! Henry will be graduating on May 29th from Charter High School in Tucson, AZ.
When it comes to save-the-date cards vs. invitations, you can send save-the-date cards as postcards or even on magnetic backing so that guests can hang them on the fridge as a reminder.
Invitations should include more detailed information and may be a bit more formal. Be sure to include the reason for the invitation, the name of the host, the location, date and time, RSVP contact information and date by which to respond, special dress requirements and specifically whom is being invited, such as recipient and a guest, children, etc.,
It is a nice touch to include maps for out-of-town guests as well as alternative plans for rain, if applicable. Using the same color scheme, theme and fonts for both your save-the-date cards and invitations will tie the two together and make them seem more professional.