There are plenty of wedding practices that you might not even think about before it’s your turn to host one. Unfortunately, when your wedding rolls around, you will need to have a good understanding of them all to ensure everything is completed in the proper order. Especially in 2020, it can all be a bit overwhelming.

One of the more difficult customs to navigate is the tradition of sending out save-the-date notices. First of all, what are they? Why should you send one? When do you need to send it? Who is supposed to get one? Does it matter what type you send? Do you need to do things differently given the times?

These are all good questions, and you’ll need to do a bit of research if you’re starting at ground zero. But hopefully, you at least know the basics if you’ve made it this far.

There are still some hard questions to consider, however. This is especially true for non-traditional weddings that have special instructions, when many of your guests will be traveling from far away, if you’ve decided to have a virtual wedding, or if you’re somehow still having a destination wedding. Be sure to consider what your save-the-date should say — and how to say it — before you just send out a generic template.

1. Make It Special

First things first: No matter what type of wedding you’re hosting, it no doubt will be special to you. Impress your guests by sending out something in the mail that looks and feels a bit different than your guest may have received for other weddings. Whether you use fancy paper, include great photos, or find something truly unique to you as a couple, try to make it stand out. It may not seem as important as some of the other things that go into scheduling a wedding, but you can’t go wrong if you make your save the date card special

2. Time It Correctly

There are different philosophies about when to send out a save-the-date card. Traditionally, people may have suggested four to six months in advance. This is probably still fine for smaller affairs where most guests live nearby. But the math changes a bit when families are spread out across the country — and even more so if you are planning a destination wedding. In that vein, try to give people as much lead time as possible. Naturally, you may not want to wait too long before you tie the knot, but eight to 12 months in advance is recommended in these scenarios.

3. Craft Your Wording Carefully

Especially in 2020, the wording matters. Lots of people are having a truly devastating time, so it’s important to keep your wedding — as special and important as it is to you — in the right perspective. Many people may not be able to make it and others are dealing with problems of their own. So, whether you’re having a revised intimate wedding, a themed wedding, or announcing a change of plans, be sure to keep the content relevant to what’s happening in the world.

Save-the-Dates for 2020

A wedding is a joyous occasion. You’re starting a new life with the person you love most. So, no matter when, where, or how you do it, embrace the moment and share your happiness with the world.

And be sure to follow a few best practices when it comes to sending out your save-the-date. Make it special, time it correctly, and — especially in 2020 — make sure to choose your messaging carefully.

There are many details and difficult decisions to make when it comes to putting on a wedding, but there’s no need to make your save-the-date overly complicated. Just be sure to take some care and you’ll be able to get it right.