It may seem like scheduling overkill, but On Paper's Michelle Lawrence says it's appropriate to send out your save-the-date notices a year to nine months before the big day. "Some people will push this to six months, which is OK," she notes. "But that's the latest." Engaged for less than a year? Still send a save-the-date, Lawrence insists, but just make sure you make that six-month deadline. "For larger weddings especially, it's important you can get the word out to everyone," she says. "You can't always do this by word of mouth. Anytime a wedding is on a holiday weekend, too, save-the-dates are an excellent idea."

It may seem like scheduling overkill, but On Paper’s Michelle Lawrence says it’s appropriate to send out your save-the-date notices a year to nine months before the big day. “Some people will push this to six months, which is OK,” she notes. “But that’s the latest.” Engaged for less than a year? Still send a save-the-date, Lawrence insists, but just make sure you make that six-month deadline. “For larger weddings especially, it’s important you can get the word out to everyone,” she says. “You can’t always do this by word of mouth. Anytime a wedding is on a holiday weekend, too, save-the-dates are an excellent idea.”

If you’re going formal with the invitation, it’s OK—and often encouraged—to be more playful with the save-the-date. Lawrence notes about 50 percent of On Paper’s customers do this, and the stationary boutique has seen an uptick in destination-specific cards. “For example, we recently worked with a client getting married at Station 67, and they have a postcard with a vintage image of the old firehouse, which was the first in Central Ohio,” she says. “We also did a save-the-date for a wedding at the Cultural Arts Center, Columbus’ old armory, with a photo of the space. It didn’t necessarily set the visual tone of the wedding invitation suite, but it gave a look at the space in which they couple was to be married.”

Couples are still using engagement photos to adorn their save-the-dates. On Paper recently added glitter to a postcard photo featuring the couple going wild in confetti. Says Lawrence: “It added some glitz, some glam, some fun.”