Writing A “Save The Date” Email That Won’t Piss People Off

As email is the preferred method of communication for most, sending out a save the date email is typically the most effective and timely way to get it done for informal events these days. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed an increasing number of obnoxious save the dates in my personal inbox as of late, thus compelling this feeble yet impassioned attempt to command some sort of structural standard surrounding this vital component of party planning.

Here’s an example of an ineffective save the date I recently received, from an acquaintance whose name has been changed:

Greetings friends!

In honor of my 30th birthday, I would like to request your presence on this most tremendous of days. Initially I was planning on having this event on Sunday the 7th(my ACTUAL birthday), but I quickly learned that this particular date was going to conflict with the travel plans of a few of my closest friends. ARGH! As this birthday is a milestone of sorts, I of course want all of the most important people in my life to be in attendance.  I will be sending out a more formal invitation in the coming weeks, however please hold the date of Sunday, March 4th for this special day. My desire is to make this a celebration to remember; a gathering of friends, family, colleagues and more, so that we may all congregate and enjoy drinks, good food, laughter and friends.

Sean* and I are contemplating hosting this party at a lounge of some sort, but are certainly not committed to any particular venue just yet. Your suggestions are welcomed, and I look forward to hearing from each of you. I will keep you informed as plans are cemented, and appreciate you saving the date for this special day.

Blessings one and all,


A few things to note:

1. The date (i.e., the SOLE reason for the email) is hidden within a block of text, known in some circles as a paragraph. A proper save the date email should not require more than 5 seconds of the reader’s time to quickly scan, lock eyes with the date and enter it into her calendar. There is not a human grazing this green earth who has the time or desire to sift through a superfluous introductory paragraph to find your date. In order to be the most effective, use the following as a guideline:

+++come to my party, come to my party, come to my party++++

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, March 4, 2011

+++see you there, see you there, see you there+++

2. A save the date email shouldn’t be lengthy. It shouldn’t go into why this specific date was chosen, or alternatives you nixed before settling on this particular day. You also needn’t share scheduling conflicts that would have arisen if you had chosen one of the other dates. An effective save the date should only have a short hello, THE DATE WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE SAVED and a brief description of the event. And by brief, I mean: It’s my birthday.

3. You shouldn’t ask your guests to plan your party for you. Sahara’s save the date was actually my first introduction to what I’m hoping is not a troubling new trend of asking your guests to double as your party planning committee.

If you want to touch base regarding venue options with those who will be attending, you should call the ones with whom you are closest and request their opinion. Don’t ask your entire guest list where they would prefer to have YOUR party. When I (someone who is not particularly close with Sahara) received this audacious request I didn’t feel compelled to email her right away and throw the name of my favorite lounge into the mix. I felt compelled to write an article venting my frustrations surrounding her mediocrity as a fellow human.

The bottom line is this: If you manage to convince someone to marry you despite your habitual and inconsiderate assault on the inboxes of your friends and family, know that you will likely order adorable, overpriced save the dates from a company that specializes in them. And know that the text on these save the dates will — without fail — be able to fit on a magnet. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Angelica Martin

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