22 Unique Save-the-Dates to Kick Off Your Wedding

engraved slate coasters save-the-date
Photo: Abby Jiu Photography

Save-the-dates are a lot like first impressions. In fact, that's exactly what they are—your guests' first introduction to the style, theme, and overall vibe of your big day. It's important, then, to send out notes that feel true to who you are as a couple and relevant enough to the big day itself (even if you don't have all the details worked out yet!).

Enter the following ultra-creative save-the-dates from real weddings. Some are bold, others are refined, but all are incredibly inspired. Take these coaster iterations, for example: Lauryn Prattes Styling and Events and Emily Baird Design worked together to package these keepsakes into a plaid-lined box that previewed the wedding's equestrian theme.

Since these notes also function as a way to let people know you're tying the knot, it's just as fun to make them all about you. Send your wedding date (or weekend!) details on a Polaroid photo of you and your love, or enlist the help of an illustrator to generate pretty watercolor portraits. However you decide to ask your friends and family to pencil in your wedding date, the following examples will have your guests super-excited to see the full invitation, and just as ready for the big day.

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britt courtney save the date
Bryan Gardner

To get guests excited about traveling to Minnesota for their wedding, the couple put together a viewfinder reel of the state's best sights. On each slide was a line or two of text, which conveyed details about the proposal and general event info.

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transparent save the dates
Kelsea Holder

Lovelyfest created these lucite slabs, featuring rose gold-lettering and a quirky trailer graphic.

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Animal Caricatures

quirky animal save-the-date
Hannah Hudson Photography

This duo scrapped life-like portraits and went for something a little more animalistic instead. They enlisted the help of an illustrator for the stag and fox designs.

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Retro Graphic

save the date vintage painting
Keepsake Memories Photography

Retro-inspired save-the-dates, designed by Orange81, invited guests to save the weekend for their nature-inspired nuptials.

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tropical wedding invitation
Amber Vickery Photography

A palm-leaf printed card was the perfect backdrop for a destination wedding's save-the-date.

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Ornate Map

save the date map
Kina Wicks

An artist sketched a map of the couple's alma mater (Princeton), featuring all of their favorite places and landmarks. They also included two important spots—where they met, and where they'd be tying the knot.

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Dyed Fabrics

save the dates
ali + julie

These two wrapped their boxed save-the-dates in shibori fabrics and printed belly bands with dip-dyed edges, and sent them out with stamps by the Mexican artist, Martín Ramirez. Some guests fashioned the fabric into bow ties and pocket squares for the big day.

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Minimalist Photo

save the date
Erin McCall

The bride designed all of her paper goods, which included a sweet and simple "Save Our Date" and a similarly-styled invitation. A peachy-pink envelope added a punchy pop.

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Little Airplane

wooden plane save the dates
Larissa Cleveland Photography

Since the groom was in the Air Force, this couple decided to use small wooden airplanes as their save-the-dates.

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save the date garland
Greatest Story Creative

This bride enlisted the help of Brett & Jessica Photography to help her create this garland, which featured photos of the couple and their wedding venue, and the date of their nuptials.

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bright floral save the dates
Shannon Collins

For her save the date, this super-cool bride drew portraits of her and her future husband, dressed in their absolute best.

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Egyptian Roots

egyptian save the dates
Christina Zen

The true star of this note, crafted by Gubba Gumma, wasn't the unusually shaped paper, but the intricate, Egyptian-inspired envelope liner, complete with hieroglyphics.

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Paper Dolls

save the date paper dolls
Shannon Eileen

This creative bride photoshopped her and her future husband's heads onto vintage paper dolls, and printed them on reusable adhesive fabric (so guests could peel off the dolls and stick them anywhere they wanted).

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Engagement Photo

save the date stationery suite
Melissa Jill Photography

This duo put their engagement photos to use by featuring one of their favorites on their save-the-date.

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Pantone Chips

Emily Steffen

The bride stamped out the couple's names, wedding date, and venue on Pantone color chips she snagged from a local hardware store.

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wood save-the-dates
Aaron and Jillian Photography

Wedding Paper Divas designed these wood-effect paper goods, complete with minimal and clean lettering.

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blue geode save-the-date
Bia Sampaio

Moody blues and a geode-inspired illustration made these Minted save-the-dates decidedly modern.

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Pencil Us In

pencil save the dates
Smitten on Paper

We loved this literal save-the-date, inviting guests to actually "pencil in" the couple's nuptials.

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Viewfinder and Flip Book

3d photo viewer save the dates
Shannen Natasha Weddings

What's more nostalgic than a viewfinder? This couple sent their guests the below plastic toy—plus a flip book!—as a creative save-the-date.

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Fancy Footwork Save-the-Date

Christina Holmes

Partygoers will be a step ahead thanks to announcements showcasing dance-step basics. Tease a 1930s-style affair with a fox-trot how-to (pictured here), or offer instructions for the cha-cha, salsa, or waltz.

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Spinning Puzzle Save-the-Date

Bryan Gardner

Take your guests for a spin with this dizzyingly awesome wedding save-the-date that spells out your news when the circles are lined up.

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Cube Save-The-Date

cube save the date paper presentation
Bryan Gardner

A cube on the outside, a hexagonal personal note on the inside: There's no question that these save-the-dates will stand out among the rest. Oh, and did we mention they're super easy to make? Download our template and follow the simple how-to here.

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