This is a really a two fold question. First, does every couple need to send save the dates? The answer is no. This is a fairly new custom that brides and grooms have adopted. Sending out a save the date is a good idea if you are having a destination wedding or if you have a lot of guests who will be traveling to the wedding location.
Typically the save the date provides information on the city where the wedding will be held and the date of the event. This enables guests extra time to arrange for transportation and hotel accommodations. However, if you aren’t having a destination wedding or don’t have people traveling from far away lands you can still send a save the date! After all, how excited are you to spread the news!
Second, if you decide to send save the dates, when should you actually put them in the mail? Well, six months in advance is usually the rule of thumb. If you send them before then you may run into a sticky situation. Lets just say that a lot can happen in six plus months and you would hate to send a save the date to a person you end up not wanting to send an invitation to (this is never good!) You can also wait and send them closer to the wedding date, but ensure you leave enough time so that your guests don’t feel like they are getting the save the date and the invitation at the same time.