When getting married, sending a save-the-date has become a customary step in the wedding planning process.

Make sure you’re following proper etiquette with these suggestions.

Do we have to send save-the-dates? No, according to TheKnot.com, you don’t have to send a save-the-date, but it is a nice way to allow your guests plenty of time to arrange to attend your wedding. The wedding website said it’s important to send a save-the-date if you are having a destination wedding, or a three-day wedding, as those take guests longer to plan for. It’s also important to send a save-the-date if you’re getting married near a holiday, during a busy travel time, or during the peak wedding season.

Who gets save-the-dates? Everyone who you will invite to your wedding should get a save-the-date. Consider the save-the-dates list your final wedding guest list. You should never send a save-the-date to someone you won’t send an actual wedding invitation to.

You should also send a save-the-date to guests you know are coming. This includes all family members and even the wedding party.

When should save-the-dates be sent? Save-the-dates should be sent out between four and six months before the wedding. For destination weddings, save-the-dates should be sent as soon as possible – about six to eight months before the wedding – to give guests enough time to save money for the trip and also to arrange to take off of work and make travel arrangements.