So, you’re wondering when to send out wedding invitations?
You and your partner have decided to get started with your wedding preparations. You’ve set a date, visited many reception venues, found a few you liked, and finally settled on one. You’ve decided on caterers, florists, and photographers and spent long hours stressing over your guest list. But when is it time to send out wedding invitations?
Perfect timing is one of the most important factors when you’ll be sending out information about your wedding to your guests. After all, they are a very crucial part of the celebration. You don’t want to send wedding invitations too early or too late. So, when should you send out your wedding invitations?
About Wedding Invitations
A wedding invitation is the first impression your guests will have about your wedding, and first impressions are lasting. It’s therefore essential that you allocate your wedding invitations appropriate attention and know when to send out wedding invitations.
A good invitation will do wonders in setting the stage for your guests to share and enjoy beautiful memories of your special day.
Wedding invitations provide guests with crucial information about your wedding and give your guests an overview of the big day’s theme. They also help build anticipation about your special day, set out the tone for the day, and reflect on who you are as a couple.
So, once you find the perfect design and have them printed out, you’ll be eager to get them in the mail and into the hands of family and friends.
When To Send Out Wedding Invitations
Send out your invitations early so that you can confirm your guest numbers with the vendors to facilitate planning, but sending them out too early can also be a mistake. Your guests probably receive several wedding invitations or general mail.
As a result, your invitation may end up in a pile of mail and end up being forgotten. As a result, your guests may forget to respond or fail to commit to your wedding in advance. This may ultimately make it difficult for you to finalize your guest list.
Sending your wedding invitations too late may have your guests unable to attend due to other commitments. If they do RSVP with a yes, you’ll have caused them a lot of inconveniences since they’ll have to scramble and rearrange your schedule to accommodate your plans.
But is there a rule on when you should send out wedding invitations? You should send out your wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. This time frame will give your guests plenty of time to mark their calendars, clear their schedules, and make travel arrangements if they don’t reside in town.
What if It’s a Destination Wedding?
If you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll need to give your guests more time to clear their schedules. Send out your invitations three months before the wedding. For special cases like a last-minute wedding, remember to keep your guests in mind. Send out your wedding invitations as soon as possible or send electronic invitations.
What Should You Include in Your Wedding Invitation?
A wedding invitation is your final way of formally passing information about your wedding to your guests. It must capture relevant details about the day, including:
- The name of the guest. Include if they can come with someone else or the event is strictly on an invite-only basis
- The name of the couple
- The date of the wedding
- The timeline in which guests need to arrive
- The address of the ceremony and reception areas
- The theme and dress code of the day
- When and how guests can RSVP. Include a separate response card that can be sent back
- If it’s a destination wedding, make sure you include information about accommodation
- Transport and parking details
- Any other activities are surrounding the wedding, such as dinners, weekend plans, or brunches
- If you have a wedding website, include a link to the site
Important Pre-Wedding Events and Invitations
Other crucial pre-wedding events and invitations you need to send out include:
1. Engagement Parties
While some couples may opt not to have an engagement party, these parties are especially common in engagements lasting longer than a year. Couples throw engagement parties to announce the big news about their wedding. Engagement parties are usually held soon after the proposal when the news is still fresh.
Traditionally, the bride’s parents organized and hosted the engagement party. However, anyone can host an engagement party in modern society, including the couple’s close friends or the couple themselves. Some couples choose to have more than one engagement party; one for relatives and family friends and another for their friends.
Who Should Get an Engagement Party Invitation?
A general rule on wedding etiquette dictates that you should invite the people you invite to your engagement party to the wedding. However, not everyone invited to the wedding must be included in your engagement party.
Engagement parties are small and more casual affairs compared to the actual wedding. Often engagement parties are more intimate than the wedding itself. So, your guest list will be a bit shorter. You’ll want to mingle and talk with all your inner circle, so keep it simple and invite close family and friends. If you’re planning a destination wedding or are looking to throw a small wedding, you may also want to invite people who may not be invited or may not attend the actual wedding.
When Should You Send Out Engagement Party Invitations?
You should send out engagement party invitations around four to six weeks before the party to give your guests enough time to plan. However, if you’re sending online invitations, you can send them later than four weeks since they arrive instantly. Online invitations are also convenient since you don’t have to worry about them getting lost in the mail.
2. Save the Dates
A save the date differs from a wedding invitation. It usually stands as a placeholder for the actual wedding invitation and is sent out much earlier than the invitations. Save the dates give your guests some information about your wedding. They also give guests ample time to clear their schedule, mark their calendars, avoid committing to other events, make travel and accommodation arrangements, and prepare for the wedding.
While most of your family and friends may already know about your engagement, wedding date, and venue, this pre-invitation is still essential.
When Should You Send Out the Save the Date?
Save the dates should only be sent to guests who you’re planning to invite to the wedding. They can be sent out four to six months before the wedding date. However, if you’re planning a destination wedding or your wedding falls on a holiday weekend, it’s essential to send them earlier. You’re advised to send them six to 12 months before the wedding day.
If you choose not to send your guests save the dates, send out your wedding invitation six to eight months before the wedding day.
3. Bridal Shower and Bachelor Parties
Bridal showers and bachelor parties are meant to honor the bride and groom to be and celebrate their upcoming wedding. The maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, and groomsmen, or the couple’s close friends usually organize these parties.
Bridal showers and bachelor parties should be held three weeks to three months before the wedding. Having them too early during the engagement may not give your family and friends enough time to process the news of your wedding. It may also cause guests to lose some anticipation for the wedding or feel frustrated because the bridal shower or bachelor party is too spaced out from the wedding day.
Who Gets a Bridal Shower or Bachelor Party Invitation?
It’s up to the bride and groom to decide who they want to attend their party. Whoever is planning the parties should clear the guest list with the bride and groom before sending out the invite. As a general rule, guests you invite to the bridal shower or bachelor party should also get the wedding invitations. An ideal crowd for both parties would be an intimate group of close friends and family who would make the party more fun.
When Should You Send Out Bridal Shower and Bachelor Party Invitations?
You should send out bridal shower and bachelor party invitations around six to eight weeks before the party to give your guests enough time to plan. Ensure that your guests RSVP to the host to keep the numbers organized.
Hosting these parties too close to the wedding day can be exhausting. The bride and the groom will be too busy with last-minute wedding preparations to enjoy themselves during the party.
This may also inconvenience your guests as they will have to set aside time to be with you both during the bridal shower or bachelor party and wedding day. If the timing doesn’t favor their schedule, they may end up missing one of these events and leave you with a smaller guest list.
Do You Need Formal Invitations?
For bridal shower and bachelor party invitations, you can skip the formal paper invites. Instead, get your guests on a group text chain and share important information about the party, like the date, venue, and dress code. You can also opt to send online invitations via email.
4. Rehearsal Dinners
The rehearsal dinner usually takes place the night before the wedding, after the ceremony rehearsal. It’s a time for the wedding party to celebrate the couple.
Who Should Get a Rehearsal Dinner Invitation?
The wedding party, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls, ring bears, your officiant, close family members, and any other person taking part in the wedding ceremony, should receive a rehearsal dinner invitation.
When Should You Send Out Rehearsal Dinner Invitations?
You should send out rehearsal dinner invitations around three to six weeks before the dinner to give your guests enough time to plan. You can also choose to include them in their wedding invitations.
Three Common Questions About Wedding Invitations
Some common questions about sending out wedding invitations include:
1. When Should I Set the Deadline for RSVPs?
Once you get a final headcount of the number of guests, you can expect at your wedding, it’s easier to contact vendors and finalize the seating arrangement. The RSVP date you set on your response card will help you get the finalizing done. RSVPs can also give you a chance to gather information about your guests, such as their dietary restrictions, plus ones, meal options, or song requests.
An ideal RSVP deadline should be about two to three weeks before the wedding. Ensure that you provide your guests with an easy and convenient way to contact you, such as a phone number or a postal or email address. If some guests fail to respond before your deadline, send them a message or give them a quick call and ask for their RSVPs. If you want your guests to mail back the response card, it’s polite to include a pre-addressed envelope and stamp in the wedding invitation.
2. Which Guests Do I Give a Plus One?
You can give plus ones to some guests and choose not to give them to others. If one of your guests is married, has been in a serious committed with someone for some time, or if they wouldn’t know anyone at the wedding and would enjoy the company of someone else, give them a plus one.
If a guest isn’t married or in a serious relationship and would be fine coming to the wedding alone, it’s acceptable to invite them solo.
3. Should I Include My Registry Information in the Invitation?
Don’t put your registry information on your invitation. It could suggest that receiving gifts is just as important as inviting guests to your wedding, and some guests may feel offended. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid it completely. Instead, include a link to your website (not a direct link to the registry) in your invite. Ensure that the registry tab on the website is clear so that guests can locate it easily.
Knowing when to send out these wedding and pre-wedding invitations will ensure that most of your guests celebrate your special days with you and saves you the stress of dealing with last-minute logistics.
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