When to Send Wedding Invitations: Essential Tips for Timely RSVPs

This article serves as a comprehensive guide to determining the optimal timeline for sending out your wedding invitations, helping to ensure your special day is well-attended and well-planned.

Key takeaways:

  • Send invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding
  • Consider custom designs and printing lead times
  • Send destination wedding invitations 3-4 months in advance
  • Set clear RSVP deadlines and provide multiple response options
  • Include key details on save the dates and wedding invitations

Wedding Invitation Timeline

wedding invitation timeline

Begin sending out your invitations 6-8 weeks before the big day. This window provides guests ample time to clear their schedules and make necessary arrangements. If you’re hosting a local event, closer to the 6-week mark is suitable. For those expecting out-of-town guests, or if your wedding coincides with holiday seasons or is a particularly busy time of year, leaning towards 8 weeks can be considerate.

For a clearer inner clockwork of the timeline:

  • Mark your calendar for when you’ll order your invitations; production and printing can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on the complexity and customization involved.
  • Once received, add another week to address and assemble your invitations before they’re ready to be sent out.
  • Aim to have all invitations in the mail by the end of the 6-8-week period before your wedding day, not just beginning the process.

By creating a timeline with buffer zones, you mitigate the risk of last-minute rushes or delays, ensuring your guests feel as cherished as they are to your celebration.

Choosing Your Invitations: Effects On the Timeline

The design process can be time-consuming depending on the complexity and customization you desire in your invitations. If you opt for bespoke designs or hand-crafted details, allocate additional weeks for the creation and approval process before printing can begin.

Print type is another consideration; for example, letterpress and engraving typically require a longer lead-time than digital printing due to the specialized craftsmanship involved.

Lastly, factor in proofing time. Allowing a buffer to review and adjust your invitations ensures they’ll be error-free and to your liking, preventing a rush and potential stress as your big day approaches.

Destination Vs. Non-Destination Wedding Invitations: When to Send

For destination weddings, send invitations 3-4 months in advance. This allows guests ample time to book travel arrangements and manage time off from work. Provide key information such as the exact location, accommodation options, and any group discounts you’ve secured.

For local weddings, aim to dispatch invites 6-8 weeks prior to the big day. Guests will appreciate the reasonable notice for logistical planning without feeling rushed.

Consider a ‘save the date’ if you’re planning more than a year in advance, irrespective of the wedding location, to give early heads-up to your guests.

The Importance and Etiquette of RSVP Deadlines

Ensuring guests respond in a timely manner is crucial for finalizing arrangements such as catering headcounts, seating plans, and event logistics. Set clear RSVP deadlines typically three to four weeks before the wedding to give yourself a buffer for any last-minute changes.

  • Include the RSVP card with a pre-addressed and stamped return envelope to make it easy for guests to respond.
  • Consider online RSVP options for quicker responses and easier tracking.
  • Clearly state the RSVP deadline on both your invitations and your wedding website.
  • Provide multiple ways to respond – through mail, email, or a phone call.
  • Follow up with a friendly reminder to guests who haven’t responded a week before the deadline.
  • Be considerate of special circumstances that may affect guests’ abilities to respond quickly.

By prioritizing RSVP etiquette, you’ll alleviate stress and streamline the planning process as your big day approaches.

Save the Dates Vs Wedding Invitations: What to Include

Save the date cards serve as an initial announcement of your wedding day. They allow guests to mark their calendars well in advance, typically sent out six to eight months before the wedding.

Key points to include on your save the dates:

  • The couple’s names
  • The wedding date
  • The location, at least the city or town, if the venue isn’t finalized
  • A note indicating that an official invitation will follow

Wedding invitations provide detailed information and are sent closer to the event, usually around six to eight weeks prior.

Essential elements to include in your wedding invitations:

  • The full names of the couple
  • The hosts’ names, if they’re different from the couple’s
  • The wedding venue’s name and address
  • The ceremony start time
  • Reception information, if it’s at a different location or at a different time
  • RSVP card with a pre-addressed, stamped envelope or instructions for online RSVPs
  • Details about any wedding-related events like the rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch

Remember, clarity is paramount for both save the dates and invitations to ensure guests have all the necessary information for planning and attendance.


Is 3 months too early to send out wedding invitations?

No, three months is not too early to send out wedding invitations; in fact, it is customary to send them out at least three to four months prior to the wedding.

How long before the wedding do you send out invitations?

Wedding invitations are typically sent out six to eight weeks prior to the wedding.

Is 2 months too late to send wedding invitations?

No, two months is not too late to send wedding invitations; however, to ensure optimal scheduling convenience for your guests, it is recommended to send them around 3-4 months prior to the wedding, especially in the absence of save-the-date cards.

Is 4 weeks too late to send out wedding invitations?

No, four weeks is not too late to send out wedding invitations as they should ideally be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding.

Can wedding invitations be sent out 6 months in advance?

Yes, wedding invitations can be sent out 6 months in advance, especially for destination weddings or weddings during peak season, to allow guests plenty of time to make arrangements.

What is the optimal time to send destination wedding invitations?

The optimal time to send destination wedding invitations is typically eight to twelve months in advance.

How to handle sending wedding invitations for a rapidly planned wedding?

For a rapidly planned wedding, streamline wedding invitations by using digital platforms such as e-vites or wedding websites, ensuring all relevant information is provided and sending them out as soon as the date and venue are confirmed.

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