When Should Wedding Invitations Be Sent Out?

When planning a wedding, timing is crucial, and getting your invitations sent out with enough time is especially vital. But when is the right time?

Photo by Ricardo Moura on Unsplash

When beginning to plan a wedding, it can be really hard to know exactly when wedding invitations should be sent out. Should they be posted once you’ve booked the venue? Organized all your suppliers? Or should you be marching to the post office with your invitations as soon as that ring slips on your finger!? It’s hard to know, and if you time it wrong, you could risk upsetting loved ones, or have guests not show up at all.

There are numerous things to consider when you’re about to send out wedding invitations. And certain aspects of your celebration need to be thought about carefully. For instance, where is your wedding taking place? Where are your guests travelling from? Your friends and family deserve, and need, to know the full picture well in advance, so they can plan accordingly. Especially if you’re not planning on tying the knot in your hometown.

In the last few years, less and less couples sent out physical wedding invitations. However, an e-invite or wedding website still needs to be timed appropriately, if you want to achieve a positive response.

When to Send Wedding Invitations

Before we enter the confusing world of wedding invitation send out dates and times. Let’s look at the other vital pieces of stationery etiquette you need to think about when planning your wedding day.

When Do I Send Save-the-dates?

Please do not dismiss save-the-dates, as they are a vitally important tool. I understand that their extra cost may seem daunting, but the benefit they bring far outweighs the expenditure. Especially if you have friends and family who live abroad, or are seemingly always busy! A promptly timed save-the-date will give these guests the time, and information they need, to organize themselves. For those of you planning a destination wedding, or midweek celebration, you should also seriously consider these pre-invitations.

The perfect time to send save-the-dates is between 9 and 12 months before your wedding, but try to aim for a year in advance if you have very busy friends. Or are planning to marry abroad.

What to Include within a Wedding Invitation

Wedding invitations traditionally include the main invitation, an RSVP card, and are usually sent with a separate envelope containing a useful information sheet. This sheet should include things like travel details, accommodation, the theme of the wedding and links to relevant local resources. If you have a wedding website, it would also be wise to include its address, or QR code.

When to Chase RSVP’s

When deciding when wedding invitations should be sent, the main thing that needs to be considered is the time your guests have to respond. And some guests need more time than others. Normally, you should expect replies from 75% of your guest list within one to two weeks. But, you should allow four to five weeks for your guests to RSVP. By giving your loved ones roughly a month to respond, that will give them enough time to decide if they’re able to attend. And make any necessary travel arrangements.

On your RSVP’s there should be a due date for people to respond by. This date is vital, as some of your suppliers will need to know a definite headcount, long before you tie the knot. The caterers in particular will have planned the exact number of meals needed, and they won’t be too pleased if you try to add people at the last minute.

Your RSVP’s, either online, or by post, should be confirmed 2 to 3 weeks before the wedding. Chasing up these responses is not a fun job. Especially when you need to call guests who keep missing your deadlines, but it has to be done.

When Should My Wedding Invitations Be Sent Out?

When wedding planning, try to do everything in advance. If you can do something months in advance, rather than weeks, always take the opportunity to tick something off. However, when it comes to knowing the time wedding invitations should be sent out, it’s better not to be hasty. Even if you know all the details and are desperate to send out your beautiful invite. Sending too early may result in your stationery landing on the forgotten pile. Harsh, but true.

People live very hectic lives, and if your invitation doesn’t arrive perfectly timed, they may not show up at all. A good wedding invitation timeline to aim for is 6 to 8 weeks before w-day. This amount of time should allow people to prepare, and avoid any last-minute rush. If you can, send the invites at around the 8-week mark. This is of course not a hard and fast rule, and as mentioned, if your wedding plans involve travel, you need to step up the process.


When Should Wedding Invitations for International Guests Be Sent Out? Or Destination Wedding Invites?

Extra travel arrangements, means giving advanced notice. If there are only one, two international guests coming to your wedding. Then it’s probably fine to send their invitations along with everyone else’s. But do give them a call, or email before, and share any necessary information. That way they’ll be able to book flights, accommodation etc. with plenty of time to spare.

If, however, you have more than a few, or maybe half of your wedding party is living aboard, then you should send their invitations much earlier. Begin the process maybe 4 weeks earlier than you would have done, and send the international invitations out at least 12 weeks in advance of the big day.

When it comes to destination weddings, your whole wedding party will be making special travel arrangements. Therefore, everyone needs plenty of time to prepare. Your wedding venue may also need to know in advance a confirmed head count. Which means getting RSVP’s back sooner than for a local wedding. I’d suggest sending wedding invitations for destination events 12 to 16 weeks before the vows take place. This should give everyone the chance to get their affairs in order, and also give you adequate time to possibly arrange their accommodation.

I hope I have guided the plans for your wedding invitations, and hopefully now you know when they should be sent out. It would be an honor to go one step further, and actually play a part in your big day. I am an experienced destination wedding photographer at fotograf bryllup living and working in Copenhagen, with a love for shooting weddings in a pure and classic style. By choosing me to capture your celebrations, you can safely assure your loved ones they don’t need to take photos. Because I’ll be there, harnessing every moment, ready to be presented in your special album.

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