Hello! We hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July (if you're in the States), and are all bearing the summer heat as well as possible! We thought we'd take a little time to answer one of the questions we get asked the most (and, according to Google, one that gets asked by a lot of people on the internet), and that is:
When do I send out my wedding invitations?
Like most things in life, the answer is: It depends!
Thankfully, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind, in order to find your correct timing. We'll start with Save the Dates.
Save the Dates: 6-8 Months. If you're having a destination wedding, a year or more may be needed.
Save the Dates are really important. Most people can't fly around the country on a whim, grab a hotel for a weekend and party for a few days without some advanced notice. We all need time to take days off of work, find arrangements for kids or pets, and get those hotel and flight reservations in early so we can get good rates. On top of just those logistics, there's a financial aspect to be considerate of, as well. People need time to save for your wedding, and giving them an early heads up is going to give the best chance that all the people you care about can make it to your wedding.
Save the Dates go out well in advance to your actual invitation. You need to have the basics figured out, but you don't need every single detail ironed out yet. As long as people know where and when your wedding is going to be, they can start making the necessary arrangements. The actual invitations can handle things like meal choices, dress code, exact time, and that kind of thing.
Generally, the further you are asking your guests to travel, the more notice they're going to need. If you are having a destination wedding, you need to give them lots of planning time. Be conscious of what will be considered a destination for the majority of your guests. To some people, traveling up or down the coast can be quite a feat, let alone traveling across the country, or even to another country all together.
When it comes to Save the Dates, think of them as a preview of the theme of your wedding. They should have a little info for people to start planning, and they should have the feel and design that you want people to think of when they are wondering what your wedding is going to be like.
Invitations: 6-8 Weeks.
A lot of you are probably saying to me right now "I already sent my Save the Date, I don't need to know that... when do I send out my wedding invitations?"
Once your date is only a couple months out, it's time to send out the full invitations. By now, you'll have your exact time of your ceremony settled, you'll have tasted all your samples and decided on which food to offer, and you'll know things like what time time the reception is going to start/ if you're going to have a cocktail hour.
Not all of this has to go on the invitation itself, some of it can go on an information card, but the idea is that all of the details that your guests need to know ahead of time is in your invitation mailing. This way, any details they still need to figure out on their end can be attended to after they get the invitation. This is when people can decide on things like what they're going to wear based on the time of day/theme of your wedding, or figure out any further transportation or lodging details that may have come up.
If you send your invitations out too early, it gives people too much time to misplace their invitations, procrastinate sending your RSVP, and forget that they even had an information card! If you send them out too late, it doesn't give you much time to gather their RSVPs, and doesn't give your guests enough time to make their arrangements. Consequently, it's important to time the mailing of your invitations correctly!
RSVP Deadline: 2-3 Weeks before your date.
Like we just mentioned, you need to time your RSVPs correctly, so that you give yourself enough time to inform your caterers of your final headcount (some may need more or less time to prepare, so make sure you ask them what they need!), plan your seating chart, and make any final pokes to whoever forgets to send the RSVP back!
Make sure that you give a deadline that allows for everyone to have a little time before they send it back. Sometimes, just having time to remember to get to a mailbox can be important!
Remember that you will probably not get every RSVP back. You may need to gently remind people you need to know if they're coming or not. Giving yourself a little bit of a buffer between when you ACTUALLY need to know how many people are going to show up, and when you SAY you need all the information, will give you that little bit of space to track down the last few stragglers.
So there you have it! Hopefully, all this information helps you decided when to send your Save the Dates, when to send your Invitations, and when when your RSVP deadline should be for your wedding!
All the images in this post are taken from our Olivia Collection. Head on over and check it out!
So, there you have it! "When do I send out my wedding invitations?" You send them out 6-8 weeks ahead of your wedding, you send out your Save the Dates 6-8 months ahead of your wedding, and you want your RSVPs back 2-3 weeks before your wedding.