Once you have made progress on planning your wedding, secured the venue, and have started putting everything in place for your special day, you’ll need to start thinking about letting your guest list know. But what about your wedding invitations? When should you be looking to get these sent out to give everyone enough time to make their arrangements and ensure they can be there for your wedding. I spent some time researching wedding etiquette and seeing what most couples tend to do and would like to share with you what I found here today.
So, how early is too early for wedding invitations? It is generally recommended that you send out your wedding invitations no earlier than 8-10 weeks before the wedding day. If you are having a destination wedding then you should look to send your wedding invitations slightly earlier to give additional notice, at least 12 weeks (three months) before the special day.
Consider that you will have sent save the dates to your guests ahead of your wedding invites, which will have already given them a notification, an opportunity to confirm the date and time to make provisional plans accordingly.
Wedding invitations include all the key details of the wedding, such as the couple’s names, the venue of the ceremony and reception, and the date and time.
As such, it goes without saying that you need to have done a bit of planning, and organization and have things confirmed before these can be confidently ordered and sent out.
Every guest should expect a wedding invite; which may or may not be the case for your save the dates.
Let us now take a closer look at some of those other questions you may be having, such as whether it is considered presumptions to send your invites out too early when you should look to send them, and what this means for ordering them in.
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Is It Rude To Send Wedding Invitations Early?
Sending wedding invitations out early is not against any recognized wedding etiquette or considered rude, but it is not advised from a practical perspective. You can lose the intended effect they are supposed to have.
For example, wedding invites help to build excitement for your wedding day.
Sending them out too far in advance almost dulls the effect that they can have; as guests have longer to wait until the day comes around.
Equally, not every guest on your wedding list will be comfortable with making their arrangements too far in advance.
They may not know if they will be able to get the time off work, will be able to afford to come, etc.
Or you might later discover certain guests need to change their response as the event draws closer (as they work through their schedule).
Beyond this, guests have a naturally greater chance of either losing the invite itself, storing it out of sight, or simply forgetting about the date altogether!
While this may seem unlikely for the closer, more intricate members of the guest list, it can and does happen with those wider acquaintances.
Ultimately, it is not rude, it is just poor form and one that is not likely to work out in the best interests of you as a couple and for your guests.
When To Send Wedding Invitations
Traditionally, wedding invites are sent to the guests six weeks before the wedding day, with 8-10 weeks being considered the earliest you should be planning for.
The only other recommended exceptions, are whether you are having a destination wedding and whether you are sending your invites during busy postal times during the year (such as around the Christmas period).
In this instance, you should look to give an extra couple of weeks, 12-16 or(3-4) months before the wedding.
The same timeframes apply to all of your guests; both those that are invited to the ceremony (and the full day) and those that are invited to the wedding reception only.
Beyond just the basics involving when and where the wedding is to take place, it is also good practice to include directions and a map of the venue, local accommodation recommendations (like nearby hotels), plus-one rules, dress code, and your RSVP cards.
How Far In Advance Should I Order Wedding Invitations?
It is generally advised to order your wedding invitations at least 6-8 months before your wedding day, or 4 months before you are planning to send them out to your guests. This will give you sufficient time to check them over, assemble them, address them and get them all sent out.
It will also enable you to confirm that you are truly satisfied with your order, make any adjustments, and will also give the stationer time to make any changes if any errors were to occur.
Plus it should prevent any additional costs for rushed orders, expedited shipping costs, and all of the stress that comes with sending something out too late.
So, one of the best pieces of advice we can give is to begin looking for a stationer as early as you can.
You do not need to decide on one right away.
But if you do your research and your due diligence ahead of time, you can make the entire process much easier on yourself.
Besides, the earlier you begin looking, the more options you will be able to consider and you may even find that certain orders have a longer production time.
One of the other main benefits of this approach is that you should have enough time to order samples, which will enable you to compare options side by side.
You can also look closely at the wording and see if it has the initial intended effect and looks right on the style and design.
How Much Time Do You Give For Wedding RSVP?
It is generally advised that you give your guests between 4-6 weeks to RSVP to your wedding invitation. This should mean that you receive your confirmations 2-3 weeks before the wedding day itself, and 5-6 weeks since you sent the invites to your guests.
This should give you the time you need to discuss your day with your coordinator or venue manager, and finalize the table plans and seating arrangements with the confirmed guest list.
That being said, many newlyweds often have said that even with an RSVP deadline in place, many guests did not follow it.
Unfortunately, there will always be guests that put it off to the last minute, or who simply forget until you remind them.
So, one of the best things you can do to ensure you get your RSVPs on time is to give plenty of options for confirmation.
While mail options can work well, there is the issue with the post and the fact that younger people do not tend to use this service and method of communication anymore.
So, consider adding a phone number, email address, or even a link to your own wedding website where guests can RSVP to your special day.
Another good tip to get your RSVPs in on time is to make the wording clear on the RSVP card they receive with their invite. Ensure that your guests know exactly what they need to do and when.
Taking it a step further, if you let your guests RSVP with a contribution to the day itself, e.g. a request for a song, you are likely to find a lot more enthusiasm in your responses. It makes for a greater day too!
One of the best things you can do when it comes to your wedding invitations is to set out your plan, your schedule, and your timelines long in advance.
This will let you know what to do by when and will ensure that you send your invites and receive your RSVPs in a timely fashion.
While it is an excellent idea to research your stationery as early as possible, sending out your wedding invites needn’t be something you do until 8-10 weeks before the wedding day. There is simply no benefit in doing so.
12 weeks is a little longer than recommended to send out wedding invites for local weddings, although is the recommended timeline for destination weddings.
6 months is considered to be too early to send wedding invites. From a practical perspective, it is unlikely that your guests will be willing or able to commit to your wedding this far in advance.
Hey, I’m Allison – a bride-to-be and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I have accumulated since researching for my wedding over two years ago. I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding.