When Should Wedding Invitations Be Sent Out? Best Practices

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Written By Aaron Smith

Rev. Aaron Smith enjoys sharing insights from over 10 years of wedding officiating experience.

When should wedding invitations be sent out? This is a very common question in wedding planning. We’re here to help! This post is for couples planning their wedding who want to know the proper etiquette for inviting their guests.

By the end of this post, you will have a very good idea of when to send wedding invitations.

The challenge with physical wedding invitations is coordinating the invitation process. Paper invitations require choosing a design that you love. It also involves purchasing the invitations, mailing them, and managing responses when the guests return them. This is all while you are working hard to stay on top of all the rest of your wedding details.

-A time for guests

-Your best schedule

-Finalizing your dates

What if you knew exactly when your invitations would be sent and the best time to get the best response from all of your guests.

The thing to remember about your wedding invitations is that your guests need solid communication throughout the process. It’s never just about the invitations.

If you have a good communication plan throughout your wedding events from start to finish, you will reduce your stress of waiting for wedding responses.

A Time for Guests

Our question, “When should wedding invitations be sent out?” is a common one. The thing to remember about your invitations is this process begins as soon as your guests hear about your wedding. Those who you know closely may even see your engagement on social media. After all, it is 2021. They may even see your engagement photos or video and expect that an invitation may be on the way to them although they would never say it. This is when the process begins. It’s with the potential expectation that someone might receive an invitation when they learn about your engagement.

The next step is up to you as a wedding coordinator. You will next send save the dates as a courtesy to let guests know when they should expect to attend your wedding. The save the date ensures your guests can request time off work, arrange a sitter, plan their budget for gifts, and travel. The more notice you can give your guests the better for you in the long run.

Your Best Schedule

I have to say something here on your behalf. This schedule is ultimately about you, not your guests. This is your wedding. Yes, you want to go out of your way to make your guests feel welcome and honor their time however you are the star of this show. This scheduling ensures that you have low stress and that your wedding goes well according to your standards.

Finalizing Your Dates

So, when should wedding invitations be sent out? Here is a guide based on how much time you have until your wedding date. This schedule is just a guide for you, so always feel free to adjust the dates according to what you need.

When should wedding invitations be sent out?

If your wedding date is:

2+ years away

If you are over two years away from your wedding date consider sending invitations nine months ahead. The reason for your extended date could be that you chose a popular venue. It could also be because you have a destination venue or both. But if you have this much time to work with don’t be afraid to give your guests a little extra time.

1.5 years away

Your wedding guests’ invitations should go out 6-8 months ahead of time with a year and a half notice. You have more time to let your guests know when and where to be. The reason to give advanced notice, in this case, is to secure cheaper plane tickets and reservations if necessary.

One year away

With a year to plan, consider sending out invitations to your guests at the 6-month mark. This is the standard for sending wedding guests invitations when you have enough time to work with them.

Nine months away

If your wedding is less than nine months away, there is a good chance you might have a destination wedding. For destination weddings consider sending out invitations three months before your wedding date and save the dates as soon as you know you’re getting married.

Six months or less away

The monthly timeline is very tight but not impossible. At this stage, send out invitations four months before your wedding date. Yes, this is short notice, but you should have a smaller invite list, and your guests will understand. They will look at your wedding date and realize that for whatever reason you have less time to work with. Of course, with this schedule, you should save the dates immediately, but this is optional.

Less than a month away

With less than a month away from your wedding, there will be no need to send save the dates and a separate invitation. With this timing, hopefully, your guests and wedding party have an idea that this destination wedding is highly likely. The more hints they have, the better chance you will have to work on the details such as making sure that your wedding party number is somewhat even. When you have a quick destination wedding things like making sure the bridesmaid number is proportionate to the groomsmen can be a luxury rather than the standard.

We have made some progress in answering the question, “When should wedding invitations be sent out?” With a clearly outlined schedule, you will reduce your stress. You will also give your guests the time they need to make the proper arrangements.

The next step is to find invitations where you live. Minted.com is always an excellent choice for guests. Combine with wedistry.com to keep track of your wedding party throughout all of your wedding events.

And so, when should wedding invitations be sent out? It depends on your engagement timeline, your location, and the makeup of your wedding party. We hope this blog post gives you some idea of when you should send invitations based on some factors.

Now on to important questions like band or DJ?

Our Recommendation

Minted.com has some of the most stylish and creative designs using their contributor model for invitations and prints. Although I used their service for maternity shoot photos, I highly recommend the selections to choose from and would have used their invitations for our wedding if we were aware of their excellent choices.

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