Once you know when you’re hosting each of your wedding events, it’s time for the next step in wedding planning: sending your invitations! From the engagement party invitations and Save the Dates to the wedding invitations and Thank You cards, it’s best to follow etiquette when sending this correspondence to your guests. To ensure you give your guests enough notice for the event(s) they’re invited to, read on to find the sweet spot for when to send wedding invitations.
When to send engagement party invitations
Planning an engagement party? You should send these invitations as soon as you select a date, time, and place. Ideally, you should give your guests at least two weeks’ notice.
Note: Choose your guest list for this party wisely, as the invitees will expect an invitation to the wedding.
When to send bridal shower invitations
A bridal shower typically occurs anywhere from three weeks to three months before the wedding, so you should send the invitations four to six weeks before the event. This gives your guests enough time to clear their calendars and find a fun gift. The only rule for the bridal shower is to avoid inviting people who aren’t invited to the wedding.
When to send bachelor/bachelorette party invitations
If you’re planning a local shindig, send invitations at least four weeks in advance. For a destination bachelor/bachelorette party, send the invitations eight to 10 weeks before take-off.
When to send rehearsal dinner invitations
About three to six weeks before your rehearsal dinner, send rehearsal dinner invitations to your wedding party, officiant, and any additional friends and family members. It’s customary to allow each person in your wedding party to bring a guest. On the invite, be sure to note if the dinner will follow the rehearsal or occur on a different day.
When to send Save the Dates
Make sure your guests don’t get booked on your wedding day by sending Save the Dates four to six months before the wedding. This card lets them know they’ll be receiving an official invitation. It also fills them in on key information about where and when the nuptials will take place.
Tip: Before you send your Save the Dates, ensure you have your wedding website up and running. This will help your guests access all the details to determine if they’ll be able to make the wedding.
When to send Save the Dates for a destination wedding
To give your guests enough time to make travel arrangements for a destination wedding, send Save the Dates for this type of celebration eight to 12 months before the big day. This advance notice helps ensure they have plenty of time to book transportation and accommodations, request time off work, find childcare, and check off other destination wedding To-Dos.
When to send paper wedding invitations
For paper wedding invitations, send them six to eight weeks before you say “I do.” This is the invitation that includes all the details about your ceremony, reception, dress code, registry, and RSVPs. If certain guests can bring a plus one, indicate that on the invitation by including the term “and guest” by your guest’s name.
Note: If any of your loved ones will be arriving from another country, send their invitations at least 12 weeks in advance to ensure they have ample time to plan their travel.
When to send online wedding invitations
If you’re opting for online wedding invitations, it’s still best to send them six to eight weeks before the wedding and 12 weeks before an international wedding. Joy offers a variety of beautiful invitation e-cards to choose from, including a digital RSVP system that makes it a cinch to keep track of who is coming.
When to collect RSVPs
An important part of your wedding invitation is letting your guests know when you need their RSVPs. Ideally, the RSVP deadline is one month before the wedding date, as this offers you plenty of time to give the caterer, venue, and wedding planner the final headcount.
Tip: As you near your RSVP deadline, don’t be afraid to give guests you haven’t heard from a nudge.
When to send Thank You cards
Plan to send Thank You cards two to three weeks after each event where you might receive gifts. This includes the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding.
How a wedding website can help
To avoid making a trip to the post office every few weeks, a wedding website might just be your new best friend. Joy has a wedding invitation suite that makes it easy to create and send Save the Dates and invitations for your engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and other special events. This invitation suite can also help you easily collect your guests’ emails and home addresses, assign plus ones, track RSVPs, and send reminders.
Whether you send traditional paper invitations or go paperless, you can easily collect RSVPs online.