There’s a lot of information out there about when you should mail your wedding invitations, Save the Dates, rehearsal dinner invites, etc. so we’re here to set everything straight. As we always say, we’ll give you “rules” but things are always up to you and your specific situation. There’s only one rule you shouldn’t break - don’t do anything only because you’re “supposed to” or your mom tells you to. Do it because it makes sense for you and your partner and with your personal situation!
When Do You Mail Save the Dates?
Save the Dates are typically sent out 6-9 months before your wedding date. They let people know what plans to make, tickets to book, accommodations to find, etc. They’re usually very simple and include your names, date, and the city of your wedding ceremony (website is common nowadays too!). If there are any extremely unique instructions that you need to note early on, this is a great place to do it. We have a whole post about Save the Dates here! If your wedding is international for most guests, or destination (50%+ of your guests will have to fly), then you’ll definitely want to err on the early side - give your friends and family time to get their passports in order!
When Do You Mail Wedding Invites?
Invitations have a lot more information about the wedding - and thus, you’ll likely have to wait until that’s completely finalized to send them out! Invites are most often sent out between 7 and 12 weeks before the wedding. You don’t want to mail them too early, or guests may throw them to the side and forget to RSVP. If you mail them too late, however, guests may be at home freaking out about their plans! I’m a huge planner, so I want allll the info as early as possible to make arrangements!
Your wedding website (which is usually provided on the Save the Date) is helpful for those like me who like to make plans early. But the invitations will be the first time people really see what time the wedding is, where the reception is, attire, meal options, etc. Our sweet spot is usually around 10 weeks before the wedding!
When Should Your RSVP Date Be?
This is a great question! As a stationery designer, I prefer an early RSVP date to give you time to create a seating chart, and me time to make something beautiful out of it! There are always people who forget to RSVP (I’m ashamed to admit I have been that person!), so you’ll have to allow a couple days to call those people and get their response. I often recommend 5 weeks before the wedding, although many people like to go earlier, and a lot of websites will recommend 4 weeks before. If you go too early, people may change their plans, and if you go too late, you’re cutting it close on the seating chart, meal counts, etc. Here’s an entire post about RSVP Cards!
When Should You Mail Rehearsal Dinner Invitations?
This one is trickier, and depends on what you want to do a little. We often include a rehearsal dinner invitation in the main invitation envelope as an insert for those who are invited to that extra special occasion. The benefit of this is no extra postage (or maybe just $0.15 for the extra ounce). The confusing part is that the wedding and rehearsal dinner are often hosted by different people - so putting them in the same mailer can confuse that a little. If you need an RSVP card for the rehearsal dinner as well as the wedding, then that’s an extra 2 cards AND an extra envelope added to those invitations, which can be a lot. The other option is just to send the Rehearsal Dinner invitations in their own mailers, around the same time or about 1-2 weeks after the main invitations go out - it would be confusing to receive an invite to a rehearsal dinner if you hadn’t already gotten the wedding invitation!
What About the Other Events?
Other events? WHAT?! These are totally optional, of course! Some people like to have a larger welcome reception, BBQ brunch, Sangeet, Tea Ceremony, or any number of other events associated with their wedding, which require their own separate invitation. We typically include these in the main invitation envelope as separate insert cards.
If you’re curious about showers, bachx parties, etc. then the answer varies depending on the complexity, length, and location of the event as well as where everyone invited will travel from. Typically about a month’s notice is plenty for a shower! We have a whole host of shower (wedding, bridal, baby, etc.) invitations in our Collection Suites to go with the main wedding invitations!
And of course, as with all things, these are subject to change! The main thing you’ll want to do is give yourself more time rather than not enough time! Starting early on the invitation process may not seem so important, but as an example, we need 3 weeks to put together a Collections suite, and 2 months minimum for custom invitation orders! You (and your guests) will always appreciate having a little extra time when it comes to your wedding invitations.