wedding stationery timeline

Time is of the essence once a wedding date has been picked. Knowing when to send save the dates and invitations can be baffling. This blog post explains exactly when these pieces should be sent and why.

when to mail save the dates

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Knowing when to send save the dates is typically the more confusing question. The answer depends somewhat on who you are expecting to attend your wedding. If you’ll be having out of town or international guests and/or having a destination wedding, save the dates can be sent out up to a year in advance. This ensures everyone has time to budget for and book travel, and not plan another trip during the day of your wedding.

On average, save the dates should be sent between 6-8 months before the wedding.

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Save the dates are fun because they don’t have to be so formal, you’re just giving your guests a heads up to mark their calendars for your special day. You can show a bit of your personality by including a picture from an engagement session, or maybe a Information that’s good to include is your names (of course), the wedding date (if it’s not on a Saturday, it may be a good idea to indicate that), and the wedding location city and state. This is also a great time and place to share your wedding website, so be sure to have it up and running. Lastly, the bottom of the save the date should say “formal invitation to follow” so your guests know what to expect and that they will be receiving more details about the event.

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when to mail wedding invitations

Wedding invitations are a little different than a birthday party invitation. These should be sent about 8-6 weeks (1.5-2 months) before the wedding. Destination weddings may need to send invites up to 10 weeks prior in order for guests to book accommodations and flights.

The invitation is typically accompanied with an RSVP card and envelope already return-addressed back to the sender. The RSVP is important so you know number of guests attending and their names. The RSVP is also used to select meal options, or indicate dietary restrictions.

If you are struggling with a polite way to tell your guests kids are not invited, here’s a tip. In the bottom left or right corner, having “adults only” on the RSVP is a subtle way of getting the information across. They’ll definitely be looking closely at this card since your guests will need to fill in their names in the blank.

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If you’re having blocks of rooms reserved for out-of-town guests, the details card is the best place to share that information. Also, if your reception is in a different location than the ceremony, the reception location and start time should be present here. It’s a good idea to reiterate the wedding website here, as well. You’ll likely have more information to share with your guests now that the wedding date is closer.

The goal is to have the invitation, reply card and details card be as clear and concise as possible so your guests are confident they know where they’re supposed to be and when. Following these tried-and-true methods will ensure your guests have all the information they need in plenty of time to plan their arrangements to celebrate with you.

Confused about invitation wording etiquette? Read about that here.