How late is too late to send an invitation? And is there some point where it’s really too EARLY to send an invitation? These questions plague many of our customers on a daily basis. In actuality, there is a right and wrong time to send an invitation. The thought behind invitation time lines is that you want to give your guests enough time to be able to reserve the date for your event but not so much time that an invitation is thrown on a counter amongst a pile of bills and junk mail and forgotten until three days after the party date. Yes, this does happen!
To prevent early or late invitation sending, check out these time lines below which will help you in pre-planning your next event. Depending on the invitation you are ordering, be sure to order your invitations approximately 2 weeks before you want to mail them to your guests. This will give you time for a proof, invitation processing and shipping, purchasing postage, stuffing, addressing and mailing your invitations.
Kids Birthday Party Invitations – Kids birthday invites should be mailed out anywhere from 1-3 weeks before your event. The earlier you send an invite, most likely the more kids will attend. However if you’re running late on the invitation sending, it should never really be an issue. Kids are always up for a last-minute party.
Birth Announcements – Birth announcements can actually be pre-ordered and mailed out as early as the week after the baby is born. I would say the latest to send a birth announcement would be about 3 months after your baby is born. However, if you have a preemie or an unfortunate medical issue with your child, a later announcement is certainly welcomed and acceptable.
Casual Party Invitations – Mail out your cocktail, birthday or other casual event invitations approximately 2-3 weeks before your event. Remember to send out-of-state guest’s invitations out a bit earlier to give them more time to make the necessary travel arrangements.
Formal Parties / Weddings – A wedding invitation or an extremely important formal event’s invitation should be mailed out approximately 6-8 weeks before the event. An RSVP date of about 2 weeks before the event should be included to confirm party totals for your caterer/host/location. If you feel you need to give your guests additional time, send a save the date up to six months prior to your event.
If you can think of any other event we haven’t listed above, feel free to ask us the proper timeline. Remember that the reason for your invitation is to help have a full guest list with the important people in your life celebrating your event. You can always go above or below the time lines, but the above should be a great starting timeline for those planning an event.