Nobody likes a last minute party invitation – if you’re a guest you have to rearrange your schedule to fit in the event, and if you’re the host you’re praying that your guest list will actually attend or reply by the intended date so that you can inform your caterer of the number of plates needed.
Your wedding invitations should be mailed out approximately 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. If all of your guests are local, six weeks prior to your wedding is appropriate. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, ere on the later side of eight to nine weeks prior. Remember, if you sent out save the date cards prior to your invitations, you can cut it a bit closer with mailing your invitations out, as most guests have likely already reserved the date for your wedding day. Don’t cut it too close, but a week or so later than usual is acceptable.
As always, if you are hosting a destination wedding always send your wedding invitations out way in advance. The more information you can give the better – thus sending out save the date cards about 9-12 months prior is appropriate. The more time you give, the more guests can attend and financially plan for your event.
When setting your reply-by date, check with your caterer to see if they have a date where they need a head-count or meal-count. You will want to set your reply-by date at least one week prior to the caterer’s date. This is so that you can contact any guests who have not replied, (and yes, this unfortunately WILL happen, no matter how hard you push your guests to RSVP). You may also need to contact some guests about meal choices, thus a week should give you plenty of time to clear up any last minute details.
For more etiquette and advice, check out our Etiquette and Advice section which will answer all of your important wedding questions!