You’re getting married, and you want to invite all your family members and friends. But when should you send out those wedding invitations? Indeed, timing is everything with wedding invitations-you don’t want to get caught waiting for the RSVP date too long before the wedding date! Here are some guidelines to help you decide when to start sending them out (including save the date cards).

When to send wedding invitations (including save the date cards)?

Most couples will send out their invitations three to four months before the wedding, depending on how much time they have and how many people are invited for a formal ceremony.

When should you send the invitations for destination weddings?

The destination wedding invitations need to be sent out earlier than those who are held in the hometown. The destination wedding invitation needs to go out in time for all guests to get tickets or make plans to attend the destination wedding.

We prefer it to be at least six to eight months before the big day. This will allow the guest to make travel plans and prepare accordingly. When you do not have enough notice, some of your guests might end up missing the ceremony altogether.

When should you send bridal shower invitations?

A bride-to-be is usually celebrated by having a bridal shower. As the maid of honor or another good friend, you should host it and invite all friends to celebrate this special occasion. The only rule that needs to be followed is everyone invited must also be honored with an invitation for the wedding day celebration!

There is no right answer for how many months or weeks before the wedding to send bridal shower invitations. Most people suggest six to eight weeks and that if you’re pressed for time sending them, six weeks in advance may be enough.

When should you send engagement party invitations?

When you should send engagement party invitations depends on the party. If your engagement party is more of a casual and intimate affair, such as an engagement dinner with close friends and family or even only the bride and groom, engagement parties usually take place weeks after the engagement.

If you plan an engagement party with guests, it is generally a good idea to send engagement invitations four weeks prior to the party.

If the engagement party only includes family and close friends, you can extend that time frame to as long as six weeks beforehand.

However, engagement parties that include guests are the most common and have the quickest engagement party invitation response time guidelines.

In terms of wedding planning, engagement parties serve as a great opportunity for you to start receiving feedback on your engagement announcements and building your guest list for your upcoming wedding.

When should you send save-the-dates?

If you’re going to send out save-the-dates, don’t wait until the last minute! They take time to make, and your guests will need a good amount of lead time. For example:

  • If you send the ‘save the date’ six to eight months before your wedding date, that’s enough for most people to remember it by September and to make any travel plans necessary. That’s also enough time for them to RSVP if you need it by a certain date.
  • If you send them three to four months beforehand, you should probably follow up with another reminder (a gift or an electronic notification, i.e. mail or text message). Again, six to eight months in advance is your best bet, but three to four will work in a pinch.
  • If you send them two months before, you’re tempting fate: the invites probably won’t reach them for your wedding day unless they RSVPed immediately; even then, it’s pushing things to have so little time. Again, if you must, six to eight months is OK; three to four will work with an extra reminder.
  • If you send them in less than three months, you’re just reckless! They won’t reach in time, and your guests will have difficulty making plans or even remembering the date. However, if you must do this “save-the-dates” thing to get some headcount, six to eight is probably your best bet.

If you send them less than two months in advance, screw save-the-dates altogether; a postcard would be more appropriate. You’ll save yourself and your guests a lot of stress if you just do that instead.

When to send rehearsal dinner invitations?

The traditional time for sending out rehearsal dinner invitations is four weeks before your wedding. But knowing that not everyone follows tradition, here are some general guidelines:

  1. If you’re having a formal sit-down dinner (think, white table cloths and candles), four weeks before the wedding is a good time to send out your rehearsal dinner invitations.
  2. If you’re having a casual barbecue or pig roast at a park party where it’s more about hanging out and catching up with friends and family, wait until two weeks before the wedding to send them out.
  3. If you’re having a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, then four weeks is fine.

What is proper wedding invitation etiquette for RSVP?

RSVPs are crucial, especially if you have a shorter wedding invitation timeline. This will help you to have a final headcount and prepare the perfect seating chart.

So, how soon after you send wedding invitations should you expect RSVP cards? When should you start calling, emailing or texting your guests to check in on their rsvp status? The short answer is that there’s no set timeline for when to follow up with your wedding guests.

The best way to deal with the “when should I contact my guests” question is to follow up based on the response you’re getting.

What should be the RSVP deadline?

The standard two to three weeks before a wedding is common these days.

  • This gives ample time for those who may need extra time to rsvp, whether they are out of town guests or have family in town during that two to three week period.
  • Two to three weeks is enough time for you to get all the responses back and see how many guests you’re going to have at your wedding.

This time frame should be enough when it comes to time for two things: getting people’s responses in before the deadline and seeing how many of your guests will be coming to your wedding party. This will make wedding planning easier.

What if you don’t get RSVPs back in time for your big day?

If you don’t get RSVPs back in time for your big day, here’s what you can do:

1. Call each person on the list who hasn’t returned his response card and ask him/her if he or she intends to attend.

2. If the response is affirmative, mark that person off on your response card

3. Call each caterer or reception hall you’re using to make sure that they have the count of your response cards so they can accommodate your numbers.

Since response cards are required with your completed guest list, there’s no time to send invitations without them. If you choose not to use response cards since they’re a more recent trend and instead opt for response envelopes, make sure that you have response envelopes for everyone on your list or else you’ll need response cards after the fact.

The response cards are included to make sure you’re getting responses. If your response rate is 100%, go ahead and send invitations without response cards and save the expense.

How does timing affect the cost of a wedding invitation package?

You can save money on wedding invitations in the following ways;

Save the Date Cards

First, send a Save The Date to your wedding guests at an early date (three months before the big day). This way you can cut on postage and costs for invitations. Then tell your wedding planner to include this in the welcome bags given to out of town guests. If you have a small wedding ceremony, don’t send them.

The design: make it simple and minimalistic. You may consider sending a photo on the invite, so they know what you look like now – in case your friends aren’t Facebook friends!


Have a friend or family member write down some information instead of buying one from a printing company. Also, you can have your wedding planner write it down and send it to you for approval before printing and binding the program.


Only order what you need instead of ordering extra seals because they’re so cheap. You can also use a monogram stamp as a seal to avoid paying for printing and shipping of the extra seals.

Thank You Cards

The front of a thank you card should be simple in design and color (black with white font/colors). On the inside, it is your choice whether to include a photo or not.

Wrapping Up

So now you have all the information on how to send your wedding invitations. You know when and what type of wedding invitation to use, as well as all about RSVP etiquette. Feel free to contact us today for more help planning out the rest of your big day! We’re always happy to answer any questions that come up along the way or give guidance on additional aspects of weddings that may not be covered here.