When I sit down with a client, I get towards the end of the meeting and say a few words about when I recommend mailing out the invitations and then I say, “How does that sound to you?” I get a variety of responses from “Great!” to “Well, I was thinking…” So, today, I wanted to share a little bit about when you should mail your invitations and why.
Invitations are typically mailed 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding. I recommend 8 weeks or 2 months prior to the wedding. And, I recommend making your response date 1 month prior to the wedding. So, if your wedding is October 26th, then your invitations should go out August 26th and the response date should be September 26th. This timing gives your guests a month to respond and you a month before the wedding to finalize headcount and seating.
The exception to this timing is when you are having a destination wedding or if the majority of your guests have to travel to come to the wedding location. Then, you can bump the mailing date to 10-12 weeks prior to the wedding. Response date at 6 weeks prior would be appropriate.
Some clients want to send their invitations out earlier. Either they are excited to send them or think that they should go out sooner (for a variety of reasons). When you send out the invitations too early, your guests don’t have that sense of urgency to respond. They feel that the wedding is so far away that they don’t need to worry about it at that moment. They will likely sit the invitation on their desk or kitchen counter and find it a month or so later, when they are cleaning — and the response date has probably passed.
Side note about the “b-list” and how it plays into when to mail your invitations…it doesn’t. I know what you are thinking…are you crazy? Right? Nope, I’m not. If you have a b-list, you need to rank those guests from 1 to whatever. As soon as you get a “no” response, the next day, you should send out an invite to the #1 b-list guest. So, you are not waiting until some magic date to send out invitations to your b-list. Just consider it a rolling process. If you have a very large b-list, you might decide to have a few response card made with a response date that is one or two weeks later than the original, just in case.
Hopefully, this clears up the mystery about when to mail your invitations!