April 24, 2017
Every couple for whom I’ve provided full or partial wedding planning has asked me a question along the following lines; “When do I need to mail my wedding invitations out?” Formal etiquette for wedding invitation timing dictates that invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before your big day. But my response varies depending on the time of year. Why would my answer vary? There are a few considerations.
Picking out, ordering and mailing your wedding invitations takes time, and the process should begin four to six months before your wedding date. Sooner if you have a more complicated design in mind. I recommend that your order your invitations sooner rather than later. Paper is not going to go bad if you have them sitting around.
Once you pick out your design, one of the first things you should do is check to see how long the turnaround time for the completed job is going to be. Turnaround can have a huge impact on your wedding invitation timing. Some printers and designers can turn around your order in a matter of days. While other, more custom invitations, can take up to 4-6 weeks. My most important word of advice when ordering invitations…
You will want to give yourself 2-4 weeks for assembly in your wedding invitation timing. Here are the things to consider…
You will want to visit the post office to mail your invitations 6-8 weeks before the big day. Do not toss your wedding invitations in the mail box, or stick them at the end of the driveway with the flag up on your mailbox. You will want to take your invitations to the Post Office, and it’s going to require 2 trips. One to get the postage priced out (have them weigh your invite) and the second to have your invitations hand canceled. More on hand canceling later.
You want to ensure that your invitations are not damaged during the mailing process. Proper wedding invitation timing is key! Hand Canceling means that the stamp gets stamped over with a rubber stamp and not run through one of those big bulky machines. Hand canceling looks prettier and you wouldn’t want to wreck your envelope (and, OMG, your calligraphy) with a bar code and a sticker running across it. But hand canceling will cost you some time at the post office. I had my wedding invites hand canceled. I sent out about 80 invites and was at the post office for about 30 minutes.
Let’s work back in time from your wedding date to select a RSVP date. Typically, you will want your RSVP deadline to be three weeks before your big day. Go to your calendar and find your wedding date. Adjust your wedding invitation timing according to the following considerations:
Planning your wedding invitation timing like this will give you time to organize yourself once you receive your RSVPs. This way you can take care of some last minute details like getting your final headcount to your venue/caterer, create your seating plan, and order place cards/escort cards/seating chart.
Are you in the thick of figuring out your wedding invitation timing? Contact me here and I’ll be more than happy to help! I can point you in the direction of your best options. There are gorgeous invites out there for every budget! If you want to learn more about creating affordable gorgeous invitations, check out this blog post right here! Are you are considering DIYing all or part of your wedding invite? Check out my DIY post on creating envelope liners for your wedding invitation.
Thank you to the photographers who allow us to use their images on our site:
Ashley Mac Photographs, Heather Palecek Photography, Idalia Photography, Jessica Erb Photography, Susan Elizabeth Photography, Delaney Dobson Photography, Ann Coen Photography, Lovesick Inc., K Hulett Photography & Melanie Cassie Photography
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