Exactly when should you plan to send your wedding invitations for your 2024 or 2025 wedding? I get it, you’ve searched and searched online to find the definitive answer, but every site you find is telling you something different. Aunt Peggy says that in her day it was always 8 to 12 weeks in advance. But Karen in that wedding chat group is insisting that they need to go out at least a year in advance or all your nearest and dearest will be double booked.
When to send wedding wedding invitations: what IS the right time?
As a general rule I advise sending your invitations between four and eight months before the big day. But, as with so many other wedding invite related questions, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. When couples ask me when to send wedding invitations I usually run through a few questions with them. These help to narrow it down, and work out a sensible timescale. Run through those questions now with me, and see what works for you.
1. Have you sent save the date cards?
Save the date cards are a great way to get an early marker in the diary with your guests, but they’re not essential and not everybody wants to go to the expense of sending them out. I usually say that if you have sent save the date cards then you can wait a little later to send your wedding invitations. Your guests should have the big day in their planner and the invitation is really just to confirm all the finer details.
2. Do all your guests know about the wedding? Are the invitations just a formality?
You might not have sent formal save the dates, but there’s a good chance that your ‘A list’ family and friends will know about your wedding and will have marked the date on their calendars already. You don’t need to get your invitations out super early.
3. How big is your guest list?
If you have a relatively small guest list and you are confident that this is the case, again, you don’t need to go too early with your wedding invitations.
If you have a bigger guest list, where you are not in regular contact with many of them, it might be harder to communicate with them via word of mouth. In this case you could send wedding invitations a little earlier to ensure everybody is aware.
You only need one invitation per couple or household, not one per guest. Don’t over order.
4. Are you getting married in ‘wedding season’
Typically in the UK, the spring and summer months of May to September are ‘wedding season’, and your guests are likely to be busy! If your big day falls in this peak time then think about sending your handmade wedding invitations earlier rather than later.
As this is also ‘holiday season’ it would be a good idea to give your guests plenty of notice so that they don’t get double booked. Of course – you might already have this covered with a save the date (see my point above).
5. Do your guests need to travel or book accommodation?
If you are planning a destination wedding then you might want to send your wedding invitations earlier. Particularly if your guests need to plan (and save for!) flights, accommodation and time off work. This also applies to UK weddings if your family and friends are scattered across the country and need to travel.
Top tip for city weddings:
Always check for sports, music, or other big events that fall on the same day as your wedding. It can drastically affect the availability of local accommodation for your guests. Again, a scenario where sending wedding invitations earlier (with accommodation options) would be helpful.
6. When does your wedding venue need final numbers and other info like menu choices
When you decide to send your wedding invitations, don’t forget to factor in enough time to get back your replies (and any other information like menu choices) in time to get all the final details to your venue and caterers. For example. If you need to finalise numbers by 8 weeks before, you will need all your replies back by about 10 weeks before. You will need to send your invitations more than 12 weeks before. And don’t forget to build in a bit of buffer time too – you don’t want to create any more work or stress for yourself during wedding planning! Including an RSVP card can be a great way to encourage a prompt response from your guests.
Final answer: When to send wedding invitations for your 2024 or 2025 wedding
As a general rule I advise my couples to send wedding invitations out around 4 to 8 months before the big day.
Think about the points I’ve highlighted here and make your decision based on those:
- Have you sent save the date cards? Are you confident your guests know and the invitations are a formality?
If yes, you can wait a little later. If not, it would be sensible to go earlier.
- Do your guests need to book time off, travel or arrange accommodation either in the UK or abroad?
If yes, give them plenty of notice – especially if you are getting married in peak wedding or holiday season.
- When does your venue or caterer need final numbers in advance of the big day?
Be sure to build in enough time to get your replies back
As little as 3 months before and as early as 12 is also perfectly acceptable. Remember, every wedding is different and you should do what feels right for you.
If you want to send something more than a year in advance I’d advise a save the date card and follow up with the invitations 4 to 6 months later.
I do hope this blog has been useful. If you are in the throes of planning your wedding invitations and stationery be sure to get your copy of my ultimate checklist and timeline. It’s an essential tool for working out exactly what stationery you do and don’t need, how many of each and when you should be ordering.
Want to save this blog for later? Pin this image to your Pinterest wedding planning board.