Sunday, 26 May 2013

When to send wedding invitations

This is an issue I’m often asked by wedding invitation customers. I usually advise that about 3-6 months before your wedding date works for many couples but essentially there is no ‘correct’ answer and much will depend on circumstances particular to each couple.

Obviously there is certain information that you will need before you can send wedding invitations. This includes:

  • The date of wedding.
  • The wedding ceremony time and venue.
  • The reception venue and time (although the time is only relevant for evening wedding invitations so not knowing would not prevent day wedding invitations from being sent).
  • Gift list information, if applicable.
  • Information about accommodation, taxis, directions etc if you wish to include this in invitations.
  • A list of guests.

Wedding invitation etiquette should partly be based on what will work for your guests, as this will enable you to have the people that are important to you at your wedding. However, you should also consider what works well for you. You need to give yourself time to compile the information in the above list but also to be able to organise things once you’ve received RSVPs. This could include detail about the reception, catering, seating plans, stationery (e.g. orders of service and place cards), transport and accommodation. Make sure you can do this and are able to give information to your venues, suppliers and other relevant parties when they need it. You should allow 3-6 weeks for your guests to RSVP and a bit of extra time to chase the one or two that will forget. You will also need to allow time for bespoke wedding invitations to be designed and made – most UK wedding invitation suppliers will require at least two weeks to produce stationery.

Here is a list of issues which can affect timing of sending out wedding invitations. The more of these that apply to your wedding, the earlier you should send invitations:

  • You have not informed guests previously what the wedding date is e.g. by sending Save the Dates.
  • Your guests live abroad or in different parts of the UK.
  • Your wedding is taking place in a popular location, or one where accommodation is limited.
  • Your wedding is being held abroad.
  • Your wedding is being held at a popular time of year e.g. Christmas, a summer bank holiday or during peak holiday periods.
  • Your wedding is being held on a week day.
  • Your wedding is going to involve a lot of expenditure for your guests, for any reason – they may need to save!
  • You require information from guests to enable you to continue to plan your wedding e.g. relating to food, transport or accommodation.
  • You are intending to send a second round of invitations, or ‘upgrade’ some evening guests to day guests, should people not be able to attend.

So to summarise, in deciding when to send wedding invitations think about what will work for your guests in order to make it as easy as possible for them to be part of your special day, but work out what works for you too in terms of your wedding planning schedule - after all, it's your big day!

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