When to Send Out Wedding Invitations
Your wedding will hopefully be the only one you ever have, so making it special, not only for you, but for everyone who loves you, is important. There is much that goes into the preparations, but among the most important of these tasks is the sending out of the wedding invitations.
Often seen as a chore, the wedding invitation is nevertheless essential to the overall success of your wedding. You want family and friends to be there. This will be a magical moment and if someone you really wanted to be there didn't show up because they either never got an invitation or simply misplaced the invitation, it would be disappointing to you and for them. Done right, your wedding invitations can build excitement as well as inform.
Things to Consider
But when should you send out your wedding invitations? There are several things to consider in regards as to when the invitations should be sent out.
- Season of the Year – The season in which you will hold your wedding is important in this regards. Will it be cold or hot?
- Weekday or Weekend – This may affect the ability of people to get to your wedding. Will people have to take off work? When will the bulk of traveling time take place? You may need to give your guests time to get all this figured out.
- Location and Distance – Your wedding venue needs to be perfect, whether performed at your church, on a beach, or in some other romantic setting, you need to consider how much planning it will take for the majority of your guests to get there. Your wedding invitations need to leave your guests with enough time to plan how they are going to get there.
- Near or on a Holiday – Holiday traffic and travel expenses are a factor that people may need more time to prepare for. If your wedding will be near or on a holiday, you may need to consider sending your wedding invitations out sooner.
It is recommended that you send out Save the Date notices between 6 months to a year in advance of your wedding if you plan on having it during or near a holiday or in a hard to get to location. The wedding invitations themselves, traditionally, go out between 6 and 8 weeks before your wedding. Sometimes, depending on the factors above, you may need to send them out as much as 3 or 4 months in advance.
The problem with sending a wedding invitation too soon is that it might just get set aside and forgotten. Some may stick it in their calendar or tack it to their refrigerator, but an effective wedding invitation needs to be the start of the planning process for people to attend your wedding. You want them to start looking at their calendar and making plans.
Your wedding invitation needs to obviously contain:
- Your name and the name of your soon-to-be spouse
- The date of your wedding
- The time of your wedding
- The location of your wedding
- RSVP information
- Reception information
But your invitations may need to build some excitement, especially if you must send out your invitations sooner due to location or time of year of your wedding. There is a certain amount of wedding invitation etiquette you may need to follow, but if you really want to make your wedding invitations unique, special, and magical, you may need to include a few more things if you can:
- Your Story – Excite people by allowing them to read about how you and your fiancé met, courted, and became engaged. This will build excitement for your future wedding and allow people to become part of your special story. They will want to be there to see the conclusion of the story!
- Their Name – People love to see their name in print. In this, your name is prominent, but there are plenty of others who had a part in your story. An invitation that doesn’t just have their name printed on the envelope, but one where their name is part of the invitation will be more memorable. This won’t be something they’ll want to throw away. An invitation like this will be a keepsake.
Newspapers have room enough for your story and will allow you to create a special keepsake for you and your guests.
In summary, make sure you give your guests plenty of time to make plans. Send your invitations out in time for people to save the money, take time off work, and arrange for travel and a place to stay. Waiting the last minute to send out your wedding invitations will not allow your guests time to plan sufficiently. Between 6 and 8 weeks is optimal, depending on location and time of the year.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
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