When Do You Send Out Wedding Invitations: Formula

What do you need to do when it comes to wedding invitations? 

  1. When do you order?
  2. Where can you order from?
  3. How do you send your invitations out?
  4. When do you send them?
  5. BONUS Tips and tricks from our experts.

So your partner has finally proposed to you! You got the ring, and the butterflies have settled. You are getting married! First and foremost – Congratulations! You should be excited and really be present in this moment. Enjoy some time with your future spouse – there are new challenges you may experience as a married couple so enjoy your time being a fiance. Maybe you have told your immediate family, close friends, or maybe you have even made it Facebook official.

Once you start the planning process, which for most couples starts at about 12 months from your wedding date – the messages could start coming in. When should they be expecting their invitations? How do you let them down gently so that they may not be getting an invitation?

Wedding Invitations

1. When do you order? The best way to think about the planning process for a wedding is to work backward. Doing it this way will ensure you know when you should be sending them out, when you should be ordering, etc. 

Answering the question “When do you order?” will depend on who is making them and how extravagant you want your invitations to be. It will also depend on if you are having a destination wedding or not. So, you need to have a good amount of the planning process already decided before you even start with the wedding invitations.

For example, say you are getting married on October 15th, 2022. Here is a simple chart to illustrate when you should send out your invitations:

LOCATIONWhen you need to orderWhen you need to send
HOMETOWNThe order needs to be placed by July 8th.Mid-August. No Later than the 19th.
DESTINATIONThe order needs to be placed by June 3rd.Mid-July. No later than the 15th.

These are just guidelines as well. Make sure you are asking whoever is producing your invitations how long you should expect them to take. That way, you can use this method of working backward to know when you should be ordering in order to send them out at the right time. 

2. Where can you order from? There are many online stores where you can order your wedding invitations from. You can get invitations from places like Vistaprint and from Etsy. Some online stores will be producing them for you, whereas places like Etsy offer digital downloads so that you can print them at home. There will also be places local to you where you should be able to get wedding invitations. Local print shops and even Staples makes wedding invitation in-house.

3. How do you send your invitations out? You usually send out invitations by mail, so you will need to get the addresses of your guests. Sometimes these tasks are given to the mothers or fathers of the couple as they can ask relatives easily, or they may already know their addresses. Some couples are opting for digital invitations as well – these cut the costs of postage and if you are having a small wedding it could be easier for the couple to send out a handful of emails instead.

4. When do you send them? Using our example above of an October 15th wedding day: It’s all just working backward from your wedding date. For a destination wedding, you should send your Save The Dates between 9 months to a year in advance (Oct. 2021), and your invitations should be sent about 3 months before the wedding date(July 15th), and to allow 4-6 weeks for the invitations to be made would bring your order date to around June 3rd. 

For a hometown wedding, there may not be as much travel and expenses for your guests so you don’t have to plan so far ahead, but you still need to be prepared. Your Save The Dates should go out at least 8-10 months before your wedding date. Therefore, you should send out your invitations about 6-8 weeks in advance of your wedding date which brings us to about August 20th. Knowing that printers will need about 4-6 weeks to produce your order, you should order your invitations by July 8th. 

5. BONUS Tips and tricks from our experts. You will want to have a mock invitation made or a sample sent to you – make sure to check the spelling! You don’t want to order 200 invitations and then realize something is misspelled. 

You will also want to take your completed invitation to the post office. If your invitations have sleeves, are tied with ribbon, or are on the heaviest cardstock – this can add expenses to your invitation and change your postage cost drastically.

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