When to mail wedding invitations

Most etiquette books recommend mailing wedding invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding date. This is a good rule of thumb, but there are a few things you might want to think about before deciding exactly when to send them. You should mail your wedding invitations even earlier than 6-8 weeks, preferable 8-9 weeks before the wedding date, if any of the following apply to your situation:

1)      A lot of people will be traveling to the wedding location from out of town

2)      You’re having a destination wedding

3)      Your wedding is on or near a holiday weekend (Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, beginning or end of school year)

4)      You didn’t send Save the Dates, so this is the first notice your guests have of the date, location, and time

5)      You have the invitations all ready, and you want to be courteous and allow your guests as much time to plan as possible. Or, you’re just excited to send them out!

In general, you have to worry more about sending your invitations too late than too early. On the too-late spectrum, you really shouldn’t send invitations later than three weeks before the wedding date. If you have to invite guests to a wedding that is happening within three weeks, it is more appropriate to invite them over the phone.

The too-early side is much more forgiving. The only thing you have to worry about is sending them so early that there is a disconnect between the invitation and the event, making people feel that they are waiting months and months after they’ve been invited for the wedding to actually happen. Although most people probably know your wedding is coming up this year, the invitation is the official way of saying “this is really happening – get excited!” You don’t want so much time to pass between when your guests open the invitation and arrive at the wedding that the excitement and anticipation has worn off.

So to be very broad, you can probably send your invitation anywhere between 12-3 weeks before the wedding and be ok, but you should aim for 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding date to stay with tradition, allow your guests adequate time to plan, and maintain the best level of anticipation for the event. Each wedding is different, so use these guidelines and your best judgement to pick an invitation mailing date that is best for you!


Cegielski, Jennifer. Wedding Invitations. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2004. Print.