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Wedding & Stationery Blog

How soon do you send out wedding reception invitations?

How soon do you send out wedding reception invitations?

Jun 2nd 2024

How Soon Do You Send Out Wedding Reception Invitations?

Planning a wedding involves numerous details, and one of the most crucial aspects is sending out your wedding and reception invitations. These invitations set the tone for your big day and ensure that your guests have all the necessary information to join in your celebration. But how soon should you send them out? This blog post will guide you through the timeline for sending out wedding reception invitations, ensuring that you give your guests ample notice while keeping everything organized.

The Importance of Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to wedding and reception invitations. Sending them too early can lead to guests forgetting about the event, while sending them too late can cause scheduling conflicts. Striking the right balance ensures that your guests can plan accordingly and RSVP in a timely manner.

Save-the-Dates: The First Step

Before diving into the specifics of wedding reception invitations, it's essential to discuss save-the-dates. These preliminary notices are typically sent out six to eight months before the wedding. Save-the-dates serve as a heads-up for your guests, allowing them to mark their calendars and make any necessary travel arrangements.

Why Send Save-the-Dates?

  1. Early Notice: Guests have plenty of time to plan.
  2. Travel Arrangements: Out-of-town guests can book flights and accommodations.
  3. Excitement: Builds anticipation for your big day.

When to Send Wedding Invitations

Once you've sent out save-the-dates, it's time to focus on the actual wedding invitations. The general rule of thumb is to send these out six to eight weeks before the wedding date. This timeframe allows guests enough time to RSVP but isn't so far in advance that they might forget about it.

Factors Influencing Timing

Several factors can influence when you should send out your wedding invitations:

  1. Destination Weddings: If you're having a destination wedding, consider sending invitations three months in advance.
  2. Holiday Weekends: For weddings taking place on holiday weekends or during peak travel times, aim for ten weeks ahead.
  3. Local Weddings: For local weddings where most guests are nearby, six weeks is usually sufficient.

When to Send Reception-Only Invitations

In some cases, couples may choose to have a small ceremony followed by a larger reception at a later date or different location. If you're planning separate events, you'll need separate invitations for each.

Timeline for Reception-Only Invitations

For reception-only events, aim to send these invitations four to six weeks before the reception date. This gives guests enough time to plan without overwhelming them with too much notice.

What Information Should Be Included?

Reception-only invitations should include:

  1. Date and Time: Clearly state when the reception will take place.
  2. Location: Provide detailed directions or an address.
  3. Dress Code: Specify if there’s a particular dress code.
  4. RSVP Details: Include how and when guests should RSVP.

Managing RSVPs

One of the critical aspects of sending out wedding and reception invitations is managing RSVPs effectively.

Setting an RSVP Deadline

Include an RSVP deadline on your invitation—typically three weeks before the event—to allow enough time for finalizing guest counts with vendors.

Tracking Responses

Use tools like spreadsheets or specialized apps designed for managing RSVPs efficiently:

  1. Spreadsheets: Simple but effective way of tracking responses.
  2. Wedding Planning Apps: Many offer integrated RSVP tracking features.
  3. Website RSVPs: Create a wedding website where guests can easily RSVP online.

Following Up with Guests

Despite setting clear deadlines, some guests may still not respond on time:

  1. Gentle Reminders: Send polite reminders via email or phone call one week after the deadline has passed.
  2. Final Count Confirmation: Confirm final numbers with vendors based on received RSVPs two weeks before the event.


Sending out wedding and reception invitations at just the right time ensures that your special day goes off without a hitch while giving your guests ample notice to celebrate with you fully prepared! By following these guidelines—sending save-the-dates early enough but not too early; timing main invites perfectly; managing RSVPs efficiently—you'll set yourself up beautifully as both host & planner extraordinaire!

Remember always—communication is key! Clear instructions & timely updates make all difference between smooth sailing vs last-minute chaos! Happy planning!

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