Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing

When should you send your wedding invitations? We’ve devised a handy guide around wedding stationery etiquette, to help you plan the best time to send save the dates, when to post your wedding invitations and a time-frame for ordering any on the day stationery items.

As you get immersed in planning, you’ll be wondering when to let your guests know the details around your wedding. 

You’ve booked your wedding venue. You know the date you’ll be tying the knot. The excitement is building. And in all the excitement, you’ll want to let everyone know your plans. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that your nearest and dearest keep the date free to watch you say your vows.


How long you’ve given yourself to plan will influence whether you send save the date cards or not. If you only have a couple of months until the wedding day, it would make more sense to skip to sending out your formal wedding invitations. 

If you have left a longer planning period, there are a few reasons to send save the dates. Firstly, it allows your guests to keep the date free. As a result, they’ll avoiding booking something else on the date of your wedding. Secondly, it gives your guests a heads up that they may need to make plans. Be that to travel, arrange childcare, save for accommodation, or book a day off work to be able to attend. And finally, it will get everyone excited about celebrating with you. Save the dates are the first sneak peek your guests will get of your wedding. It will give them an idea of the tone of your big day. With a nod towards the colour scheme and information including where and when the day will take place. The excitement around your big day will start to build!

Of course, you can send save the dates as soon as you have booked your wedding venue. However, we recommend sending your save the dates around 9-12 months before the wedding date. This allows plenty of time for guests to make plans, but is not so far in advance that the card gets lost and the date forgotten. If you are getting married abroad, we’d suggest giving your guests as much notice as possible. This will allow them the time needed to make arrangements to be there with you on the day.

Who’s invited?

On both your save the dates and your wedding invitations, be clear who is invited. Address the envelope of each card to the members of the household that is invited to celebrate with you. If you’re allowing someone to have a plus one, address the envelope ‘plus guest’ so that they know from the start. This will allow your guests to book suitable accommodation if they need to. Generally, save the date cards are not sent to evening guests. Because they will not need to keep the whole day free. If you receive a save the date, you’d usually expect to be invited to the whole event.

Wedding Invitations

When to send your wedding invitations can come down to whether you have already informed your guests of your wedding date. If guests have already received a save the date card, you can send your invitations a little later, knowing that they’ll be expecting to receive an invitation. We recommend sending wedding invitations around 4-8 months before the big day. Check with your venue when they  need your final numbers, as this will impact when you need all of your RSVPs back, but usually 8-10 weeks before the big day is a good amount of time to submit your final numbers.

On the day stationery

Order on-the-day stationery items 6-8 weeks before the wedding. Depending on the items, you will need to know your final numbers and your guest list. Then you will be able to create a table plan and submit names for place-name cards. The guest list can change at the last minute, due to a guest no longer being able to attend. This can make the table plan a minefield. However, try not to leave it too late to order on the day items. The last few weeks before the wedding will be very busy. Plus you’ll need to allow time for all of your items to be printed and with you a week before the wedding. If a guest drops out in the final couple of weeks, it’s understandable that their name will be on the table plan, even if you do find someone to fill their seat.

Thank you cards

After the big day, you will probably want to send a thank you card to each of your guests. Thus to thank them for attending your wedding and for any gifts you receive. Traditionally, thank you cards are sent on your return from honeymoon. We’d suggest ordering them before the wedding, so that you have them ready to write. Then on your return all you need to do is fill them out and post them off. Aim to send thank you cards out to guests 3-5 weeks after the big day.

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