Exactly When to Send Save-the-Dates, Invites, and Thank Yous

All there is to know about different types of wedding paper and when to send them to your guests.

By Ruksana Hussain

Definitive Guide on When to Send Save-the-Dates, Invites, and Thank You Cards
Photo by Zola

Planning a wedding is its own labor of love, but the most important part of it is to see your family and friends with you on your big day. And because everyone has their own schedules and commitments, getting your special date on their calendars is paramount.

That means working with a timeline, so you can communicate appropriately. Save the dates, wedding invitations, and thank-yous are the powerful trifecta you must remember to send out at the right times. Here’s exactly when to do that.

When to Send Save-the-Dates

If local, aim for six to nine months ahead of the wedding date; If destination, shoot for nine to 12 months.

Why? Your guests might have their own special moments to celebrate or personal and professional commitments they need to move around to attend your wedding.

What? Include your names, the wedding location, and the wedding date—and mention that what they’re reading is a save-the-date, with an invite to follow. If you like, share a link to a personal website for updates.

Pro tip: If there are major holidays happening around the time that your save-the-dates are planned, then adjust the mail-out date accordingly, so your note isn’t missed or misplaced.

When to Send Invites

If local, aim for three to six months ahead of the wedding date; If destination, aim for six to nine months.

Why? A local venue might not take much effort to travel to, but a destination wedding adds up in costs and time required of guests, so the additional prep time will be appreciated.

What? Share all the details you want, but don’t forget the RSVP card and reply envelope, so guests can confirm attendance. Also share a link to your online wedding registry.

Pro tip: If you have specific instructions regarding certain religious ceremonies or cultural observances, this is a good time to spell those out for guests.

When to Send Thank-Yous

Aim for within three to four months after your wedding date, but the sooner the better.

Why? You want guests to know you appreciate their kind gesture, but you should also take the time to make it a personal expression of your gratitude rather than a mass mailed to-do on your checklist.

What? Include a note of thanks, but also share what you received from them and a line or two about why it’s a meaningful gift.

Pro tip: If someone played a special part in your wedding, this is a great time to express that and share why you feel that way. They will appreciate it.

Work on those timelines now, and mark these important dates on your calendar for a stress-free wedding.

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