When to send out your wedding invitations, featuring luxury wedding invitations from Crimson Letters

When to send out your wedding invitations (tips and timelines)

Have you ever wondered about when to send out your wedding invitations?


Are you wondering about when to send out your wedding invitations?

To give you a fast and precise answer, for when to send out your wedding invitations, here is a quick answer. For people that live in the the US and U.K, it is quite normal to send out your wedding invitations, at least 2 months before the wedding. However, sometimes if it’s possible people send out their invitations anywhere from 3-6 months before the wedding as well. It all depends on your personal circumstances and what’s right for your wedding. Yet people that live in Sweden send out their wedding invitations 1 year in advance! It all depends on your culture and where you live! HOWEVER …..there are exceptions!


When to send out your wedding invitations, featuring luxury wedding invitations from Crimson Letters

Stationery by Crimson Letters | Photography Charlotte Wise



With so many details to arrange, planning a wedding and knowing when to send out your wedding invitations can be a busy (and a sometimes stressful) time!

Once you’ve settled on a date and a venue, you need to make sure you let your guests know as soon as possible. If you’re getting married abroad, it makes sense that you need to give your guests time to save and book the trip, but it can be difficult to know when to send out your wedding invitations whether your guests live in the states or in the UK.


Put simply, you want to give your guests as much notice as possible, especially if it takes them a while to RSVP. As such, it’s customary to send out your save the date around 6-12 months before the wedding and your invites at least three to four months before.


I understand that with so much to organise, time is of the essence. So to help you out, this guide will cover when you need to order your invites, when to send them out and if it’s possible to send them too early.


If you’re considering booking your wedding invitations, please do reach out to me at rubana@crimsonletters.com or here on my contact page. I would love to hear from you and see if we can work together.


Classical French inspired wedding invitation for a luxury elopement

Stationery by Crimson Letters | Photography Charlotte Wise

Save the dates are the first to consider 


Before you send out your invites, it’s traditional to send out a save the date card. But again, it can be tricky to know the best time to send out your save the dates. Ideally, this should be as soon as you’ve secured the date with your venue, but at least 9-12 months before the date is advised.


These don’t have to give too much away, especially if you haven’t ironed out the finer details yet, but they give your guests plenty of time to make sure they are available. This ensures that no one books a holiday or accepts another wedding invitation for the same date.

Alongside the aforementioned, if you have a destination wedding in mind you must give your guests plenty of time to book holidays and plane tickets.


Hand painted heirloom quality luxury invitation design with gold French inspired detail

Stationery by Crimson Letters | Photography Charlotte Wise



Destination wedding stationery

Remember that if you are having a destination wedding, something to bear in mind is the time it takes to find the right wedding stationery supplier, place your order and have it delivered will vary greatly.


  • You can find many online digital providers for save the dates if you prefer, or you may wish to opt for designers, premium luxury stationery, save the dates.


  • It will take you at least 1-2 weeks just to conduct your own research to look at the range of options you will have available within your investment level.


  • Online off the shelf designs: If you consider buying your save the dates online, they can be bought very quickly and shipped to you within 2-3 weeks. There are many options available, so give yourself time to look through, make a note of your favourite suppliers and reach out.


  • Custom made, luxury save the dates: If you’re planning to have the wedding of your dreams and require something very special to mark the occasion, you’ll definitely need to select a talented wedding stationery designer. However, you need to bear in min that it can take lots of time get through a custom design. It’s very much like having a custom gown designed and it’s takes much longer as the end product is of a much higher quality. It can take anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks depending on the type of design you’re looking for and you will be working 1:1 with a stationery designer who will take the utmost care and dedication to turn your vision into a reality.


Therefore, if you would like to order simple off the shelf designs, there’s no rush and you can order them 8-9 months before the wedding.

However if you’d like some high-end boutique designs, then it’s best to start doing some research and reach out to your favourite stationery designers and get the ball rolling 11-12 months before your wedding.


By sending out your save the date you can at least get an idea in advance how many of your friends and family will be able to make it. This is especially important for destination events, where you need to communicate a rough number of guests with your wedding venue and know who is expected to attend in order to prepare welcome packs for your guests.


If you’d like more information on destination wedding stationery etiquette, look at this article.



French inspired romantic wedding invitations for a wedding in wooden panelled French Chateau

Stationery by Crimson Letters | Photography Charlotte Wise


Choosing your invitations can affect when to send out your wedding invitations


The next step is actually choosing your wedding invitations, which will contain a number or elements and cards, from:

  • a main wedding invitation,
  • main outer envelope,
  • envelope liner,
  • a statement crest card design ( you can see some examples here)
  • rsvp card,
  • rsvp envelope,
  • information / details card,
  • accommodations card,
  • map of the city /area,
  • itinerary,
  • ceremony card,
  • decorative envelope wrap.

There are a number of options available to you, but you want your invites to reflect your wedding, style and who you are as a couple. Even better if they’re beautifully unique invitations that are designed just for you! So you have two options available to you, custom designed or ready -made invitations. They each take a different amount of time to order, so make sure that you are well informed before going down either route.


What are Ready-Made Invites?


How much time for ready-made invitations?

This is something that is critical for timings related to when to send out your wedding invitations. Ready-made wedding invites are the designs that are displayed upon my Portfolio page. These designs are all set and ready to go. You can simply supply your personal information or wording and you are ready to start your order.

The collections upon my Portfolio page are considered semi-custom designs, they are ready to go and you simply need to add your information and details to fit within the design. This is a lower investment level, as the design has already been finalised.

Yet for a completely custom design the investment will be higher.

If you opt for ready-made invitations, you will be limited with the size of your invites. Typically these are the same size as a photograph, usually around 5 x 7 inches. That said, ready-made designs tend to be cheaper as less work is required to prepare them, so it also depends on your wedding stationery budget. But whatever you choose, look for a style that reflect your personalities and your big day.

You can order ready made wedding invitations pretty last minute. If for some reason your wedding is fast approaching and you haven’t had time to organise the wedding invitations and on the day wedding stationery, then ready made might be a better option for you.  You can find wedding stationers with designs that are set and ready to go.

You just add your details without changing the core design, or colours too much.

In that case, you can order these ready made invitations up to three months before the wedding – which is very last minute, but it can be done!


Bespoke wedding stationery – these take of lot of time, so reach out early

Alternatively, you can opt for bespoke oversized designs when you use Crimson Letters, for an invitation that is truly special! Bespoke designs do that considerably longer. You can see a previous bespoke wedding stationery design that I previously designed for a client here.

If you click on the above link, you can get a rough idea of how much work goes into designing bespoke designs. There is certainly a lot of communication, back and forth and design revisions to go through when you work one – to – one with an invitation designer.

Therefore it takes considerably more time to design these sorts of bespoke wedding stationery designs. In this case you need to get started at least 7-8 months before your wedding so that you can start to finalise a design without feeling too pressured, or stressed.

Here are some tips on which questions you might need to ask before you reach out to work with any wedding stationer.


French inspired romantic wedding invitations with dark brown pink and gold design

Stationery by Crimson Letters | Photography Charlotte Wise



When should you consider ordering your invites


Once you’ve settled on a design, you need to order your invitations. If you’re ordering custom, designs like those on offer at Crimson Letters, you’ll need to set aside at least 12 weeks for these to be agreed, completed and sent out to you. This means you’ll need to add an additional 2-3 months onto your wedding timeline. That means that if you plan to send out your invites 6 months before your wedding day, you’ll need to have these ordered at least nine months before your chosen date.


I know, there’s a lot to think about with when to send out your wedding invitations!

But getting ahead with ordering your wedding invitations and RSVPs will give you more time to send them out and wait to receive the RSVPs from your guests. If you’re ordering ready-made designs you should still give yourself a two month window to receive these. Getting ahead with your ordering will help to take the stress out of organising your big day.


And as with anything in life, things change and you may find that you’ve got additional guests you’d like to invite. That or one of your invites gets lost in the post. For this reason, it’s a good idea to order some extra invites. The number of extra invites you order will depend on the size of your wedding, but giving yourself a 10% cushion (or order at least 5-10 extra) to give you plenty to fall back on should you need them.



When to send your wedding invites


As previously mentioned, you’ll want to give your guests plenty of notice for your big day. So around the three to six-month mark is a good time to send out your invitations.

This gives them time to RSVP.

Also ensures they’ve got time to arrange days off work, baby sitters or whatever they may need to do to make it to the day.


But, there is a fine line between giving enough notice and sending your invites too early. You certainly don’t want to be sending them out a year before your wedding. Don’t be mistaken. It’s OK to send your save the date cards out 6 -12 months before. However, if you send your invites as much as 4-6 months early, you risk them getting lost or your guests actually forgetting the date as it’s so far off in the future.



While there is a lot to remember when planning a wedding, it’s always best to stay ahead and ensure you leave yourself and your guests plenty of time.


For more detailed advice, check out my timeline for stress free wedding invitations.



Advise from a wedding stationery designer on when to send your invitations

Stationery by Crimson Letters |


A little more about me:


Are you looking for total sophistication and elegance on your big day? Handmade luxury wedding stationery could be the perfect way for you to wow your guests and set the right tone for the day. And here at Crimson Letters that’s exactly what I do!


My name is Rubana and I hand craft luxurious wedding stationery suites using my inspiration and dynamic imagery. I combine watercolour papers and detailed immaculate artwork to produce stunning stationery you’ll want to cherish forever. I take great pride in what I do, so if you’d like to work with me or you’d like to know more about my work, email me at rubana@crimsonletters.com or get in touch here.


Calligrapher for luxury wedding invitations and custom wedding stationery





Here are some more related articles that you might like to read:

Unique destination wedding locations

Wedding invitation glossary

17  Questions to ask your wedding stationery designer

Wedding invitation timeline

20 Luxury wedding venues in Italy




Recent Comments

  • Dawn Kitai
    September 29, 2022 - 1:22 am · Reply

    How great that you talk about when to send invitations so that it is not too early and not too late. We are engaged this year and preparing for where our wedding will be as well. We will find an excellent place for a fun destination wedding and entertainment.

  • DJ Wedding Services
    April 11, 2023 - 2:57 am · Reply

    Sending out wedding invitations is a crucial part of planning a wedding, and this article provides excellent insight into when to do so. It’s important to give guests ample time to RSVP and make travel arrangements, so sending invitations at least six to eight weeks in advance is key. The article also offers helpful tips on how to handle last-minute changes and how to keep track of guest responses. Overall, this is a great resource for any couple preparing for their big day.

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