When should we mail our invitations to our guests, and when should we order them?
Wedding couples often wonder “When should we mail our invitations to our guests, and when should we order them?"
CursiveHand is proud to celebrate the almost-lost art of cursive handwriting. We are also careful to assist you in getting everything done and into the mail in time. That includes Save-the-Date Cards, formal wedding invitations, and RSVPs.
Save-the-Date cards ask your guests to set aside that date for your event and are generally sent four or five months before the event. Begin the Save-the-Date process of choosing, ordering, and addressing about six months before the event. “Save-the-Dates” do not take the place of invitations. The actual invitations are sent at a later date.
When launching your formal invitation process, think backwards. There are several things to take into account. Allow plenty of time for the invitations and inserts to be printed, the address list to be finalized, and the envelopes and other cards to be addressed, then add mailing time.
Here is the step-by-step guide:
If you are sending Save-the-Date cards to your guests, the mailing date for the formal invitations may be as late as four weeks before the event (not considering time for RSVPs.) If you are not sending out Save-the-Date cards, formal etiquette suggests that your formal invitations should be mailed at least eight weeks before the event.
Either way, if you are using RSVP cards, be sure to think about when you must have a final count of those attending your event and figure backwards from that date.
Here’s how to calculate the latest mailing date:
From the date you must have a final count, subtract two or three days to be on the safe side.
Your guests should have at least two to three weeks to reply before an RSVP card is due back to you; more than eight weeks and they may set the card aside and fail to RSVP. Subtract at least 14 days.
Then allow for mailing time (3-5 days for the US, depending on Sundays and holidays) both for mailing to the guests and for your RSVPs to be mailed back to you. (For example, 5 days x 2 = 10.) Subtract that many days.
Voila! That is your mailing date. Next, from your Voila! Mailing Date, subtract as many days as you need to get the invitations and inserts designed, printed and assembled, the address list finalized, and the envelopes and cards addressed. That is your invitation process Launch Date!
Here’s an example:
Your wedding date is set for August 23rd.
Save-the-Date cards would be mailed in April or May.
You are sending out formal invitations for the wedding with RSVP cards for a reception that includes dinner.
You need a final count for your reception no later than August 15th.
Step 1: Please Reply By Date. From August 15, subtract 2 or 3 days, to be on the safe side. So, August 15 minus 2 days = August 13.
Step 2: Mailing Time. Next, subtract 5 more days for the guests to mail back their RSVPs back to you. August 13 minus 5 days = August 8. That will be your “Please Reply By” date on your RSVP cards.
Step 3: Allow Time to Reply. The guests should have between 14 and 28 days to reply. So, from August 8, subtract 21 days = July 18.
Step 4: Include Mailing Time. Set your mailing deadline. Subtract 5 days for mailing them to your guests. From July 18 subtract 5 days = July 13. That’s the last day to mail your invitations—your “mailing deadline.”
Voila! The last safe mailing date would be July 13. That is 7 weeks before the wedding. (Remember, formal etiquette suggests 8 weeks.) Do you like to walk on the wild side? To cut it very close, allowing just 14 days to reply and only three mailing days each way, you could push that mailing date back to July 25. Risky, though. To repeat, don’t forget to subtract enough time from your Voila! Mailing Date to get the invitations and inserts designed, printed and assembled, the address list finalized, and the envelopes and cards addressed. That is your invitation process launch date!
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