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When Do I Need to Mail My Wedding Invitations?

Today I am going to discuss the "when" part of wedding stationery!

Here are some frequently asked questions:

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When do I send my invitations out?

Interestingly, there seems to be a difference in American and Canadian wedding etiquette. While our countries are quite similar, there are definitely a few things I have noticed, one of the differences being that us Canadians tend to send out our invitations sooner, and give more time to RSVP. As to why this is different, I am really not sure!

Typically, Canadians send out invitations 3 months prior to their wedding, and require their RSVP approximately 4-5 weeks prior to the event date.

Why so much time?

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For starters, wedding season tends to be busiest from June-September, aka ‘not winter’ in most of Canada. This is a busy time of year, people make plans because the weather is finally nice! If you want as many people as possible to attend, it is important to give them some notice—especially if you did not send out save the dates. Also, you need to give Canada Post some time to get those invites to your guests!

Why do guests have to respond 4-5 weeks before the wedding?

This is important for all of those things that require you to have your numbers all sorted out: numbers for the caterer, favours, accommodations, and day of stationery, just to name a few. If you’re having a big wedding, you’ll need time to figure out where you’re going to put Uncle Jimmy, and how to separate Grandma and cousin Barb. Plus, the RSVPs need to find their way back to you via snail mail, or else you’re going to be calling up Aunt Ruth to see if she is coming.

Our American friends play a little fast and loose with their mailing; 6-8ish weeks prior to their event and 2-3 weeks to reply. No judgement here, buuuuuttt… the more time you have to figure out all that stuff I mentioned earlier, the less you will stress—trust me!

So, this begs the question…

When do I contact my stationer? (hopefully me!)

A good rule of thumb is to meet with your stationer at least 6 months before the wedding, maybe 7-8 for a custom design. The more time you give your stationer to design your work, the more creative you can get! Specialized processes can take time to produce, and if you don’t start the design soon enough, you may end up disappointed. Also, popular stationers can book up fast, and may only take on a limited number of clients, especially during high wedding season. To avoid disappointment, start looking shortly after you have gotten engaged or set a date!

Destination Weddings

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If you have a number of guests travelling to your wedding, whether they are heading to where you call home, or a fabulous, sunny destination, you need to give them a heads up! They need to save up, book travel and accommodations and just generally prepare.

If you have many guests that need to travel, it is wise to send a save the date and to include the necessary location information. You might even want to include a wedding website for the important details. You will definitely want to give them a year’s notice for major travel (or at least as much as possible).

It ultimately boils down to this… you’re going to get a certain percentage of people who can’t make it, that is just a given. The more notice that you give your guests, the higher your attendance.

Cheers!

Liz