When To Send Save-The-Dates & Invitations

A friend recently received an invitation to a wedding that’s taking place in about 6 weeks. He had forgotten about the save-the-date since it was sent out over a year prior.  Yikes! But it prompted him to ask when these things should be sent out! And here we are…

There are different takes on when to send what — and a lot of it has to do with how much time you have between your engagement and the wedding. For example, if you only have 6 months, then your time frame might be different than if you’re engaged for two years before getting married.


The STD is intended to give your guests enough time to ask for time off work, make any travel arrangements, and (perhaps) budget for their expenses. Obviously if you’re doing a destination wedding, then you should send out the STDs earlier than otherwise.

One site recommends sending the STDs out 4 months before the wedding. That seems a little quick for your guests to plan — though understandable if you are planning to get married quickly.

It’s more ideal if you send the STDs 6 months to 1 year before the wedding so people can plan to be there.

With that in mind, send them as soon as you know the date & location of the wedding. And be sure you send them to the people you KNOW you are inviting! After all, etiquette requires that all people who receive an STD also receive an invitation.

Tip: Once you pick the date, send an email or call the people you really want there so that they have the most notice to plan to be there. It will give you leeway to send the STDs a little later — or to avoid sending them out at all.


The timing for when to send invitations is important because you need to know who is coming! Generally, your venue and catering companies will need to know — and you will need to finish placecards, seating arrangements, etc. 

Because of this, the general rule seems to be that you should send invitations two months before the wedding. Some sites say 6-8 weeks. But that should be your general time frame.

Then you can get responses back about 4 weeks before the wedding — so you can finish up the last bits of planning.  And, just in case you dont hear back from everyone, you have time to track them down & get their responses.

Printing STDs and Invitations

If you choose to print STDs and invitations (as opposed to using an online method), keep in mind how long printing will take. The most formal of invitations will take about 2 months to print, so keep that in mind!

If you’re looking for help on what STDs should say OR some creative ways to do STDs (that don’t require 2 months of printing), look HERE!

And if you’re looking for help on how your invitation should look, you can see real invitation photos here.

Sample Timeframe 

8-14 months before wedding: order STDs (if doing formal printed ones; other forms of STDs – like magnets – might take less time to print)

6-12 months before wedding: send out STDs

4 months before wedding: order invitations

2 months before wedding: send out invitations

1 month before wedding: receive RSVPs

Good luck!

~ Natasha


Between the Ceremony and the Reception

A sunset on the beach, a morning mass, an afternoon in a temple… followed by the reception.  But what time does the ceremony start? And what time does the reception start? Where do guests go between?

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception requires some time coordination.  As Mrs. Radish of the WeddingBee reported sometimes the time that you can book the ceremony site and reception site may not align, leaving your guests wondering what to do in between. 

If you end up with a large gap in time between the ceremony and reception, here are a few suggestions:

  • Give your guests a list of local things to see and a map.  If you’re in a big city, perhaps a tourist attraction they can drive or walk to easily.  If you’re in a smaller town, maybe direct them to a nearby park.
  • Suggest a nearby coffee shop, bar, or restaurant where guests can hang out for awhile.  Make sure that it is either close to either the ceremony site or the reception site, though!  You don’t want your guests to have to go too far out of their way.
  • If the ceremony and reception are at the same place, see if you can find a space for guests to casually hang out and get a glass of water.

Make sure you should provide these suggestions with the invitation, so that guests are prepared for the time gap.  You don’t want guests arriving at the reception site only to be surprised that they have several hours to kill before the festivities begin!  The more your guests can plan in advance, the better.