When to send wedding invitations for every wedding event

A white save the date with black cursive lettering in the center, surrounded by flowers and a diamond ring.
Paperless Post BlogWedding > When to send wedding invitations for every wedding event

A well-designed wedding invitation makes your guests feel excited for your big day long before they arrive at your venue. But the best wedding invitations aren’t just beautiful and detailed—they’re well-timed, too.A pink infographic plainly explains how far in advance to mail various wedding event invitations.
Sending invitations on time gives guests a chance to make travel arrangements and decide what to wear. But when is too early—and when is too late? Follow our guide to learn when to send out wedding invitations, as well as save the dates, thank you cards, and invitations to all those other wedding events.

When to send save the dates

A muted green save the date with black bubble lettering; a white save the date with a black and white photo of a couple and gold foil greenery.
Rule of Thirds” by Goods Gang for Paperless Post; “Forever Wild” by Paperless Post.


Much like a teaser trailer for a highly anticipated movie, a save the date serves to excite your wedding guests before your formal invitation arrives. Including your specific wedding date—if available—also helps them start preparing for your big day. 

Your save the date timeline depends on the type of wedding you’re having. Save the dates for local weddings should go out about 4–6 months before the big day. However, save the date timing should be further out for destination weddings, which can be sent 1–2 years beforehand.

Order paper save the dates about a month before you plan to send them, or customize online save the dates to avoid the hassle of mail delivery delays and return-to-sender. Choose from a variety of save the date ideas based on your wedding theme, and add a custom URL that can also function as your personal wedding website.

One-of-a-kind wedding invitations

Customizable designs from Oscar de la Renta, Rifle Paper Co., kate spade new york, and more.

When to send wedding invitations

A text-heavy wedding invitation with blue font and bullets pointing out various important details to include on an invitation.
Over to You” by Goods Gang for Paperless Post.


Wedding invitations should go out around 6–8 weeks in advance of the wedding date. Destination wedding invitations need to go out around 12 weeks before the event. 

Two of the most asked questions during wedding planning have to be, “Whom should I invite?” and “How many people should I invite to my wedding?” Send your invitation to everyone on your guest list, which should be equal in number to the save the dates you sent out. Part of the reason you send out invitations is to receive an accurate headcount. So, if there’s a person you’re planning on accommodating, they should receive an invitation. 

When it comes to addressing and writing your wedding invitation, include the most important details like: 

  • Your and your future spouse’s names
  • The time and date of your ceremony
  • The venue’s address

More information should sit below the invitation (if you’re using Paperless Post), or in an insert card:

  • RSVP instructions
  • Links to your wedding website and registry, if you have one

Out-of-town guests

If your wedding guest list includes people coming in from another country, send their invitations earlier than the restabout 12 weeks before the date of your wedding (think about it: your local wedding is essentially a destination wedding to them!). An earlier wedding invitation timeline gives them a chance to make travel plans and find accommodations. 

No save the dates

When a couple has a short engagement or planning timeline, there may not be time to send save the dates. In these cases, send the wedding invitations a little earlier than usual—8–10 weeks before the event—to give guests a little more time to prepare for your special day.

Printed wedding invitations

A salmon-colored save the date with white text with a white envelope with blue lining.
Ceremony” by Paperless Post, available in print at Paper Source.


If you’re planning to send paper invitations in the mail, visit Paperless Post’s exclusive print partner Paper Source to browse our wide selection of printed wedding invitations. Most printed wedding invitations include a few different items including:

  • The actual invitation
  • A response card so your guests can send in RSVPs
  • Additional small cards explaining any peripheral details (wedding theme, attire, registry, or accommodation options)

Order paper invitations about 3–4 months before the wedding in case you need to make corrections or buy additional prints.

Online wedding invitations

If you choose to send online wedding invitations, you’ll avoid international mailing delays and pricey shipping costs. Send Paperless Post invitations immediately after designing them, or schedule a time to send them around that 6–8 week-out mark. 

RSVP deadline

Wedding etiquette indicates that guests should RSVP one month before the wedding. That’s so you can: 

  • Solidify your seating chart
  • Plan for each wedding guest
  • Give accurate head counts to caterers and venue hosts

Asking for RSVP responses at least one month before the wedding also gives you ample time to follow up with guests who didn’t respond and confirm whether they’re coming or not.

When to send invitations for every other wedding event

The wedding may be the big day, but it’s not the only event in the wedding timeline. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners all factor into the wedding party timeline—and each event requires a different invitation (and often, different hosts).

  • Engagement party (3–4 weeks before): Engagement parties typically take place shortly after the couple gets engaged, so send these invitations out ASAP.
  • Bridal shower (6–8 weeks before): Because they happen about a month before the wedding, it’s best to get ahead of peoples’ schedules by sending your bridal shower invitations early.
  • Bachelorette party (3–8 weeks before): Bachelorette invitation timelines depend on the type of party you’re throwing. Local parties can go out 3–4 weeks in advance, while parties that require travel should go out 6–8 weeks beforehand.
  • Rehearsal dinner (4–6 weeks before): Since these guests have already received their wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations can go out a little later.

When to send wedding thank you cards

A thank you card with a black and white photo of two men in tuxes dancing and large gold lettering.
Biggest Thanks” by Paperless Post.


Many people focus on when to send save the dates and invitations, but there’s a thank you card timeline to follow to show your gratitude to your guests who came to celebrate, as well. Whether they gave you a wedding gift, traveled a long way, or made a speech that brought tears to your eyes, take the time with a customized thank you card to express your thanks to each of your wonderful guests. 

If you received gifts on your wedding day, send out your thank you notes within three months of your wedding. If you received a wedding gift before or after your wedding day, you should do your best to send out a thank you note as soon as possible.

Invite your guests with the best: Paperless Post

Ensure your invitations are sent out in style with Paperless Post. Browse our beautiful selection of online wedding invitations, save the dates, and thank you cards to express your delight and gratitude in a big way. 

When you send invitations and thank you cards online, you won’t have to worry about them getting lost in the mail. And with open and RSVP tracking—plus the ability to send RSVP reminders to guests—you can rest easy knowing you’ll have an accurate headcount. 

Let Paperless Post help you welcome your friends and family with open arms. After all, they’re a big part of what will make your special day so special.