Wedding Invitations & Paper

how soon is too soon to send?

our wedding is may 29, 2010 in st pete beach, fl.  it is a destination wedding for 97% of our guests who are OOT, so my fiance and i were going over how soon we'd like to send out invites.  we already did save the dates staggered about 6-9 months ahead of time, so people are aware--and it's not like they're going to wait until 2 months beforehand to buy a plane ticket and reserve a hotel so we don't feel like sending out invites 2 months prior is logical.  i am thinking sending out invites 4 months ahead of time with an rsvp due about 45 days after that.  is this too early?  like i said, it's not like an invite is going to be a surprise for our guests, and i would hope that they'd be able to decide on a major trip to florida earlier than 2 months ahead!  also, i just want to get the darn things over with!
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Re: how soon is too soon to send?

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Invites should go out 6-8 weeks ahead.  The STD should have had all the info they need to book their trip, so they don't need the actual invite early. 

    You should wait until 8 weeks to send them out.  If you send them earlier, they will get lost and you won't get your RSVPs right.  45 days is way too early for an RSVP date.  Yes, people may know, since they have to travel, but there will be things that come up in the interim that mean people may have to cancel or may suddenly be able to come.  Your RSVP date should be about a week before your caterer needs final numbers, usually 2-3 weeks out.  The earlier you go, the less accurate it will be.

    90% of our guest list was OOT and therefore had to travel.  We were getting RSVPs right up until a week before, and getting changes in RSVPs up to 3 days before the wedding. 
  • Anything before March 29 is too early.  The STD should have had the info they need to book their travel.  If not, start making phone calls.  The invite is their opportunity to confirm to you that they're coming & what entree selection they'd like, if that's information you need.  4 months ahead is WAY, WAY too early.  In ANY circumstances.
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  • They've already made their plans regardless of when you send out the invites, so don't send them out too early. You want to get it over with? Then have them stamped and sitting ready to go whenever you please so when March 29 rolls around, you can send those suckers out.

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    (Married)meganandshane.weebly.com~
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  • I went against the norm and sent invites out 4 months early (Nov 20th for a March 13th wedding). We gave an RSVP due date for the end of December, so people had some time to check their calendars and make a decision.

    Many people advised me against doing it this early, and my grandmother about had a heart attack when I told her we were doing it this early, but I am getting responses in the mail daily now. 90% of the guest list knew about the wedding already and we didn't even send save-the-dates. Also,half the guest list if in Canada.

    If someone has to cancel last minute, they will let you know, regardless if when they got the invite or sent the response.

    Not saying which way is right, if either, but you know your guests best.
    ExerciseMilestone
  • I'd say 8 weeks is fine.  As per PP's, everyone knows it's happening and will have hopefully have done the planning that they need to do.  At this point, the invites are more of a formality, albeit still a necessary formality, since everyone should have the necessary information for travel already.
  • thanks guys.  of course the save the date has all the info plus our website--i'm not an idiot, squirrly and myname.  i'd still imagine we'll be sending them out earlier than the two month mark although not too far in front of it.  if weddings have shown us anything, particularly with these boards, it's that pretty much anything goes--etiquette be damnned.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Uhm, oversensitive much?  Who said you were an idiot? 

    If you want to ignore etiquette and be rude to your guests, that's your perogative, but that wasn't the advice you got.
  • i know, it is SO rude to send an invitation that keeps my guests' plan in mind!  sorry i didn't pick up your book on etiquette rules!  
  • do whatever you want.  the last two weddings we were invited to, the invites came at the recommended time of two months out--but i was basically freaking out beforehand wondering where they were.  of course i was too lazy to check their websites, but it was still really nice to be able to have the invite on hand with all the info.  maybe 3 months would be good?
  • duckie1905duckie1905 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited November 2009
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_invites-paper_soon-soon-send?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:cd062f89-8272-496a-b0ab-225e1f87acecDiscussion:067f8732-a7af-4cd1-a8a7-afe08f2ed031Post:ae4de85c-a005-4487-a5f1-d46e53bc8d54">Re: how soon is too soon to send?</a>:
    [QUOTE]i know, it is SO rude to send an invitation that keeps my guests' plan in mind!  sorry i didn't pick up your book on etiquette rules!  
    Posted by [email protected][/QUOTE]

    <div>Jeebus.  If you sent out STDs, don't they already have a plan?  If that's the case sending the invites out early will only increase the chance they'll be lost and/or forgotten about.  If you are having a DW sending them out a month/two months probably isn't going to make that big of a difference in terms of attendance so just send them when you are supposed to and cease with the drama.</div><div>
    </div><div>Additionally, for your guests that haven't made a decision yet, requiring that they RSVP early will only lead to more "no" responses.  The earlier the RSVP is required the better chance you have that schedules won't be solid and more people will opt out of attending.</div>
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It is rude to demand an RSVP 45 days in advance. 

    :headdesk:
  • No reason to get all snarky back when no one was snarky to you.

    Etiquette-wise, it is proper to send out invitations no more than 8 weeks out, and ask for responses 2 weeks before the event.  They have your STD's, they know it's happening and when and where, there's no reason they need an invitation earlier than that.

    If you are just going to do whatever you please anyway, what was the point of posting the question here?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_invites-paper_soon-soon-send?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:cd062f89-8272-496a-b0ab-225e1f87acecDiscussion:067f8732-a7af-4cd1-a8a7-afe08f2ed031Post:43e03c93-ed95-4281-a26e-8b79c56cfbce">Re: how soon is too soon to send?</a>:
    [QUOTE]thanks guys.  of course the save the date has all the info plus our website--i'm not an idiot, squirrly and myname.  i'd still imagine we'll be sending them out earlier than the two month mark although not too far in front of it.  if weddings have shown us anything, particularly with these boards, it's that pretty much anything goes--etiquette be damnned.
    Posted by [email protected][/QUOTE]

    No one has been rude to you or implied that you are an idiot.

    If you don't want to hear the opinions of others, why did you post the thread and ask the question?

    IMO, 8 weeks is the earliest you should send them - but you do whatever floats your boat.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_invites-paper_soon-soon-send?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:cd062f89-8272-496a-b0ab-225e1f87acecDiscussion:067f8732-a7af-4cd1-a8a7-afe08f2ed031Post:ae4de85c-a005-4487-a5f1-d46e53bc8d54">Re: how soon is too soon to send?</a>:
    [QUOTE]i know, it is SO rude to send an invitation that keeps my guests' plan in mind!  sorry i didn't pick up your book on etiquette rules!  
    Posted by [email protected][/QUOTE]

    Why in the world did you ask then?

    Yes, it is rude to send out invites 4 months in advance.  You already sent STDs, so they have all the information they need.  Some people may not book their flights or hotels until about a month before the wedding because of work.  Not everyone can plan that far in advance.  So asking for RSVPs over 2 months before the wedding is ridiculous.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Well I'm not sure why you even posted the question if you were just going to do what you want anyway..

    Regardless, the reason why 4 months is too early is plans change.  For example certain times of the year there is no way we can tell you 2 months in advance that we can make a wedding or not. Our jobs are such we are just not able to tell you.

    So that leaves us with a problem.  We can tell you no, but find out later that we really can attend. Or we can tell you yes, but find out later we are unable to attend.  We love weddings, so we really would try and be there.  But there are just times where it's not possible to know until a few weeks out.

    Having your RSVP so far in advance is really going to cause you more stress as closer to the wedding people will be dropping out or maybe adding themselves back in.   To me it's not worth it.

    The STDs tell people there is a wedding.  They will remember and pencil it in their calenders.  Closer to the wedding they will be able to give you a better RSVP.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Does it matter (with regards to sending out invites) if hotels for OOT guests have an unbending deadline of 3 months out for getting the wedding group discount?  My STDs went out with info on the hotel situation, but we were thinking of sending out invites a couple of weeks before the 3-month deadline as a reminder to book the hotel.  

    I know some have said above 2 months out and no earlier no matter what, but would this be an extenuating circumstance?  Or do you just remind people via word of mouth and the website?  It just seems weird to send invites *after* a hotel booking deadline (though granted, the hotel rooms will likely still be available, just the group discount apparently won't be available).  

    And sorry if this is hijacking the post, but it seemed relevant to the discussion.  If I should repost in a separate thread, please let me know!  

    Runaway Bride - Catch me if you can!
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    kikijbird ~ Erica (aka Kiki) & Paul ~ 24 April 2010
    The JBirds Bio ~ Updated 03.02.10 - Invites!

    Anniversary

  • My FI wants to send out our invites in January...for our June wedding in Mexico.  He feels that people will have just forgotten about it,  even with the magnet std's we sent out.  I wish I could get him to listen to me and this site. 

    I would say no more than three months out for the wedding.  People will book their trips when they are ready for it.
  • I really don't see it as rude to send invites to your guests 'early' as opposed to the traditional 6-8 weeks. I think it depends on you, your guests, and your event.

    Honestly, if someone forgets about my wedding, (hopefully not sounding selfish here) then they probably shouldn't have been invited. 

    Nobody has been able to provide me a legitimate reason behind the 6-8 week 'rule'. IMO, it's just a tradition. Honestly, how the heck can advance notice be considered rude to your guests?!?!? Someone please explain this to me, I'd love a REAL answer.

    <Since I have already sent the invites for my March wedding, I will be sure to let everyone know my guests reaction to this and my attendance rate. As of today, people are excited to be getting the invites, I'm getting 2-4 responses daily, and they are exactly what I expected as far as who's attending. />
    ExerciseMilestone
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_invites-paper_soon-soon-send?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:cd062f89-8272-496a-b0ab-225e1f87acecDiscussion:067f8732-a7af-4cd1-a8a7-afe08f2ed031Post:f5dac598-b460-4054-855f-66c10bc1f683">Re: how soon is too soon to send?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Nobody has been able to provide me a legitimate reason behind the 6-8 week 'rule'. IMO, it's just a tradition. Honestly, how the heck can advance notice be considered rude to your guests?!?!? Someone please explain this to me, I'd love a REAL answer.  />
    Posted by babylizz[/QUOTE]

    Reading fail.  Please see lyndausvi's post several responses up.

    The legit reason is that some schedules aren't for certain 3-4 months out.  If I ask for vacation 6 months out and it isn't approved, because only one person can use vacation pay at a time at my job, then I have to wait until 4 weeks out maximum to see if I will be scheduled for the days I want off.  And if I am scheduled, then I need a few more days to try and talk other coworkers to work for me.

    Also, some people may not know if they will financially be able to go several months out.  Not everyone has as much in savings as they'd like to have or should have.  So they have to play things more paycheck to paycheck, and won't be able to give an answer more than a few weeks to a month out.

    Advance notice isn't necessarily rude, obviously in OP's case, it is quite the opposite of rude, and the guests have their advance notice already in the form of STD's.  But asking for rsvps's more than a month in advance can be seen as rude and demanding.
  • No, not a reading fail. That excuse to abide by an outdated tradition is not a valid one in my book. 

    Not one person I know would fall into that category. Everyone I know works in an environment where more time with an invite (and over a month to reply) means more notice to provide your employer for vacation time, which equals a better chance of being approved leave ((back to my statement about knowing your guests and their situations...and if I had a friend who wouldn't know about leave, I would call them and verbally give them more time to give a reply)). Also, allowing more time means the people with less money have more time to save and will be more capable of attending. 

    Earlier invite equals more notice for people to arrange for time off and, if needed, more time to save for a trip. This holds true for every person I know. (I've worked in restaurants, retail, banking, and now in government and in all these cases, the earlier you ask for time off, the better chance you have of getting it).

    Yes, a few people may have to change their response, but this happens right up to the day of the wedding, regardless of when the invite was sent or when the rsvp was received.

    I feel save-the-dates were created by people in the wedding industry as a way of making more money...and they just use 'etiquette,' really just a long-engrained tradition, as an excuse to force unknowing brides to pay for two sets of invites. Regardless of my opinion of save-the-dates, consider this: If you send save-the-dates, what purpose does the invite serve and why would it matter when it gets sent???? The guest already has the info and knows they're invited.

    I also don't feel it's 'demanding' to ask people to make a commitment to attend a wedding 3 months out. In today's hectic world, most peoples schedules are filled that far out anyways. I know plenty of people who's weekends fill up as far as 6 months in advance (with work,kid, and other personal stuff).

    I realize I am fighting a fruitless battle here. I am one person against countless who feel the 6-8 week tradition is a rule, but, I honestly believe more notice on an invite is better for guests.
    ExerciseMilestone
  • babylizz - I don't have a problem with sending out the invitations 4 months before the wedding.

    My problem lies with the OP's insistence on having such an early RSVP date.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    For the record I do not think sending out invites before the 2 months mark itself is rude.  I think asking for the RSVP 2 months out is rude.   Some people just can not give a correct response that early.

    My family and friends knew my wedding day over a year in advance via word of mouth.  I sent STD out 9 months in advance (so people can book hotel rooms as my wedding was 100% OOT for everyone).

    I found 50% of the guests booked their rooms when the STD came out.  The other 50% decided after the invites went out at the 2 month mark.   I had quite a few people book flights under the 2 month mark. 

    I only had 20 people decline no.  They were not because the invites were sent out at the 2 month mark.

    Just so you know.  I work at a resort in the islands.  We find more and more people booking trips last minute and not months and months in advance like iin the past.   For example 4 months from now the hotel looks like it's only 40% booked.  2 months out it can shoot up to 100% booked, thus causing DH and I not to be able to attend an OOT wedding.

    I also find you can get the same airline deals 2 months out as you can 4 months out.  Not always of course. But I fly off island 4-5 times a year and never book more than 6-8 weeks out.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I get why you do not like STD.  And for the most part I agree they are not necessary.  But they were really helpful for me.   For example sending out the STD 9 months gave everyone the extra notice of the wedding if they needed it for work purposes or if they wanted to book the hotel in advance.

    Sending out the invites 2 months, with an RSVP 3 weeks out from the wedding allowed people to make last minute plans if they wanted/needed to.

    It was the best of both worlds IMO.








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • uhhh lynda you kind of just made my point, since you book most of your trips by 6-8 weeks and you say that alot of hotels are booked (close to) solid by 2 months out.  my original post was saying send out at 4 months and rsvp 45 days later, aka week 10.  i can see pushing this forward a couple more weeks, definitely.  i agree, i would hope that my guests would be on top of things and already have their hotel and flight booked for their bank account's sake--not knowing if they're going to fly to florida for an extended holiday weekend at three weeks seems flaky to me.  i think very few people have mocha's situation with requesting time off.  in my experience, the sooner you request time the more likely you'll get it.  think about a wedding you're attending next spring: have you already requested time off?  at least thought about if you're going or made the decision already?  

    bottom line, no matter when i set the rsvp, there are going to be a lot of people who don't send in on time.  that's why there are posts on the knot almost daily about the trials and tribulations of having to call ridiculous guests multiple times to confirm or decline. "rude" is not having enough chairs at your reception for your wedding guests.  "rude" is giving your bridesmaids six dollar claire's earrings as a gift.  asking them to plan a little ahead of time for wedding is not rude.  thanks for all the stimulating conversation, i think i'm good on the invite timing front.
  • ::facepalm::
  • I was in the car for 16 hours yesterday or I would have responded then.  Please re-read my posts above - I did not, anywhere, suggest that your intelligence was lacking.  Really no need to be quite so defensive.  If you ask a question - you're going to get an answer.  If you ask an opinion - you're going to get those too.  If what you wanted was an opportunity to argue, you should have said so.  If what you wanted was validation for an idea most of us clearly don't agree with, you should have said that in the OP and saved us the trouble of typing.

    There are many reasons to NOT send out your invitations so early.  1) Many, many people can't give a well-informed RSVP in time (some struggle with the standard 1-month mark!).  This will likely result in a significant number of people who simply don't RSVP at all or hold their card to send it in late when they have more info.  Have fun calling all of those folks!  2) Many people literally can not get vacation that far in advance, check their schedule, book child/elder/pet care for while they're out of town, etc.  3) Medical, financial, and family dynamics may prevent some people from booking that far out.  When my grandfather was very sick and ultimately dying, I wouldn't have booked anything to go anywhere.  We had no idea if we had 6 days, 6 weeks, or 6 months.

    You can choose to believe that none of these situations apply to your guests.  However, it's unlikely that you know the company vacation policies, financial standing, and health of all of their extended family members for each and every guest and their significant other.  That's just not reasonable. 

    The bottom line is that it's rude to ask your guests to RSVP more than about a month before the event.  And, sending the invites out more than a month before THAT is really just a good way for your guests to lose the invite, forget about it, fail to RSVP at all, and you'll be in worse shape than you would if you just waited.  The courtesy of early notice was taken care of by your STD.  Now you should wait.  I obviously get it that you're not going to do so because you believe your situation is so awesomely different from everyone else, but my advice is still to follow the traditional guideline for the reasons above.
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

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    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
  • As I stated before, the tradition of 6-8 weeks is just that, a tradition. Of course you want to be courteous to your guests, but that doesn't always mean following old traditions like this one.

    When determining your timeline for sending invites (and save-the-dates if you use them), it should be governed by the needs of the guests you are inviting (i.e. their schedules, their need for more/less time to plan, etc.). In some cases the 6-8 week tradition may work well, but in other cases (like mine), you may need to choose a different timeline. 

    I know my guests very well and most had told me of their intent to attend or not even before the invites went out...so again, it really depends on your guests and their needs. In my case the invite was very much of a formality as they already knew about the wedding.  



     

    ExerciseMilestone
  • When I sent out STDs about 6 months before the wedding, I had a lot of people RSVP to me then.  They have since changed their mind and we are 4 months out from the wedding.  I am sure their plans will probably change in the time before they have to send in a formal RSVP.

    Asking for an RSVP 2 months before the wedding is rude and you are not thinking of your guests when you are doing this.  What benefit is it going to be to have the RSVPs that far out? 

    And you say you're doing this for advance notice.  Well, you already gave them advance notice with a STD, so they don't need any more advance notice.
  • wow you guys really spend a lot of time on the knot following boards and threads, don't you?  i'm sorry to think about all the time you spent typing up these responses when you already came to the conclusion that i'm rudely going to rudely do what i rudely want anyways...yet you still persist.  sheesh.  facepalmheaddeskreadingfail.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_invites-paper_soon-soon-send?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:cd062f89-8272-496a-b0ab-225e1f87acecDiscussion:067f8732-a7af-4cd1-a8a7-afe08f2ed031Post:b355e325-987f-42a7-9f74-66da25dc1131">Re: how soon is too soon to send?</a>:
    [QUOTE]wow you guys really spend a lot of time on the knot following boards and threads, don't you?  i'm sorry to think about all the time you spent typing up these responses when you already came to the conclusion that i'm rudely going to rudely do what i rudely want anyways...yet you still persist.  sheesh.  facepalmheaddeskreadingfail.  
    Posted by [email protected][/QUOTE]

    I'm a mod, so yes I do spend a lot of time following boards and reading threads. 

    Also, most people come back to threads they posted in to see the replies and possibly write another response.  That's the point of a message board.

    And obviously you didn't want anyone's thoughts on the matter, so it doesn't matter.
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