Announce your big day!
It’s wedding season! Seriously, it is. Right now, in June and July, there’s an upsurge in the number of wedding announcements and invitations going out. It swings upward again in September and October. So, yeah, it’s definitely wedding season.
What does this mean to you? Well, it may mean that you or someone close to you is about to tie the knot. If that’s the case and you’re involved in the planning, you want to be sure you time those invitations just right. You definitely don’t want to do it to early or (heavens!) too late.
Traditional etiquette dictates that invitations go into the mail eight weeks in advance. Rewind a hundred or more years when the mail came by waterways and railways, and you’ll see why. The invitation was the only communication—no phones, no e-mail—so opening the mail was how you found out someone was getting married. Even up until a decade or two ago, mailing invitations six weeks ahead was cutting it close.
Times have changed just a little bit. The mail is faster now, it’s true, but it’s also not the main method of communication. Opening the announcement is no longer the moment you find out someone is getting married.
Changing a Facebook status to “engaged,” a text, a tweet, or a phone call will usually precede the receipt of the official mailed invitation. Those closest to you will have saved the date as soon as you set it. So, for practical purposes, if you get your announcements posted a month ahead, that will usually give the bulk of your guests reasonable time to know that they are indeed invited and to clear their schedules to make sure they can be there.
Now, depending on catering, you may need to get your invitations out earlier. If your caterer needs final numbers, say, three weeks before the big day, you’ll definitely want to send out your invitations six to eight weeks in advance. But if your reception calls for an approximate headcount rather than an exact, you’re good with giving a four-week lead time.