My goodness, girl you are on top of things with your wedding planning, and now you are asking yourself the question – is it okay if I send out my wedding invitations or save the dates early? It seems like it should be a no brainer, right? On time is good, so early is better? But, that’s not actually the case.
You’ve probably heard that your wedding invitations should be sent out 6-8 weeks before your wedding, and your save the dates should be sent out 6-8 months before your wedding. If you are having a true destination wedding (if your wedding requires most of your guests to book flights or leave the country) then you can send them out a little earlier, but if not – you should stick within the 6-8 week/month mark.
So what could happen if you send them out early? Are the wedding stationery police going to come get you? Well, no (but can we just take a moment to imagine what this would look like? haha) but there are some other not so fun things that could happen if you send your save the dates or wedding invitations out too early.
1. Forgetful Guests
The most important reason not to send out your invitations or save the dates early is the most common one – your guests are human, and humans are forgetful. I don’t know about you, but there are days where I feel like I’m living one day at a time – if it’s happening next week, it’s not even crossing my mind until this weekend. You may think that by sending out your save the dates or invitations early, you are giving your guests more time to make plans, but the sad truth is (at least for most of them) that save the date or invitation will sit on their fridge or their table for awhile until the more pressing matters are handled.
You want your invitations or save the dates to arrive at promptly the time frame where your guests would be ready to start making plans, so that your wedding is on the forefront of their mind. Otherwise, your guests may forget to book flights until the last minute, or forget to RSVP and leave you waiting and wondering whether or not they’re attending. It is rare that people’s schedules are booked more than 8 months in advance (unless you’re Beyonce – so if you’re inviting Beyonce then I guess you can send your save the dates early) so the extra time isn’t necessary!
2. Change Of Venue
Thinking about this is a bride’s worst nightmare, so understandably it’s not on the forefront of anyone’s mind. But – it unfortunately does happen. Venues double book (yikes), forces of nature like hurricanes and fires damage or destroy venues, or other things cause you to have to switch venues. If this happens after you’ve already sent out save the dates or invitations, you would have to send out an additional update card explaining the change of location so that your guests arrive to the right place! The closer you get to your wedding, the more likely any kinks with the venue have been worked out with scheduling, and the less likely it is that a weather event will impact your day.
3. Change of Date
Here in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia we have a strong military presence. This means that many of my couples are military, or have family or close friends who serve. Unfortunately, deployment does not always line up nicely with your wedding plans, and I have several times had couples come to me needing to change their wedding date. One of my 2017 grooms was deployed, and scheduled to return the day before the wedding, and one of my 2018 grooms is scheduled to have the same situation, so they are pushing back their wedding date. Whether it be the bride or groom, or a close family member or member of the bridal party who is deployed, you want those special people to be at your wedding, and not arriving at the last minute. Because of this I have met many military couples who have changed their wedding date to accommodate deployment plans. Even if you aren’t military, you may need to change your date to accommodate health concerns, venue conflicts, family events or other changes. If you have already sent out your save the dates or wedding invitations when this date is changed, you’ll have to send out an update card to explain to your guests that the date has changed, and to please save this new date. This causes confusion for your guests, and stress for you because – what if a guest doesn’t receive the word in time, and has already made non-refundable travel arrangements?
4. Change of Time
You’ve picked a stellar photographer and videographer to capture your special day, and have entrusted a planner to help you work out the kinks with your timeline. If you send out your invitations before the 8 week mark, you may not have had a conversation with these trusted vendors about the best timeline for your event yet. A lot goes into choosing your ceremony time, you want to leave enough time for all of the events that happen before and after it, and you want to schedule it at a time where your ceremony location (if it is outdoors) isn’t in direct bright sunlight so that your photographer can get the best photos. Once your invitations are out with your ceremony time – that’s when your guests will show up, and that can put a kink in your timeline if it wasn’t planned ahead!
These are just a few of the reasons why it isn’t a good idea to send your wedding invitations and save the dates out early! If you’re like me and eager to check that item off your to-do list, keep in mind that you may actually be making things more difficult on yourself, even though you think you’re planning ahead! Stick to the 6-8 month mark for save the dates, and 6-8 week mark for invitations, and you’ll be golden!