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When to send your wedding invitations – your modern etiquette guide

How early is too early for wedding invitations? We've got the expert recommendations every bride-to-be needs

sending wedding invitations
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
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There is lots of conflicting advice when it comes to wedding planning, and when to send your wedding invitations is another topic that divides opinion.

Should you stick with tradition and send your invitations closer to the big day, or should you avoid the risk of your guests being double-booked and send them out further in advance? And how can you word your wedding invitations to share all the information your guests need? We caught up with Matthew Shaw, creative director and founder of sauveur. to get the lowdown on the modern wedding etiquette couples need to know.

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"Tradition states that invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before your wedding but our lives have changed as have our calendars. People are increasingly busy and you want to ensure your guests are informed in good time," Matthew says.

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"How, and when, you invite your guests will depend on a number of elements but the main thing to consider is ensuring your guests receive the information they need when they need it. If your guests have all the information they need to plan they will relax and this will, in turn, ensure you receive fewer questions when you are focusing on the planning!"

Keep reading to see more of Matthew's advice...

When to send save the dates

save the date card© Photo: iStock

Your save the date will likely be the first time you communicate your wedding to your guests. They should be sent out between six and 12 months before your wedding and this will depend on when you have that information ready. Once you have your venue and date confirmed I would suggest sending your save the date towards the top end of that to ensure it is firmly in people’s diaries. Remember, if your celebrations are taking place over a number of days to include these all.

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Do we need a wedding website?

wedding website© Photo: iStock

Many people wonder whether they should have a wedding website and there are so many different options out there. My advice to couples is to consider a website only if you have enough helpful information to include on it. There is a tendency to include lots of photos and information on the couple which I would argue is not necessary. If you are having a destination wedding, or a wedding taking place over a few details, when you need to help guests with accommodation, travel, and other logistics then a website can be very helpful. Otherwise I would suggest avoiding one and saving yourself the trouble.

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When to send your main wedding invitations

woman opening wedding invitation© Photo: iStock

When you need to send this will depend on the amount of information you need to share with your guests. I usually suggest three to four months in advance unless you are having a destination wedding when you may want to do this sooner or consider the website approach.

The most important thing to do is to think through all the information your guests will need to know from their point of view and align your invitations to that. Aside from being a beautiful first look at your wedding, your invitations are devices to keep your guests informed!

Keep your guests in the know

What you need to tell your guests will depend entirely on your wedding plans. The basics include dress code, dietaries, and timings but this may also need to include accommodation, parking, and venue access. I would always go down the too much approach as opposed to too little. Guests can always ignore information if they don’t need it but if they don’t have it in the first place they will always land up asking you! Helpful information can be included on a card or letter to accompany the invitation.

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Another approach which we use a lot is to have a digital letter which includes everything a guest may need to know and to respond with this when they confirm attendance. "RSVP for more information," is also a clever way of ensuring your guests respond in good time!

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