Reader Question: What is the proper timing between mailing the invitations and the RSVP date? Like most brides, I have to limit my guest list and have a ‘B List’. I know I should have a short time limit with the first group of invitations, but I don’t know if I’m pushing things too much. I was planning to send my invitations out May 29th with an RSVP date of June 16th. This way I would be able to send to any ‘B List’ people without the feelings of ‘not being good enough’ for the A List. The wedding is on July 23rd.
My fiance and I are on a tight budget and can receive a terrific deal if I order the invitations now. Yes, I’ll be taking a risk ordering early. The date is already set in stone with the church and reception hall. Please help! I’m so confused! Thanks for all the great advice!! Natalie
Big Day Expert Answer:
As for the invitations, they are usually mailed out six to eight weeks before the wedding. I personally think you should mail them out more like two to three months prior. Of course, if some of your guests will need to travel, you should mail them out even earlier than that. Also, plan on allowing at least two months for printing and delivery. Add another two – three weeks for personally assembling and addressing your invitations and envelopes.
Regarding the RSVP date, there is no rule to when that date should be set. But you are going to need a longer window between when you plan to mail out the invitations and when the responses are due back. Planning these as close as you are isn’t really fair to your guests who want to come. I would recommend sending out the invitations April 29th with a response due date of June 1st. This gives your guests plenty of time to respond and you the same if you need to send out other invitations.
Your RSVP deadline should be set for no later than two weeks before the big day. If the date passes and there are guests you still haven’t heard from, pick up the phone and give them a call so that you can give your caterer and other vendors a final head count.