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Trying to decide when to send out your wedding invitations is always tricky. You want to send it out early enough that your guests don’t make other plans on your wedding date, but near enough to the event that there aren’t likely to be any unforeseen changes, and your guests won’t have time to forget about it. The ideal time to pop that invite in the post will depend on a number of factors including:
Most guests would expect to receive their wedding invite around eight weeks before the big day. This gives them plenty of notice and time to reply, book a babysitter, buy an outfit, and choose a gift. However, some of the above circumstances will mean that you need to send out invitations sooner.
If you are holding a local wedding on a Saturday in late spring or early autumn, you will need to let your guests know early if you don’t want them to commit to attending another wedding. The best way to do this is to stick to the eight week rule for the actual invite itself, but to send out a save the date card at least six months in advance.
If you are expecting guests to travel to your wedding, whether it is in another part of Australia or abroad, you will need to give them plenty of notice so that they can take time off work, plan travel arrangements, and book accommodation. It is usual to send out the official wedding invite and detailed information about the venue and destination around six to eight months before the wedding.
The same time scales apply for out of town guests as for a destination wedding. You will need to inform any out of town guests about your wedding plans six to eight months before the wedding so they have time to prepare. If you are holding a local wedding, however, you only need to send save the date cards and some additional information to out of town guests at this stage; you can still send out your official wedding invite eight weeks before the wedding.
Many couples find they have to cut down their ideal guest list due to financial or venue capacity constraints. This often results in a reserve list of people the couple want to try to invite if some guests can’t make it. If you find you have a long reserve list, it might be a good idea to send your invitations out around three months before the wedding. This will give any guests that can’t come along time to reply, and for you to issue a new wedding invite to your reserve list without them feeling like they were a last minute choice.
The same rule applies if you want to personalise a lot of aspects of your wedding such as your bombonieres and place names. It can take time to have these made or printed, so sending out your invites three months before the wedding, and setting an early RSVP date will help you to finalise your guest list in time.