When To Send Party Invitations?

When To Send Party Invitations
Choose your party date, send timely invitations according to the party type, and follow up a week before the event. Send invitations for formal events four to eight weeks in advance and three to four weeks for casual events.

1. Timing

Choosing the event date is one of the most important decisions when planning a party. Here are a few things to consider when determining your next party’s event date:

The occasionIs it a birthday party or a graduation celebration? Each event comes with its traditions and expectations. For example, a Christmas party is typically held in December, while a graduation party might occur in spring.
Guest AvailabilityCheck with guests to see what dates they have free and try to find a date that works for everyone. It’s good to have a few backup dates in mind.
Venue availabilityIf you plan on renting a venue for your party, you should check their availability.  
Other eventsCheck for events or holidays that might conflict with your desired date. 

A set date can help you plan other aspects of the party, such as the guest list, food and drinks, decorations, and entertainment.

2. Parties And Invitations

The type of party determines when to send out invitations. Here is a rundown of the different types of parties and the ideal timeframes for sending out invitations:

Birthday partiesThree weeks in advance to give guests enough time to clear their schedules. 
Dinner parties Three to four weeks in advance to allow your guests plenty of time to make arrangements. 
Cocktail partiesThree to four weeks in advance.
Holiday partiesFour to six weeks in advance to give your guests ample time to plan for the busy holiday season. 

There are many types of invitations, from traditional paper invitations to digital ones. Paper invitations are great for formal events. Digital invites are an excellent option for casual occasions. Templates make them quick and easy to create, and you can track responses online.

3. Save-The-Date Cards

Save-the-date cards give your guests a heads-up about your upcoming event. They’re essential because they give your guests plenty of notice about your event. This is especially important if you’re planning a party during a busy time of year, like the holidays.

Save-the-date cards can help build excitement and anticipation for your event. This can help ensure that your guests are excited to attend and will be more likely to say “yes” when the official invitation arrives.

Send them out months before your event. If the cards are for a wedding, send them six months before and 8 to 12 months before for destination weddings.

4. Formal Events Invitations

When planning a formal event like a wedding or a fancy gala, send out invitations about four to eight weeks before the big day. This will let your guests respond on time and make necessary travel arrangements.

Ensure the invitations include the event’s time, date, location, and dress code requirements. And remember to include a response deadline and contact information.

5. Casual Events Invitations

The sweet spot for casual events is usually about three to four weeks before the party. The invitation should include the basics, like the event’s date, time, and location. You can also get creative with your wording and design to make your invitation stand out.

For example, if you’re having a potluck, you could ask each guest to bring a specific dish and include that information in the invitation.

6. Holiday Party Invitations

Send holiday party invitations about 3 to 4 weeks before. This gives your guests enough time to include your party among the many during the holiday season. 

When creating your invitations, include all the essential details about your party. You’ll also want to specify the dress code, if there is one, and any other special instructions or requests you might have. 

7. Destination Events Invitations

Destination events require more planning and preparation than local events. Your guests must arrange travel, accommodation and possibly take time off work. Therefore, send out invitations at least three to four months in advance. 

Include all the invitations’ critical information, RSVP date, contact information, and any party theme details. You should also provide information about local accommodations and transportation options to help your guests plan their trip.

8. RSVP Deadline

RSVP invite
RSVP invite

Setting an RSVP deadline is crucial to successful party planning as it helps you better prepare for the event. RSVP deadline depends on the type of event you’re hosting.

Setting a deadline one week before the event is sufficient for casual gatherings, like a backyard barbecue. Set the deadline at least three weeks in advance for events such as weddings or rehearsal dinner parties or even baby showers. Remember to communicate the deadline clearly on the invitation.

9. Last-Minute Invitations

When sending last-minute invitations, the key is to be upfront and clear about the situation. Let your guests know that you know of the short notice and that you understand if they can’t make it. 

As for the best ways to send last-minute invitations, there are a few options to consider. If you’re tech-savvy, sending a group text message or creating a Facebook event can be a quick and easy solution. 

Alternatively, you can send an email or call. Calling is a good option since you can leave a message if there’s no response. 

10. A Gentle Reminder

Sending a follow-up invitation is a courteous and effective way to remind your guests about the event. However, timing is key; you must avoid being pushy or desperate. A good rule of thumb is to wait about a week before the event.

When wording the follow-up invitation, keep it short and sweet. Start by thanking them for considering your invitation and reiterating the event details. Let them know that you hope to hear back from them soon and would love to have them attend.

11. Going Digital

sending digital invites
Sending digital invites over email

In today’s digital age, electronic invitations have become popular, offering a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional paper invitations. But are they the right choice for your next party? Let’s look at the pros and cons of electronic invitations.


  • Convenience: Electronic invitations allow you to easily send invitations to many guests with just a few clicks.
  • Cost-effective: Unlike paper invitations, electronic invitations are typically free or very low cost.
  • Environmentally friendly: By choosing electronic invitations over paper ones, you do your part to help the environment by reducing paper waste.
  • Instant RSVPs: With electronic invitations, guests can quickly RSVP with just a click of a button.


  • Lack of personalization: They lack the personal touch of a traditional paper invitation.
  • Risk of getting lost in spam folders: There’s always a risk that your electronic invitation could get lost in a spam folder.
  • Not suitable for all occasions: Electronic invitations are great for casual parties and events but not for formal occasions.

What Do I Need To Include In My Party Invitation?

Here are the key elements that should be on every invitation:

NameIf it’s your child’s birthday party, include your name and the name of the birthday girl or boy.
DateThis one might seem obvious, but including the event date is essential.
TimeLet your guests know what time the party starts and ends. 
LocationInclude the party venue’s address and specific instructions for finding it.
ContactInclude a phone number or email address that guests can use to ask questions about the party.
ThemeIf the party has a theme, include it on the invitation.
Dress codeLet your guests know what attire suits the party.

Should I Send An Invitation To A Party To People I Know Are Going To Be Out Of Town?

It depends on the situation and the person in question. If they would appreciate the gesture and there’s a chance they may still be able to attend, it’s worth sending the invitation.

If you’re unsure, use your judgment and consider each person’s individual preferences.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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