Congratulations! You got the guy, the ring, lifelong happiness, and a whole lotta stress… It’s wedding planning time. (J. Lo—any help?)

While choosing flowers, a venue, caterers, a DJ, and—most importantly—a dress may be overwhelming, it’s so SO fun and exciting at the same time. Who doesn’t love tasting cakes and playing dress up?

Maybe not as exciting: Putting together a guest list (UGH) and sending out save the dates, wedding invitations, and the ever-so daunting thank you notes. Duh duh DUH!

Not to worry, ladies. We’ve put together a complete guide and timeline for sending out all the important info. Take notes.

Save the Dates

When to send:

  • Save the dates are an expected courtesy, especially during travel season (summer). They give guests time to make travel and hotel accommodations if they’re out-of-towners.
  • Send 6 months prior if your wedding is local.
  • Send 8 months prior if you’re having a destination wedding. We would like to be included on this guest list, thank you very much.

What to include:

  • The date (obviously)
  • A link to your wedding site,, where your guests can find more information (and your gorgeous engagement pictures) while they anxiously wait for the invite.
  • Also be sure to include the names of each individual invited as opposed to “guest” in order to prevent Great Aunt Cindy from bringing her 4th husband who coincidentally sat next to you in 11th grade math.


When to send:

  • Invitations should be sent 8 weeks (6 weeks at the absolute latest) before the wedding. Not only does this give guests time for clearing their schedules, but it gives you extra time to make seating charts and count the plates.
  • RSVP deadlines should be 3 weeks before the big day. Any later and you’ll be too stressed to make sure everyone seated at the singles table is actually single.

What to include:

  • Include the date and your wedding site again just in case someone lost their save the date *cough his frat buddy from college cough*
  • Again, be specific about who is invited. We don’t want randos smashing their faces into the cake.
  • The RSVP deadline
  • On the lower right-hand corner, include the dress code: Black Tie, Cocktail Attire, or Casual Attire. They’ll also pick up on the vibe from the invitations you choose. Fingers crossed.
  • Keep the registry, menu, and more extensive dress code information on the website. That’s what it’s for, after all.

Thank You Cards

When to send:

  • Now that we’ve cleared the air about that myth, thank yous should be sent out within 3 months after the wedding. Enjoy your honeymoon and wedded bliss for a while, but then get to work.
  • To manage the obscene amount of cards to write, try getting organized. When you receive a gift in the mail, try to write the thank you right away. Or, set some time aside each day to write 3 or 4 in order to avoid the last-minute cram session. This isn’t college anymore, and we doubt your guests will enjoy late-night, cheese-curl finger prints on their cards.

What to include:

  • Lucky you, we’ve already created a complete guide to the art of thank you notes.

For the guest: 

The bride’s got a lot to worry about. How about giving her an early wedding gift card to help with the invitations? She can still choose the design, she just won’t have to worry about where to go. Take a little off her plate (and maybe get a little more cake on yours in return).

Congratulations! Xoxo,

Dear Giftbartender


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