When to Mail Shower Invitations


Considerate hosts weigh several factors to send shower invitations that elicit positive replies. Time your invitations to give your guests ample opportunity to make arrangements to attend. The type of event you plan will determine the kind of invitation you choose, which in turn affects your mailing date.

Event Influences

  • A backyard barbecue shower for neighbors is casual enough for email invitations. These allow online responses and can be sent out two to three weeks ahead. For a destination wedding or baby shower in a distant locale, a "Save the Date" card or magnet sent six to 12 months before the event--followed by the detailed invitation eight weeks ahead--will allow guests to book reservations early.

Invitation Demands

  • Sending invitations by email will save you time and expense, but affects the deadline for sending it only a little. While email is nearly instant, a letter invitation takes at the most a week to 10 days, even overseas. The minimum time to mail a handmade or store-bought shower invitation is four weeks, with a phone, text or twitter RSVP deadline of two weeks to allow you to plan for food, favors and other party preparations. A formal wedding calls for actual, not virtual, shower invitations, either from a store rack, online company or personalized from a printer. Invitations should be in the mail a full eight weeks before the ceremony or shower to allow for formal RSVPs to be sent by post.

Consider Timing

  • Time invitations after brides and grooms, expectant parents and other shower honorees create their gift registries so you can include that information. The guest list will affect how early to send shower invitations. If local, four to six weeks is appropriate. If long-distance, eight to 12 weeks is required to allow extra time to respond and prepare travel plans If your date is close to a major holiday, when guests might be expected to make other plans, mail invitations up to 12 weeks before the shower.

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