If your guest list is finalized and your party details have been set, sending out invitations is the next step in the planning process. When determining how far in advance to send party invitations, carefully consider the formality of your party and the circumstances of your guests.
For a formal party, send out party invitations six to eight weeks in advance. Formal events might include a wedding, anniversary party, baby shower, milestone birthday party, graduation party or religious celebration. The long time frame gives guests plenty of time to prepare for the big day.
For informal events, such as cocktail parties at home, party invitations should be sent two to four weeks in advance. Although you can send the invitations as early as you wish, guests generally do not require as much time to prepare for these simple and casual get-togethers.
Even if you are not quite ready to send out party invitations, certain guests might need advance notice of the party date. These special circumstances might involve guests coming from out of town, parents who need to organize childcare, or friends who need to arrange a day off work. A simple phone call or email shows that you respect their circumstances and sincerely want them to attend.
If you are planning your party during a holiday weekend or vacation season, a “Save the Date” card can be sent as a precursor to the formal party invitation. These cards simply announce the date of your party, allowing guests to schedule it into their calendars.