How far in advance someone should send out invitations depends on the engagement they are inviting people to. For example, when inviting people to a Bat Mitzvah or Bar Mitzvah, it is customary to send invites out 4 weeks in advance.
Polite invitation timings include:
- Three to 6 weeks for anniversary parties.
- Four weeks for Bat Mitzvahs and Bar Mitzvahs.
- Last minute to 3 weeks for bon voyage parties.
- Same day to 2 weeks for casual parties.
- Six weeks to 3 months for charity balls.
- One month for Christmas parties.
- One to 4 weeks for cocktail parties.
- Six weeks to 3 months for debutante balls.
- Three to 6 weeks for formal dinners.
- Three weeks for a graduation party.
- A few days to 3 weeks for a housewarming party.
- A few days to 3 weeks for an informal dinner.
- A few days to 2 weeks for lunch or tea.
- Two weeks to 2 months for Thanksgiving dinner.
Important formal invitation etiquette tips include:
- Ensure all pertinent information is available on the invite. For example, what time the party starts.
- Make sure the invite is simple. Avoid using registry information when sending wedding invites out; just use the guest's name and essential information.
- When addressing someone on an invitation, use their formal titles, including Dr. if they are an MD or hold a PhD.
- Write the guests' names on the outer envelopes, especially when sending them by post.