How Far in Advance Should Someone Send Out Invitations?

far-advance-should-someone-send-out-invitations Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

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.