When is the proper time to do stuff for wedding??

posted 8 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
9460 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I wouldn’t ask wedding party members until about a year out.

Save the dates are usually sent anywhere from 12 – 6 months before the wedding.

You don’t plan your own bridal shower so that doesn’t really matter for you.

Invites go out 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding

Post # 4
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

magpiemae :  not sure where you’re from, but in the US, it’s usually the bride’s family/MOH/bridesmaids who throw the bridal shower, not the groom’s family.

Post # 5
456 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I sent out Save the Dates as soon as we’d booked the venue and it was set in stone. Personally, I’d rather get a Save the Date sooner than later because my diary does actually get booked up over 6 months ahead (and I know that a lot of my friends are also very busy).

We sent out invitations 5 months before the wedding. It allowed people who had to travel, especially internationally, to book cheaper flights and accommodation in good time. We had a lot of instant acceptances/declines, then it all went quiet for ages until there was another flurry just before the RSVP deadline, which was 8 weeks before the wedding and allowed us plenty of time to do things you can’t do until you know who’s coming (seating plans, food orders etc).

I know the etiquette is to send out invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding but this would have been way too late for me.

Post # 6
4236 posts
Honey bee

1. Bridal party should be 9-12 months out.  Relationships can change.  Circumstances can change.  There isn’t any real reason for them to be chosen any further out than that.

2.  Save the dates should be 6-12 months out.  No more than 12 months. You should not send them before you have your venue and budget set in stone and know that circumstances will not change who you invite or the wedding date.  Many people have screwed themselves over by sending out save the dates too early and then picking too small a venue or not realizing their budget was going to be smaller than anticipated.

3.  All invitations for any event go out about 6-8 weeks before the event.  

4.  You don’t send bridal shower invitations because you don’t throw the bridal shower.  It is an event honoring you where people give you gifts – it is gauche to throw yourself your own gift-giving party.  Traditionally it was thrown by a friend or community member when the bride’s family could not afford the dowry.  Hence why it was considered poor form for the family to throw it because they wouild also be benefiting from it.  That standard has relaxed a little in modern times where dowries aren’t the norm.

But the point is someone (usually a bridal party member these days) OFFERS to host one.  It is not dictated or required.  So if no one offers to throw one then you just don’t get one.  If someone does offer, then they may ask you who you want invited or general ideas, but they ultimately get to decide what they are willing and can afford to host…Not you.  So if that means 12 women in their living room, instead of 20 couples at a restaurant then that is their right to set.  You can certainly decline their offer of a shower if it isn’t the kind of party you are willing to have.

Then the host of the party is the one in charge of sending invitations to the shower.

Post # 7
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - Baltimore, MD

When to ask bridal party: We got engaged early August, and asked everyone around that same time.

When to send out save the dates: Our wedding is May 4, 2019. We’re getting married in Maryland, and most of the guests are from NC and TX, so we sent out save the dates around Labor Day.

When to send out bridal shower invitations: We’re not having a bridal shower. However, when my friend got married, she did send invitations. (I know, bad juju to have your own party. She also wanted to put 5-6 RSVP options…. undecided )

When to send out Invitations: We plan on ordering our invitations in mid-January, and then sending them out in February. We have to give our final count to the venue 7-10 days out, and the room blocks get released around April 20th.

Post # 8
1752 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

When to ask groomsmen, bridesmaids, and ring bearers/flower girls: About a year out for groomsmen/bridesmaids/ushers. Ring bearers and flower girls can be done a little later, and readers, etc. can be asked once you get the RSVPs back. 

When to send out save the dates: 6-12mos out depending on if there are a lot of out of town guests. Make sure your venue/guest list is set in stone before you do this! Don’t send them out until you are sure of what the wedding will look like. 

When to send out bridal shower invitations (and do i send them to everyone or just local ones): You don’t do this. Either your bridesmaids, or a family member will throw the shower and they are the ones that send these out. Typically the shower is a little closer to the wedding as well. Mine are about 2 months out from the wedding. 

When to send out Invitations: 6-8 weeks out. Again, if more people are traveling, then send them out closer to 8 weeks

Post # 9
1752 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

magpiemae :   i have heard that the fiances family hosts the bridal shower is this true?

In the US typically it’s the bride’s family, but in the midwest (where I’m from) there is usually one on each side. We threw bridal showers for my brother’s wife for our side of the family, and then her aunts threw one for her side of the family. My fiance’s family is throwing me one, but so is my side of the family. And the one that my side of the family is throwing is the bigger one. It includes all my friends as well. 

Post # 10
3093 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Honestly, most of this stuff just comes down to what you’re comfortable with and what is going to suit your planning needs. I wouldn’t worry too much about what’s “proper” or what the etiquette says. If you feel like sending invitations 6 weeks out cuts things way too close for you, send them earlier! If you feel like you are confident in who you want in your wedding party now, ask them now. If you’re struggling to decide, leave it another 6 months. Just do you, boo!

As for the shower – as others have said, you aren’t hosting that so those logitistics are not your problem to solve.

Post # 11
455 posts
Helper bee

We got engaged Summer 2017, married a year later in August 2019. Our timeline was:

  • October: Ask bridal party once venue and date finalized
  • November/December: Sent Save the Dates
  • January: Started dress shopping
  • March/April: Sent Invitations and set up hotel blocks
  • June: Small weekend getaway bachelorette with 2 friends
  • July: something similar to a shower my mom’s friends’ hosted
  • August end: Wedding + courthouse paperwork
  • Labor Day: Honeymoon

We sent our invitations pretty early because we had a large wedding with a lot of out of town guests, and wanted to leave ample time for chasing after people for RSVPs.


Post # 12
1005 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Main things i was worrying about are: 

When to ask groomsmen, bridesmaids, and ring bearers/flower girls

Depends on if you need some input on when your wedding date is. If you truly truly want your BFF and your Sister to be there, start asking them about what wedding dates work for them. Get the Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man involved as soon as you want and then rope in the rest of the gang at 12 months out. The kiddos can be roped in at 6 months out, provided you are close with their parents and they are already making plans to attend anyways. Groomsmen can be pulled in a little later too (dudes just don’t get as excited about this lol)

When to send out save the dates

Anytime after you have your date and your venues signed for. Once those deposits are paid and the contracts are signed, you officially have a wedding date!

When to send out bridal shower invitations (and do i send them to everyone or just local ones)

That is for your Mom/MIL/MOH to deal with. You may pick guests based on how many your host is able to accomodate. Unless your bridal shower is the day before your wedding, don’t expect people to travel in for that.

When to send out Invitations

2 months out, with an RSVP deadline of 1-2 weeks before the wedding. If you are having a wedding close to a major holiday, send your Save the Dates soon.

We have a year and five months to get ready i am just worried about the process  thanks in advance! Relax, you have plenty of time.

Post # 13
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

There are so many things to do when planning for a wedding. What helped me, and gave me direct clear advice was the knot planner binder. I would HIGHLY recommend this. They have them at Barnes and Nobles for $20. Best purchase I made and gives timelines month by month so everything is organized with checklists, idea boards etc. It really made me have everything together

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