The Art of Having Fun

Pop the Bubbly: The Party Invitation Timeline

byTeam GM

6 years ago

In case you missed it, Gray announced a very exciting collaboration last month and we are still obsessing over it! You can now find THE cutest GM themed invites on Paperless Post. Think party-ready prints like Llama with Pink Balloons, Party at the Parker, and Champagne Balloons… Not to mention, a few of our favorite beach scenes, to boot! It’s safe to say we’re pretty head-over-heels for these cute invitations, and they have us itching to throw all the summer parties we can handle.

That said, picking out the invitations are just the beginning. With friends and family near and far, knowing when to send your invites (depending on the party) can be a tricky task, to say the least. And we haven’t even mentioned the art of RSVP-ing yet… But this is exactly why we’ve broken it all down for you right here on the blog. Keep scrolling for your ultimate invitation timeline and get ready to bookmark this page for all your future parties, soirées, weddings, birthdays, and more…

For an Engagement Party

Send Invites: ASAP after engagement; 4 weeks before event
RSVP: optional / respond 2 weeks before event
Digital or Printed: either

The best thing about an engagement party is that it is generally much more casual than the rest of your following wedding festivities, meaning you have more freedom with your timeline. In most cases, an engagement party will just be friends and family gathering at their leisure for drinks, casual food, music, and socializing, so they likely won’t have to clear any huge prior plans for your party.

This also means you can choose if an RSVP is necessary. If the party is more of an open house, then you may be able to skip a formal RSVP. If you still want an idea of how many guests will be there, try requesting a simple email or text RSVP instead. They key for an engagement party is to send out invites soon after you reveal your engagement—this way the news will feel fresh and excitement will still be stirring at your party! However, that doesn’t mean you have to send invites the second you’re engaged. Within the first three months of being engaged is fine, so you have time to simply enjoy being together before inviting everyone you know to come over and smother you with congratulations.

For a Wedding

Send Invites: 8+ weeks before event
RSVP: respond 1 month before event
Digital or Printed: printed

Of course, this will vary depending on the formality of your wedding, as well as if you’ll be holding it locally or throwing a destination wedding. If you’re jetting off to a location other than the bride or groom’s home town, then it’s important to send invitations even earlier so guests can make travel and boarding arrangements—at least 12 weeks ahead of time is ideal. If your wedding location is even more remote (i.e. requiring overseas travel), make sure to give your guests four to six months advance notice, either in the form of an invitation or a simple save-the-date.

For a Backyard BBQ or Pool Party

Send Invites : 2-4 weeks in advance
RSVP: optional
Digital or Printed: digital

Since a backyard pool party or BBQ is such a casual event, don’t stress too much about sending invites far in advance. In most cases, friends and family will be able to drop by even for just a half hour or so to grab a bite and say hello, before heading out to any previously scheduled plans (if any). Besides, pool parties and barbecues are generally fun no matter what—so don’t sweat the head count too much! However, if you’re providing food for everyone, it may be smart to get a general idea of how many will be there, either in the form of a text reply (or through the e-vite RSVP option) just so you can make sure you have enough supplies to feed the masses.

For a Birthday Party

Send Invites: 3-4 weeks in advance
RSVP: respond 1-2 weeks before event
Digital or Printed: either

This will vary slightly depending if it’s for a child’s birthday or an adult, but in most cases sending invites out about three weeks in advance is plenty of notice. If you’re throwing a party for a toddler, it may be irritating for parents to receive an invite too far in advance, as they’ll likely forget about it by the time the party arrives. However, if you’re throwing a larger, adult party that requires more planning on the guests’ part (like travel plans, near or far), then a couple of extra weeks of advance notice may be necessary.

For a Baby Shower

Send Invites: 4-6 weeks in advance (party should fall in month 6-7 of pregnancy)
RSVP: respond 1-2 weeks before event
Digital or Printed: either

Since a large part of baby showers is getting gifts for baby and mama, it is important to give your guests enough notice for them to shop your registry and have the gift delivered. P.S. Don’t forget to specify on the invitation if you’ll be having a boy or a girl, or if you prefer gender-neutral gifts at your shower!

For a Holiday Party

Send Invites: 2-3 weeks in advance
RSVP: respond 1 week before event
Digital or Printed: either

The holidays can get crazy, especially around Christmas Time, so make sure when throwing a party like this to send out invites with enough notice for guests to pencil you into their hectic holiday schedule. Unless you’re providing food for your guests or having a sit-down dinner, it’s probably not necessary to require a formal RSVP. Just make sure you’re sending your invites when people are already getting into the “holiday spirit,” no matter what holiday you’re celebrating, from Halloween to Hanukkah. If you send your invites months before the holiday, people are likely to forget about the party by the time it arrives, since they likely won’t be in the holiday mindset quite yet. If it’s a more casual holiday (like Cinco de Mayo) where simply getting together for drinks would be appropriate, sending a quick digital invite out two weeks in advance should do just fine.

Now, who’s ready to throw a party?

To shop all Gray Malin x Paperless Post invites, click HERE.


Xx Team GM