Whether you’re mailing invitations or inviting guests by phone or email, timing is key

Send an invitation too late and the guest may already be booked; send it too early and it might be misplaced or forgotten. The following guidelines aren’t set in stone, but will give you an idea of when to mail various types of invitations. Err on the early side if your event is important or the guest list is large.

The Event
When to Invite
Anniversary party  3 to 6 weeks
Bar or Bat Mitzvah  1 month
Bon Voyage party  Last minute to 3 weeks
Casual party  Same day to 2 weeks
Charity Ball  6 weeks to 3 months
Christmas party  1 month
Cocktail party  1 to 4 weeks
Debutante Ball  6 weeks to 3 months
Formal dinner  3 to 6 weeks
Graduation party  3 weeks
Housewarming party  A few days to 3 weeks
Informal dinner  A few days to 3 weeks
Lunch or Tea  A few days to 2 weeks
Holiday dinner  2 weeks to 2 months