WHEN SHOULD I….
You have a lot to plan and think about during your wedding planning journey. As stationers & designers, we get asked often about the appropriate timing for sending out Save The Dates, Invitations and when is the best time to order the reception stationery for your event. We’ve compiled a wedding stationery timeline to help keep you organized! Have specific questions? Contact us and one of our experts will gladly help walk you through the steps for your stationery timeline!
COMPILING YOUR GUEST LIST (9-12 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
We recommend making this one of your first official wedding planning projects! Your guest list is an important part of your wedding planning. Knowing how many guests you would like to have at your wedding will help determine the budget, style and overall details of your wedding day. Whether you are having a small, intimate affair or a large, epic event – having your guest list prepared will make your planning a lot easier.
ORDER & MAIL OUT SAVE THE DATES (6-11 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
Just to be clear – Save The Dates are not required! However, many couples choose to send out Save The Dates to give their guests a “head up” so that they can plan accordingly. For destination weddings or events with a lot of out of town guests, we recommend mailing out Save The Dates as soon as your guest list is compiled. This will give your guests plenty of time to plan, book hotels & flights, etc. If your wedding date coincides with a holiday weekend, make sure to send out your Save The Dates as soon as possible to make sure your guests don’t make plans to go out of town.
HIRING A STATIONER (6 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
Unless you have already hired a stationer for full service wedding branding, then once the Save The Dates are mailed out, it’s time to start looking for your invitations! Keep in mind that depending on the quantity, style, amount of embellishments and design you choose – your invitations can take a couple of weeks or a couple of months to complete. Be sure to give your stationer ample time to create the perfect invitations for you and your event!
ORDER YOUR INVITATIONS (4-5 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
If you have not already done so, this is the time to book your stationer and/or order your invitations. For custom designs, many stationers will require a deposit to hold your place on their design calendar. Be sure to ask what the completion timeline is as most likely there are multiple steps in the designing, proofing & printing/production process.
ASSEMBLE INVITATIONS (3 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
By now, you should have your invitations in your hands. Hopefully, you had your stationer make your life easy and ordered professional guest addressing with your invitations. If you didn’t – that’s okay! That’s why it’s important to order early! By getting your invitations around 3 months prior to your event, you will have time to address (or take your envelopes to a calligrapher), assemble, purchase postage, etc. To help make the addressing a bit easier, purchase a coordinating address stamp for your mailing envelope and RSVP envelope.
MAIL OUT INVITATIONS (1-2 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
On average, we recommend mailing out invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding. (And setting your RSVP by deadline 3-4 weeks before your wedding.) For destination weddings, you may want to send out the invitations approximately 8-10 weeks prior to your wedding date.
ORDER YOUR DAY-OF STATIONERY (1-2 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT)
After your invitations are mailed off, it’s time to start thinking about your day-of stationery. Some of the more common day-of stationery items include: Menus, programs/order of service, place cards, signs, tags & labels, itineraries, etc.
THANK YOU CARDS (1-3 MONTHS AFTER EVENT)
Thank you cards are an important detail that should never be overlooked. Some etiquette guides say you have up to 6 months after your wedding to send off Thank You cards – we think the sooner the better so we recommend 1-3 months. Remember that your Thank You cards should be handwritten and sincere. (So no emails, text messages or phone calls please!)