This wedding stationery timeline is a reference tool of best practices; when should you order and mail your wedding invitations. Depending on schedules and budgets there may be some flexibility if you go with a semi-custom design.
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When to Place Your Invitation and Day-of Stationery Orders
When to Order Save-the-Dates
Eight to Twelve Months Before Your Event
SEND: Destination 8-12 months before / Local 6 months
Save-the-Date cards are very important for destination weddings, or weddings near a major holiday. Some of your out-of-town guests may decide to plan their own romantic getaway around your wedding date. If you are staying local or planning a small intimate wedding, save-the-dates may not be necessary.
WHAT TO INCLUDE: Name of Bride and Groom, Date of the Wedding, Location: City and State, “Invitation to Follow”, optional website url.
You should book your stationery designer (AKA – ME!!!) by the time you have booked your venue if not before. If you haven’t already, click here to book a consultation.
When to Order Invitations
Four to Six Months Before Your Event
SEND: Destination 3-4 months / Local 6-8 weeks
There is such a thing as too early! You want to give your guests enough time to get excited but not so much time that they totally forget. While invitations for a destination wedding should be sent far enough in advance for your guests to make travel plans.
The style and theme of your wedding should be reflected in the invitations to help set the tone for the big day. If you haven’t already, click here to purchase my creative planning workbook.
- RESPONSE CARD: You can use this to collect more than just names and head count.
- DETAILS CARDS: Make it easy on your guests by providing a map/directions (your out-of-towners will thank you). You may also want to include your wedding website and other relevant details.
When ordering, remember to count households and couples as one.
When to Order Thank You Cards
Six Months Before
SEND: as you receive gifts or within one month of your wedding
Believe it or not, you’ll start receiving gifts before you even walk down the aisle! Friends and family who are unable to attend may send their gift in advance. Send their “TY” immediately to minimize your workload after the wedding. Once you’re back from your honeymoon, kick into high gear to get them out no later than four weeks after the wedding.
When to Order Day-of Stationery
Two Months Before
Delivered 1-2 weeks prior
For the Ceremony
- RESERVED SEATING/IN HONOR OF CARDS
For the Reception
- TABLE NUMBER CARDS
- ESCORT CARDS
- MENU (per table or place setting)
- PLACE CARDS
- PHOTO PROPS
- SIGNAGE | This includes seating charts, guest book alternatives (poster, faux certificate), tables signs (buffet, dessert, cocktails), banners and any other large format signs/posters.
- OTHER | dance floor, napkins, stir sticks, favor packaging, etc.
If you don’t see what you are looking for, please ask, I would love to work with you to create something amazing and unique.
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