Wedding Invitation Timeline
I recently asked on Instagram what you want to know more about, and over and over again you asked me about when to order wedding invitations and save the dates.
The answer has a few complexities to consider depending on the length of your engagement (the current average is 14 months according to Wedding Wire) or the location of your wedding.
You may also be interested in: The Ultimate Wedding Stationery Timeline & Checklist
When should I mail my save the dates?
Typically, the first piece of wedding stationery your guests will receive is your save the date announcement, sent out 6-9 months in advance. Mail save the dates once you have confirmed the critical wedding details such as the date, location, and venue. As a matter of etiquette, save the dates should only be sent to people you are confident will be invited to the wedding.
Are save the dates necessary?
For most weddings, yes. If you are having a destination wedding or the wedding requires guests to set aside an entire weekend for festivities, consider save the dates a requirement. Many brides with short engagements or intimate celebrations choose to skip the save the date altogether.
What should I include on my save the dates?
Save the date cards need to include, at a minimum, your names, the wedding location, and the wedding date. It is also customary to include “formal invitation to follow” so that guests can expect to receive further details at a later date. Many couples add the wedding website address as well.
When should I order my wedding invitations?
When to order your wedding invitations varies depending on whether you are ordering custom wedding invitations or semi-custom invitations. Planners recommend that you book your stationer 6-9 months in advance. A good stationer helps manage the wedding stationery timeline and ensures that the designs are fluid from the save the date, to the invitation, to the day-of stationery.
Custom wedding invitations often require 4-6 weeks of design time followed by 2-4 weeks of production time, and 2 weeks for assembly and addressing. Very quickly the timeline for custom wedding invitations can creep towards that 6-month mark. Semi-custom wedding invitations allow for shorter turnaround time as the design time is reduced to 1-2 weeks. Find out more about my process here.
But what if I need my wedding invitations sooner?
No need to worry! I work with brides on a condensed timeline all the time. Shorten the design time by choosing a semi-custom suite and flat print. Flat printing is the fastest printing method and semi-custom designs require less turnaround time than custom work. Simply put, semi-custom invitation suites are pre-designed suites. To be the first to know when our Semi-Custom Collection launches, sign up here.
When should I mail out my wedding invitations?
Wedding invitations should hit mailboxes 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. I recommend you mail invitations for destination weddings 8 weeks in advance.
When should my RSVP deadline be?
Set your RSVP deadline for a minimum of 4 weeks or 30 days before your wedding date. This buffer gives you enough time to follow up with missing RSVP cards. No need to stress over getting numbers to caterers, preparing seating charts, and sending lists to your calligrapher for escort and/or place cards at last minute.
What types of stationery do I need for my wedding day?
Coordinating day-of stationery creates a sense of unity and cohesion in your wedding design. Day-of stationery includes menus, ceremony programs, escort and/or place cards, welcome bags, wedding weekend itineraries, etc. Leave room in your budget for these day-of items. Book day-of details with your stationer 4-6 weeks in advance.
Wedding Stationery Timeline
Keep your wedding planning stress free and on budget! Refer to this simple cheatsheet when ordering your stationery.