WEDDING STATIONERY TIMELINE
More and more I am finding that couples are confused or not sure of the appropriate timeline for their wedding stationery. Not only for when their save the dates, invitations and thank you cards should be sent out but how much time is needed to create their stationery once they have placed an order. This lack of knowledge often results in brides rushing their orders, often compromising on what it is they can have and stressing unnecessarily.
Like anything with wedding planning, the earlier you book, the better. Here's our handy timeline for ordering and sending out your wedding stationery to keep you organised from the moment you say 'yes' right through to the last thank you note is sent.
8-12 MONTHS - ORDER SAVE THE DATES
As soon as you have locked in the date and a location, you have all the details you need to order your save the dates. If you are getting married on a weekday, during peak holiday season, on a significant day such as New Years Eve or if you're planning a destination wedding, then you will want to ensure you order your save the dates 12 months in advance. If your wedding is local and so are the majority of your guests, then 8 months in advance should suffice.
Generally we would allow 2-3 weeks to schedule in and create custom save the dates, and 1-2 weeks for pre-designed plus an additional 1-2 weeks for production and delivery for either option.
6-10 MONTHS - MAIL SAVE THE DATES
Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or a local affair, sending out save the dates well in advance can help take the pressure off. It gives wedding guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements, save a bit of money, book a babysitter or ask for days off work if need be and you can relax knowing your guests now have the most important piece of information and are planning accordingly.
4-6 MONTHS PRE WEDDING - ORDER YOUR INVITATIONS
There are so many variables when it comes to your wedding stationery - paper stocks, printing techniques, design, envelope colours, any little embellishments, etc so it is really important to start the process early so you can take the time to properly explore your options. This way you are sure to get your perfect stationery, stick to your budget and be stress free!
If you're opting for custom-designed wedding stationery, then I recommend that you order your invitations around 6 months prior to your wedding. We require around 4 weeks to schedule in and create your design and 1-2 weeks for production and delivery. Pre-designed invitations are often a much more straight forward process so you would be fine to order this closer to 4 months out.
Hot tip: Remember you also need to allow a week to assemble, address and mail your invitations once you've received them. You will be surprised how long this actually takes!
2-3 MONTHS PRE WEDDING - SEND YOUR INVITATIONS
There's a balance to be struck here. Send your invitations out too early and you run the risk of guests putting them aside and forgetting about them. Send them too late and you might find some guests won't able to attend due to other commitments. My rule of thumb is that if you haven’t sent out save the dates, you should send them 3 months in advance. If you did send out save the dates, I think it’s perfectly fine to send them closer to 2 months out. This will allow a decent RSVP window and ensure your RSVP's are returned in time to give your venue a final head count, organise your seating arrangements and collect the details needed to create any 'day of' stationery.
2-3 MONTHS PRE WEDDING - ORDER YOUR 'DAY OF' STATIONERY
Now that your invitations are in the hands of your guests and the RSVP's are coming your way, it's time to order your day-of paper goods. Your programs, paddle fans, place cards, favour tags, seating charts, signage, etc will always require a much quicker turn around as the details required to create them won't be finalised until the last few weeks leading up to your wedding. So it's really important to be organised and lock in your order so your designer can schedule it in and await your details.
Hot tip: Include your thank you cards in your order to be super organised. This way you can coordinate them with the rest of your stationery and post wedding, you will have them ready to go. Also, think about what other stationery you will need at this stage such as rehearsal dinner or bridal shower invitations.
2-3 MONTHS POST WEDDING - SEND YOUR THANK YOU CARDS
It’s proper etiquette to send out personalised, hand-written thank you cards to guests who attended your wedding or sent gifts, and contrary to popular belief, you don't have a year up your sleeve to send them out. As a general rule, you should send them out no longer than 3 months after your wedding, but guests will always appreciate them sooner. If it so happens that time gets away from you, remember that a late thank you card is always preferable to no thank you card at all.
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