One of the first things on most wedding planning timelines is choosing wedding stationery, including save-the-dates and invitations – and with good reason! Not only can it take some time to browse the seemingly endless stationery choices, but once you’ve selected your invites, you must then consider the time required for:
- Your vendor to customize your design with your specific event details
- You to review, correct, and approve your proofs
- Printing (especially if your vendor works with an outside print house)
- And of course, once you’ve finally received the invitations, they must be addressed and mailed, allowing guests plenty of time to respond
That time adds up quickly! We recommend that brides order invitations 6 months (and no later than 4 months) before the wedding date. This schedule allows for a comfortable time frame for the entire process, while building in just enough cushion to cover any unexpected glitches.
Timelines for other wedding stationery items you may be considering vary on when they need to be ordered. General guidelines for common items include:
- Save the Dates: Can be sent anywhere from a year to 6 months in advance of your wedding and should be one of the first items marked off your wedding planning to-do list.
- Wedding Programs and Table Stationery: Printed items that will be used on the day of the wedding can wait until a bit closer to the event. The ideal timeframe is 4-8 weeks in advance, since you do not have to factor in time for mailing and responses.
With these time frames in mind, our studio is currently receiving invitation orders for brides tying the knot in March, April, and May of next year. And we’re printing “day-of” wedding stationery for brides marrying in January and February.
Of course, if you’ve let time slip by – or are opting for a short engagement – you are not out of luck! Most stationery vendors can work with brides who need to put a rush on things. Keep in mind that it’s reasonable for vendors to have a standard “rush fee” if you are requesting a rapid or specific turnaround, so be sure to ask about any such charges up front, so you’re not stuck with a surprise when your bill arrives.