classic wedding invitations
Kari Dawson Weddings

Your wedding stationery is one of the most important details of the entire shebang. After all, how else will your guests know when or where your wedding is? When it comes to save-the-dates and invitations, there are some etiquette rules that you should follow to ensure that everything is sent out in a timely manner and order. If you’re wondering where to begin, we’ve got you covered.

Ready to reach for those stamps and envelopes? Follow our wedding invite timeline below:

Engagement photo save the dates
Amanda Hedgepeth Photography

One year to six months out: Send save-the-dates

When it comes to save-the-dates, the sooner you can send them, the better. Your save-the-dates should be mailed out at least six months before your wedding, but you can send them up to a year or more in advance as long as you have your date and wedding location finalized. If you’re having a destination wedding, sending your save-the-dates ASAP will give people more time to mark their calendars and start budgeting.

purple wedding invitations
Michelle Lea Photographie

Six months out: Choose and order invitations

Start researching wedding stationers and browsing invitation styles about six months before your wedding. The invitation sets the tone for your whole wedding, so it’s best to give yourself plenty of time to choose a design and place your order. In addition to the invitation itself, your stationery suite should include an RSVP card with pre-posted envelope, details about your wedding website, and travel or hotel room block information. Love the look of calligraphy? This is also the time to contact wedding calligraphers to help you with addressing envelopes if your wedding stationer isn’t already assisting. Calligraphers’ schedules can book up quickly, so it’s important to secure a spot for when your invitations come in.

blush wedding invitations
Eric & Jamie Photography

Six to eight weeks out: Send wedding invitations

Wondering when to send out wedding invitations? They should be mailed to your guests between six and eight weeks before the wedding. For destination weddings, you can send your invitations up to three months in advance to give guests more time to make the necessary travel arrangements.

Calligraphy escort cards
Kari Dawson Weddings

Six to eight weeks out: Finalize miscellaneous stationery

After you’ve mailed your invitations, it’s time to discuss and finalize the miscellaneous wedding stationery you’ll need for the wedding day. Typically, this includes ceremony programs, menus, place cards, escort cards, seating chart, and welcome bag inserts.

Pretty wedding RSVP cards
Monica Mendoza Photography

Three weeks out: RSVP card deadline

When you send out the RSVP cards with your invitation suite, be sure to provide a specific “reply by” date for your guests. This should be about three weeks before your wedding date, which will leave enough time for you to give your vendors a final headcount, follow up with any guests who didn’t respond, and create your seating chart.

Wedding thank you card
Katelyn James Photography

Six weeks post-wedding: Send thank-you notes

If you received gifts at or after the wedding, aim to send the thank-you notes within six weeks (no, you shouldn’t wait a full year). Thank-you notes for gifts you receive before the wedding should be mailed within two weeks of getting those items. Writing the thank-you notes on a rolling basis as you receive gifts will make them seem less daunting, or you can use thank-you note templates to help you save some time as well.