29 April 2012

Timeline for Ordering Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are oftentimes a smaller ticket item in the wedding budget, when compared to the cost of a couture gown, five-star food, and lavish flowers, and even more often it’s left until the last moment when options will become limited.  The invitation is the very first impression a guest will have of your wedding, long before they see the dress, flowers, venue or eat any food.  A professionally designed custom invitation can take months to design and produce to get it just right! Wedding stationery should be at or near the top of your list of things to do as soon as you get engaged, just after picking a date and the venue.

Here’s my timeline to assist in planning ahead for fabulous wedding invitations:

9-12 months before your wedding

Start browsing the internet for photos of wedding inspiration and invitations.  Keep a file of things that you like.  Once you've got a fair idea of your guest list, budget, date and location of the wedding, look for a stationery designer.  At Elizabeth Andrés, we provide our clients with a professional mood board, like the one below, to use as inspiration during the design process.  It is also a great tool to show other wedding vendors to give them a feel for your wedding vision.

6-10 months before

Start creating your wedding website beginning with your proposal story, engagement photos, and any basic wedding information that will include on your Save-the-Dates.  Elizabeth Andrés recently started offering custom wedding websites that can be coordinated to match the invitations and other stationery.

Order your Save-the-Dates and send them to your guests about six months before the wedding.

4-6 months before

If you didn't already order them with your Save-the-Dates, it's time to order your wedding invitations. Many stationery designers offer packages if you order all your stationery at one time, so be sure to discuss other stationery needs you have for your wedding, such as table numbers, menus, seating cards, and signs, when you first meet with your stationery designer.

6-8 weeks before

It’s time to send out your invitations.  If many guests are traveling internationally for the wedding, make sure they have their invitations at least eight weeks before the wedding so they have time to make travel arrangements.   Otherwise, six to eight weeks before is appropriate.  It's not recommended to send them out too early either (more than two months) because the guest may lose the invitation or forget about it.  In such cases, a Save-the-Date would be more appropriate to send about 6 months before to let people mark the date on their calendars.

2 weeks before

All RSVP's should be received and numbers given to your caterer.   Make sure all your event-day stationery, such as table numbers, menus and place cards, are finished and delivered to your wedding planner.

1-3 months after

Send out your thank you notes.

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