Couples spend months and even years planning their wedding and amongst all that planning, wedding invitations can often get left to the last minute. This is not ideal for the couple or the designer working on that precious wedding stationery. I therefore thought I would put together a timeline guide to help anyone struggling with this. After all, one of the most common questions I get asked is ‘When should we send out our wedding invitations?’
The Introduction: Save the Date Cards
Most people these days introduce their guests to their wedding by sending out a Save the Date card. Once you have set your date, there is nothing stopping you from sending out save the dates straight away - but if you think that it is a bit soon, I normally recommend sending them out 8 to 12 months before the wedding, with 10 months being the ideal time.
I often get asked if these are necessary and of course, they aren’t, but if you have guests travelling from abroad, if you’re hosting a destination wedding or if you’re planning a wedding for 2022-2023 then I would absolutely recommend you do. Covid has well and truly screwed up wedding bookings and there is now a backlog of couples all trying to get married - this therefore means that your guests may have various weddings to attend in the same year and the sooner you let them know when yours will be, the more time they have to plan for it. This applies to all weddings and is why I normally suggest to my clients that they consider sending a save the date.
Note: Before sending a Save the Date, it is important to establish who you intend to invite because it is rude not to follow it up with a formal invitation.
The Main Event: Invitation, Details Card, RSVP Card
The invitation should include all the important information your guests need to know about your wedding day. The key information such as the date, time and location should absolutely be included but also consider things like a location map, accommodation recommendations, plus one guidance, the dress code, a guide on gifting, etc. For more information on how to word your wedding stationery, have a read of my detailed blog on the subject here.
As for when to send your invitations out, I recommend 2-3 months before your wedding. This gives everyone enough time to figure out transport, accommodation and a fabulous outfit.
The Important Question: When should I hire my stationery designer?
Now that you know when to send out your invitations, you also need to know when to contact your stationery designer. This all depends on what you wish to produce but as a general thought, it is never too early to get in touch with a designer because their spaces get filled up pretty quickly.
If you plan to create bespoke stationery and would like your save the dates to match the rest of your main invitation, I would recommend getting in touch with a designer at least 12 months before your wedding. If you intend to send out your save the date cards 12 months before, then I would recommend getting in touch 18 months in advance.
If you have already sent out save the dates or don’t plan to and would just like invitations designed, then I would recommend getting in touch 5-6 months before the big day.
Semi-custom wedding stationery has a much shorter lead time and if you’re in a hurry, these are your best bet. However, I would still recommend allowing at least one to two months for these, working backwards from the date you intend to send them. I have a great selection of semi-custom designs in ‘The Collection’ on my website. Take a look here.
You may wonder why you need to start so early so as a brief explanation…
It takes roughly two to eight weeks for the design and revision process to be finalised.
Add on two to eight weeks for printing - this is very dependent on the type of printing you choose - digital, letterpress, foil etc.
Allow an extra two weeks for delivery - a week for the printer to deliver the stationery to the designer and another week for the designer to package and deliver the stationery to you.
If you have booked your venue and wish to dive straight in, please get in touch so we can begin planning your dream wedding stationery.