WHEN TO ORDER
During the planning stage, allow at least three months from the time you place your order for your invitations and stationery to arrive. Turnaround times do vary from printer to printer, but leaving ample time only means you’ll have the freedom to order the right invitation stationery – not just one that will get there on time.
If you want your save the date cards and wedding invitations to match, then you’ll need to start looking about 8 months to a year before your wedding date. However, don’t feel pressured to have them match – it’s hard to plan your entire paper style so far in advance, because your taste may change! As long as you’re consistent with certain elements (color schemes, design elements, etc.) the pieces will appear cohesive.
Save the Dates
In general, save the dates should reach your guests six to eight months before your wedding and up to a year before international and destination weddings. I recommend ordering save the dates eight months before traditional celebrations and up to 14 months before destination weddings.
Why do you need to send a Save the Date?
Save the Dates are a great tool to inform your out-of-town guests about the upcoming event so they can make their travel arrangements early. They are also a great way to get information to your guests about hotel accommodations, as well as wedding website information which can store much more information such as your wedding registry, directions, etc.
Traditionally, invitations are mailed anywhere from four to eight weeks before the wedding. If you sent Save the Dates, sending the actual invitation four to six weeks before the wedding is sufficient. Otherwise, I recommend sending your invitations six to eight weeks prior to your wedding.
I strongly recommend ordering your invitation stationery at least four months before your wedding date for a modest guest list. That gives you one extra month to receive and address your invitations. If you’re planning to create custom invitations or add extra touches like calligraphy, you may want to allow even more time.
The invitation is the first impression of your event, so it sets the tone for your event more so than any other piece, so let this one shine! From the invitation forward, it’s usually a good idea to have your printed pieces match. It’s an easy way to make your event feel consistent and seamlessly stylish.
Additional pieces for the wedding weekend, ceremony and reception may include:
Information/Hotel Accommodations cards
Escort cards/Seating Charts
Monograms to use on cake, dance floors, etc…
I recommend ordering any pieces you’ll need for your wedding celebration at least six to eight weeks before the event.
Invitation Dos and Don’ts
Do order extras. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. Having extra invitations and envelopes on-hand not only saves the day when you or I make a mistake during the addressing stage, but also means you’ll have additional copies as mementos for friends, family and yourself. A standard rule of thumb is to order at least 10 extra copies of your invitation, and 20% extra envelopes.
Do spend some time thinking about where RSVPs should be sent. While RSVPs traditionally go to the wedding host(s), many guests will automatically send gifts to the RSVP address included with the invitation. If parents hosting the wedding live in a different town from the bride and groom, you may choose to have RSVPs sent directly to the bride-to-be.