Advice: Mapping out the wedding stationery timeline

Southern Californian Lotus Invitations

Southern Californian Lotus Invitations

(Originally published for Shaadi Bazaar)

You’ve gotten engaged, you’ve brainstormed wedding themes and locations, and pinned your favorite bridal gowns and attire to your wall. Have you researched your wedding stationery yet? For many brides, wedding invitations and stationery often gets left to the wayside in the stress of planning for a wedding. But wedding invitations are more important than you think – it is the first glimpse your guests get of your wedding.

Below are time guidelines from the team at 3 Bees Paperie on planning out your wedding stationery.

Post-engagement:

Once you’ve nailed down the general theme, colors, or feeling for your wedding, it is time to start thinking about wedding stationery. Make a list of all the items you may need; ie wedding invitations, inserts, save the date cards, thank you cards, escort cards, favors, table numbers, programs, etc. Do some research on printing styles and costs and allot a budget for your stationery needs, including any
items that are DIY.

6 – 12 months before the wedding:

Henna Garden Save the Date

Henna Garden Save the Date

Save the Dates aren’t a necessity for every wedding. However, if you are planning a destination wedding or have many guests from out of town, sending out Save the Dates six to 12 months in advance of the wedding is a good idea. For traveling guests, getting a heads up on the date of your wedding allows them the appropriate time to get time off of work, budget their travel expenses, and book hotel, car,
and air tickets.

3 – 6 months before the wedding:
The general rule is to send out invitations 8 weeks prior to the wedding (or longer for destination weddings). This means you have to order your invitations at least 3-6 months in advance of the wedding.

For ready-to-order invitations, the process of ordering designs and receiving the invitations can vary from 10 days to 4 weeks depending on printing methods and vendors. However, don’t cut this too close to that 8 week mailing invitation deadline. If your stationery vendor makes a mistake, you’ll appreciate a few extra weeks to reorder the corrected stationery.

If you’re looking to custom-design your wedding invitations, make sure to start well in advance, around 6 months before your wedding, to give ample time for the designer to design your stationery from scratch.

2 – 3 months before the wedding:
Order or create any additional items you need for the event, such as escort cards, menus, and programs.

Post-wedding:

Paisley thank you card for wedding

Paisley thank you card for wedding

You’ve had a great wedding! Now it is time to thank your guests for attending and for their gifts. Send out thank your cards no later than 3 months after the wedding.

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