Wedding Stationery Timeline
Save-the-Dates mail out 6-12 months before wedding
The simple answer to this question is that you should get started as soon as you have your date settled, as well as at least the general area where the wedding will be taking place. Even if your venue is not finalized, you can send out a save-the-date with the name of the town, city or region where the wedding will be. With just the date and the general location, your guests will be able to secure the date on their calendars, as well as start making any necessary travel arrangements.
We recommend allowing for 6-12 weeks for the design and planning process from the time you make initial contact until everything is approved and ready to be ordered. This may seem like a long time, but your load while planning a wedding is very heavy and the more time you allot for any given task, the less of a burden it will be.
If you’re hosting a destination wedding and most of your guests will have to travel to the location, it’s extra important to consider when to send save the dates. You’ll want to ensure that your guests have enough time to clear their schedules and book flights and hotels (hopefully you’ve already reserved hotel room blocks for your loved ones!). A good rule of thumb is to send save the dates for destination weddings eight to 12 months before the big day. Make sure that you’ve already reserved room blocks and have listed travel information on your wedding website before sending your save the dates. That way, your guests will be able to take action as soon as they receive their save the date. By not having a completed wedding website, you run the risk of guests totally forgetting to make travel plans until it’s too late.
Couples hosting hometown weddings can be a bit more flexible when it comes to when to send save the dates. We recommend sending save the dates between six and eight months in advance of your nuptials for hometown weddings. If a good portion of your guests are traveling to your event or if your event is taking placing over a holiday weekend, send save the dates around eight months in advance, but if most people are local, four to six months ahead of time is fine—anything later than four months in advance, your guests may already have conflicts on their calendars. As with a destination wedding, your wedding website should be relatively complete by the time those save the dates go out. Your guests will likely refer to your wedding website immediately after receiving your save the date to check your registry and other details, and the last thing you want is them to be greeted by a blank page.
Order By: 7-13 months before wedding
Wedding Invitations mail out 6-8 weeks before wedding
Typically sent out 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding, your wedding invitations ask your family and friends to attend your wedding ceremony and possibly the reception too. Your invitation suite will include your response card or response set, as well as any other important information you need your guests to know about your event.
Order By: 12-14 weeks before wedding (or sooner)
Response Cards guests respond 3-4 weeks before wedding
Reply cards help you know exactly who’s coming to your wedding. Not only a head count, reply cards can also be used to gather information from guests such as entrée choices, dietary restrictions, names of guests and anything else you might want to know. An alternative to a traditional response card and envelope set is to include an Online Response card, which will direct your guests to your wedding website where they can RSVP. This can be done by providing a link to your wedding website, or even by adding a QR code!
Response cards are sent out with invitations
Day-of Wedding Stationery have in hand one week prior to the wedding
Our experts advise ordering your programs, menus, place cards, coasters, signage and any additional day-of pieces as soon as the information is finalized. Definitely do not wait until the last minute to order to avoid the unnecessary stress of worrying about whether your materials will be done in time.
Order By: 1-3 months before wedding (or sooner)
Thank You Notes mail out as soon after the wedding as possible
Now that your wedding date is past, don’t forget to thank your guests! You might have heard that you have a year to send out thank-you notes, but we find that simply to be untrue. You should send out thank you notes within three months of receiving a gift. If you are having a bridal shower or receiving wedding gifts, you should order your thank you notes along with your day-of pieces so you have them on hand and you can thank your friends and family in a timely manner!