Congratulations on your engagement! There is a lot to do once you say, “YES!” and hopefully the wedding planning process hasn’t overwhelmed you yet!
To keep you sane and make sure everyone gets invited to your wedding without a major headache, here are the three things you absolutely must know about when to order your wedding invitations, when to send them out, and who to send them to.
1. It always takes longer than you think
Some companies pump wedding invitations out left and right, meaning you can have them in your hands in as little as 7 days. If you are looking for a unique wedding invitation, however, the custom design process typically takes 2 months, maybe even more! How long the design process will actually take comes down to many factors, but the biggest ones are:
There are so many awesome things you can do with the design of your wedding invitation! Things like custom illustrations, typography, logos etc. always take more time, but are so worth it! They will make your wedding invitation truly one of a kind and will have your guests “oohing” and “aahing!”
Having all your details ready
One of the biggest hold ups I see is couples waiting on important wedding details that have yet to be finalized, such as their ceremony start time. Try to have as much information about the timeline of your wedding day as possible before you meet with your stationer as it is one less thing they will have to wait on.
The printing process or any specialty finishes
If you want to incorporate things like letterpress printing, foil stamping, laser cutting, etc. make sure you accommodate an extra 1-2 weeks for production. Digital or flat printed orders, on the other hand, are typically turned around much quicker.
2. Timeline is critical!
You can never give too much notice! People will have to make travel arrangements, find sitters, and all sorts of things before they can determine whether or not they will be able to make it to your wedding. Giving plenty of notice is especially important if you are having a destination wedding or you picked a date near a holiday. Keep in mind that even though you may be having a local wedding some of your guests may still have to travel from out of state, and to them, yours is a destination wedding.
Ok, so when should I order my wedding invitations?
Timeline Before the Wedding
8 Months – Order Your Save the Dates
6 Months – Mail Your Save the Date
5 Months – Order Your Wedding Invitations
10-8 Weeks – Mail Destination/Holiday Wedding Invites
8-6 Weeks – Mail Local Wedding Invitations
3 Weeks – Receive RSVP Responses
3. Keep your guest list in check
Personally, I think collecting your guest’s addresses is one of the most challenging things you will encounter in the wedding planning process. Start early and stay organized! Put the list into a spreadsheet in Excel or Numbers and try to keep everything in a single file. This way you don’t miss anyone! An added benefit of keeping the list in a spreadsheet is it will automatically count the number of invitations you need, and if you are having someone else address your envelopes sending the list to them will be a breeze.
Remember, you don’t have to order an invitation for every single guest! Take your guest list and organize it into couples and families. If a family has children that are 18+ they will get their own invitation.