This time of year I'm finishing out my last few sets of invitations and starting to crank out some wedding day of goods. Unfortunately, I still get a lot of emails about wedding invitations for brides who are getting married in June or July. For premade invitations, this would be fun but for custom invitation suites, in order to get these out in time for the brides, I'm unable to work with that timeline. Which leads me to my blog post today! Wedding Stationary Planning Timelines- catchy right? ;)
There are a lot of more important things to focus on when you first get engaged, other than stationary and details. First and foremost, just enjoying the engagement! Secondly; securing a date, venue, and photographer. But I do like to think that Save the Dates come in a close second to these things. Once you have the big things figured out, I'd start setting up a wedding website and get on your Save the Dates in order to give your guests a heads up for something they can put on their calendar.
If you're going to be working with a designer on custom invitations, you want to reach out no later than 6 months before your wedding. This give you and your designer time to understand the vision, set a budget, design and print. From the start, set a clear date of when you want to get the invitations in your hands. You'll want to leave a few days after this for envelope addressing, stuffing and making that post office run. Your designer will buffer in around 2 weeks before this date for printing and shipping, but can only work as quickly as the client responds and makes decisions.
Once the invitations are ordered. You can sit back and take a break for a bit while those are created. I normally don't start in on day of goods with my clients until the invitations are ordered and shipped. At that point, I'll start asking if you're looking for signs, programs, escort cards, menus, seating charts, table numbers, thank you cards, etc. This is about 2-4 months out and is also dependent on how much of your final details you have completed. Hopefully at this point, menu items have been selected, you'll have a rough idea of the number of programs you're going to need, and signs can be ordered.
We usually have to wait until your RSVP date for finishing items like escort cards, seating charts, or anything that is personalized for each guest. But having these items at least on the schedule ensures they are going to get done in time.
The biggest thing I can stress about all of this is that time is not usually on our side here. It goes by so much faster than either one of us anticipates and staying ahead of it all is the biggest trick to success. Always leave EXTRA time in general, especially for anything that needs shipped or customized.
Photo: Marina Dekhtyar Photography