How far in advance should your order your wedding invitations? It’s a good question…and I get it all the time. Invitation designers and stationers have a bit of a different timeline, since all of the preparation is done prior to your wedding day. Unlike other wedding professionals, we are able to work with couples who may share the same wedding date, so you won’t need to worry about the possibility of your ideal stationer being unavailable. While there isn’t a mad dash to reserve your wedding stationery, there is still a time frame to keep in mind.
As a bride, you need to keep track of a lot of different dates and information. Like most things, there is an “ideal” amount of time for the invitation process, but every couple has a different amount of time in which to work with. Whether your wedding is in three months or three years, this post is meant to provide a guideline of the best time to order your wedding invitations.
As an organized and informed bride, I’m sure you are aware that you should mail your wedding invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding. So when is the ideal time to order them?
The Answer: Around 6 months before your wedding date.
This timing is typically not too early, and not too late and it is a time frame that most stationers are able to accommodate. There are many variables to consider before ordering, such as printing options and addressing services, but I’ve found six months before the big day is a nice “sweet spot”. It gives you enough time to add embellishments, like envelope liners, and enough time to assemble and mail.
There are a number of factors that contribute to this time frame. Let’s talk about the “not too early” part. Realistically, you can start looking for wedding invitations whenever you want…and you should! In order to avoid rush fees, expedited shipping charges, and the added stress of mailing wedding invitations late, begin searching for a stationer as early as possible. Plus, the earlier you order, the more options you’ll have to choose from–like specialty printing (hello, letterpress!) or envelope liners, both of which can take longer to produce. Do your research and request samples from your preferred stationer, but you can’t actually order your invitations until you have some key information, including:
- How many wedding invitations you need. Wondering how to figure this out? Check out my blog post here.
- Ceremony location/date/time
- Reception location/date/time
- Entree selections (if you are having a formal, plated meal)
- Website URL (if you want this included on your wedding invitations)
- Hotel block information (if you want this included on your wedding invitations)
- Who is “hosting” the wedding. Is it you as a couple? One or both sets of parents? This is important information because it affects the way the invitation is worded.
Then, once you have all of the above information…ask yourself…are the details subject to change? You don’t want to order invitations, have them printed, and then decide to alter your ceremony time/reception as the date gets closer. Or that you need more invitations. Or that you are moving and need to change your return address. So really think about the logistics and details and decide whether you are ready to set them in stone.
Now, for the “not too late” part.
Once you have all of the above information, typically 5-6 months ahead, you can begin the ordering process. This allows enough time for:
- The design/proofing process (Did you know that all wedding invitations at Seventh and Anderson come with unlimited revisions? This allows you to ensure that your wedding stationery is absolute perfection).
- Printing – this can take anywhere from 5 days (digital print) or up to 5 weeks (letterpress/foil stamping)
- Shipping – they will need to be shipped from the printing facility
- Assembly, addressing and mailing
Need in a cheat sheet? Take a peek at the timeline below to determine what month you should order wedding invitations.
Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful. While 6-9 months may seem like a long time, it gives you plenty of time to do your research, request samples, and make the right choice for you. Are you ordering a custom design? Planning a destination wedding? You’ll want to start your order about a month earlier.
What about other wedding stationery – like save the dates or dinner menus? Just download my free worksheet to figure out your personalized stationery timeline!
I hope you have found this portion of the Wedding Stationery Guide helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am more than happy to help!