When Should You Order Wedding Invitations?

This is usually the first question I’m asked after a couple gets engaged. They’re eager to start wedding planning!

If you order too early, there’s a chance of things changing (like the ceremony time or guest list) but if you order too late, you might get hit with a rush charge. There are so many moving parts to planning a wedding and sometimes invitations become an afterthought. Because they’re sent 6-8 weeks before the big day, it’s important to start considering them about six months before your wedding.

When to Order Invitations

After Finalizing Details

When a couple reaches out to me, I ask a few questions about their wedding – the date, the venue, and the overall theme. It’s important to have the big logistics and general vision nailed down before ordering wedding invitations.

Along with then when and where, knowing the who will help get the invitation process started. Having a rough estimate of your guest list is necessary to get your invitation quote. You don’t have to have every name and address when you reach out, but you should have a good idea of the total number. Remember to count one per household, not per guest – or you’ll end up with a lot of extras!

Wedding Invitation Timeline

Save the Dates

Did you send save the date cards to your guests? The answer to this question can determine when you’ll order and mail your wedding invitations. My suggestion of mailing invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding is if you did mail a save the date. If not, no biggie – just make sure to send the invitations earlier. Without save the dates, mailing wedding invitations about four months in advance should be a safe bet!

Check out this post for more information on save the dates and if they’re really necessary for your wedding.

Timeline

The below is a general guide to when you should order and mail wedding invitations if you’re working with me. Different designers and businesses have varied turnaround times. For example, if you’re working with an artist who is hand painting artwork and calligraphy for envelopes you might need to start the process about a year in advance.

After designing invitations for five years and working with hundreds of couples, I’ve found these timelines to be relatively appropriate!

When to Order Wedding Invitations

Day of Stationery

After receiving your invitations from me and getting them mailed out, you can begin the process of ordering your day of stationery – think menus, programs, place cards, signage, etc! I can create any of these items to match and complement your invitation design.

Once you’ve received all RSVP cards back, you can finalize your quantities and send these to print! I recommend starting the process for any day of pieces 3-4 weeks before the wedding so that everything is approved to print no less than two weeks before the big day!

There are a lot of factors that go into the true timing of ordering and mailing, so reach out for a customized timeline! You can download my Information Guide for more details on my turnaround times.

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