We live in a world where we can order pretty much anything our heart desires and have it on our doorstep within 2 days. (Or at least it worked this way before Covid-19 was a thing! This post was outlined earlier this year.)
The last few months, I’ve had so many couples reach out that didn’t have enough of a timeline to order wedding invitations from me. Although they had the budget and a vision I vibed with, it just wasn’t possible for me to turn something around so quickly.
I’m not sure if paper gets forgotten, or people don’t realize how long they really take, but I’m making it my mission this year to educate couples on when to order their wedding invitations. You can see a full post and breakdown by month right here!
You can order online from many of the popular wedding invitation websites and receive in about two weeks, which includes shipping time. Most have rush fee options to upgrade printing and shipping where you can receive is less than a week!
So why do my wedding invitations take “so long”? Actually I don’t think they take as long as many other stationers, we’re just accustomed to getting things much faster.
The Wedding Invitation Ordering Process
After you fill out the questionnaire, I put together a custom quote and timeline for you. I’m usually able to work up your quote within one day, but sometimes need to reach out to my printer if you need something I don’t currently have pricing for – like a special paper or custom item.
Once you receive your quote, you’ll probably have some questions and we’ll exchange a couple emails back and forth. Often, couples need some time to think about it, consult another family member, or get their wedding planner’s approval before paying a deposit. It gets me really excited when couples are ready to make it official immediately, but usually it takes a couple of days!
The Wedding Invitation Design Process
After you’ve paid your deposit and signed the contract, you’ll send over your wording for the invitations. For semi custom designs, I have proofs ready in about 2-3 business days. For custom designs, I typically allow about a week to create your proofs.
Sometimes my couples don’t need any changes and are ready to go to print, however that isn’t the norm. Most of the time, there’s a back and forth of a few edits, tweaks, and changes. Again, you might want some time to review with your parents or planner before moving forward. With every round of edits, it adds a few days to turnaround. I include about 2 weeks for design and proofing when I create your timeline to allow for this.
The Wedding Invitation Production Process
Once you have approved your design proofs, it’s off to the printer! Because I offer a few different printing methods, I partner with different printers – literally located all over the US!
I set up and format the files, which is fairly quick for digital printing but can take a little longer for thermography, letterpress, and foil stamping. Once they’re officially sent to print, I typically don’t hear from my printer until the order ships. However, there are sometimes instances of an issue, like a particular paper being out of stock, which forces an adjustment of the production time.
Invitation suites with digital printing have a much quicker production that the other methods of printing. This is accounted for in the timeline of your original quote, usually with a little buffer – just in case! The three main printers I work with all ship the printed orders to me directly.
At the same time your invitations are sent to print, envelopes and any other materials are ordered. Often from multiple vendors, again located all across the country. There is some coordination that goes into getting all the supplies for your suite together!
The Wedding Invitation Assembly Process
After I have both your invitations and supplies in hand, I get to work on assembly! Most couples opt for some sort of upgrades – envelope address printing, envelope liners, and belly bands just to name a few!
I try to get all assembly done as quickly as possible once I have everything I need to make that happen. This is one of my favorite parts of the process because I’m getting to see everything come together as a physical piece, too! Depending on the quantity of invitations and upgrades added, assembly can take anywhere from 1-12+ hours. With the orders that require more work, I break this into 2-3 hour chunks. So there’s potential for assembly to take as long as a week or more.
I’m not proud to admit it, but my least favorite part of the whole process is packaging the order for shipping. There is a lot of counting, followed by playing tetris to see which box fits everything perfectly! The suites are carefully packaged so that they make it to you in pristine condition, wherever you may be.
Boutique Wedding Invitations
When you’re getting something that isn’t “off the shelf”, you can expect it to take a little longer. But I promise, it’s worth the wait!
It’s never too early to get a quote, so get in touch here if you’re interested in working together!