We often get asked about the appropriate time to start thinking about wedding stationery. Here’s a breakdown.

9-12 months before your wedding

  • Make a preliminary guest list to decide the number of invitations you need. This is about the number of actual addresses, not the final guest count.
  • Gather photos, fabric swatches, and any other inspiration items to help crystallize your wedding vision. Pinterest is great for this part.
  • If you are sending out save the dates, now’s the time talk about that.

6-9 months before your wedding

  • Mail your save the dates. This is particularly important if your wedding is during the summer, over a holiday weekend or a destination event.
  • Start looking at invitation options to determine the type and style of you want. This includes the invitation wording and any enclosure cards (maps, rehearsal dinner info, etc.).
  • If you’ve decided to go custom, find and book a designer you like. Custom stationers’ schedules fill up very quickly. If you’re going to make them yourself, calculate the time you think it’l take and double it. You’ll need plenty of time for reprints, mistakes and assembly. Trust me, it always takes much longer than you think it will to DIY.
  • What day-of stationery you will need (menus, seating chart, ceremony programs, etc.)?

4-6 months before your wedding

  • Finalize your guest list and make sure you have full and correct names and addresses for all guests.
  • Place your invitation order or, if you’re DIY-ing them, buy supplies and start printing. Don’t forget to proofread!

3-4 months before your wedding

  • Begin addressing your envelopes if you are doing so by hand or sending them out to a calligrapher.
  • Begin assembling all the parts of your invitations and stuffing them in the envelopes (keep them unsealed, just in case).
  • Order any day-of stationery.

8-12 weeks before your wedding

  • Take one complete invitation to the post office to be weighed and purchase postage
  • Seal your envelopes, apply the postage and take them to the post office to be mailed. Ask for them to be hand canceled. Most neighborhood post offices won’t do this so go to a large postal “hub” if you can. They’re usually open 24 hours.

3-4 weeks before your wedding

  • Keep a running tally of your RSVPs as they come in, make sure you keep track of both yes and no responses
  • Mail any additional invitations for events surrounding your wedding (showers, rehearsal dinner, farewell brunch, etc.)

2-3 weeks before your wedding

  • Follow up with any guests who have not yet replied.

1-2 days before your wedding

  • Make sure you have all of your day-of stationery together and determine who will hand out programs, who will set up escort cards etc.

After your wedding

  • Send out thank you cards to your guests. This is really important! Saying thank you is not only polite, it lets your guests know that their gift was actually received and not lost or stolen.

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