I know that wedding planning can be super overwhelming. There are so many lines on your to-do list that you have zero experience with, like choosing your wedding colors, or deciding on the venue (tip: always go with your gut!). Chances are you’ve also probably never mailed a card to this many family and friends asking them to come celebrate with you.
Wedding invitations are a little different than that backyard BBQ you had last summer, so I’ll help guide you through when to get those invitations in the mail and when to order your custom wedding invitations….
Save the Dates Cards
This card is a great way to announce your wedding date to invited guests before your formal invitations are mailed. I know you’ve got questions, but don’t worry I’ve got answers!
Do I need to send save the date cards?
I often get asked by couples if they really need to send a save the date card to their guests. My short answer is, of course not! Save the dates aren’t required of you, so if it’s not something you want to do, don’t fret about it. Save the date cards are great if you are just dying to show off your engagement photos or if it’s something that is customary in your circle of friends. I also highly recommend save the date cards if you are having a destination wedding (more on that below!)
When should I include on my Save the Dates?
When your working with a custom wedding invitation designer like myself, I’ll help you out with all the details! Anything that will help your guests plan on attending can go on your save the date like, location, date, time, even hotel accommodations. And of course a little note that the formal invitation will be coming at a later date!
When should I order my save the Dates?
Plan on ordering your save the date cards 8-12 months before your wedding date. This should give you enough time to assemble, stamp and mail them to your guests. Custom design takes longer than a design that is already made, so keep that in mind when thinking about your personal timeline.
When should I send my Save the Dates?
Save the date cards should be mailed out between 6-8 months before your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding, you can mail your save the dates as much as a year before the wedding. This gives guests plenty of notice to start making plans to attend your wedding celebration.
To whom do I mail my Save the Dates?
Anyone who you decide to send a save the date to, should technically be invited to the wedding. You can use this time to start making your guest list. It’s totally okay to add someone later, but it’s in rather bad form to send a save the date to someone and not extend a formal invitation later (unless of course that person did something absolutely terrible, in that case they are most definitely off the guest list! How dare they!).
The best part (in my opinion at least) is the invitation suite! It’s the opportunity to give your guests a glimpse of what your wedding day experience will be like. It’s the opportunity to set the mood and get your family and friends excited for the day!
When should I order my wedding Invitations?
When working with a custom invitation designer I recommend starting the design process at least 5-6 months before your wedding date (a little sooner if your having a destination wedding). That allows for plenty of time to dream up ideas, make any revisions and have your invitations printed.
When do I mail my Wedding Invitations?
I recommend mailing your invites 6-8 weeks before your wedding (or 11/2 — 2 months). If your wedding is a destination event for most of your guests, I recommend closer to 3 months before, along with a save the date prior to that.
When should my RSVP date be?
A good rule of thumb is 2-4 weeks before the wedding (but no more than 4 weeks after sending your invitations). You don’t wan’t to give guests so much time that they forget to respond, but you also don’t want to have to call people the week of your wedding because they haven’t rsvp’d yet. Keep in mind any dates set by your vendors for delivering a final guest count as well.
If your guest will need to travel (hopefully somewhere spectacular) to be part of your wedding day, giving them as much notice as possible is always best.
I highly suggest sending a save the date (12-8 months before the wedding) so they can start making plans for travel and accommodations. Wedding Invitations for a destination wedding should be mailed at least 3 months before the wedding date, when accompanied by a previous save the date, or sooner if you opt not to send a save the date card.
As a note, while the wedding may not be a destination wedding for you, if the majority of your guests live hours away from the wedding location the more notice you give them the better.
Wedding Day Details & Stationery
When should I order the menus, programs, place cards, bar signs, napkins, etc… All of those amazing little details that make your guests feel like they have been wicked away to another world! I recommend talking to your designer at least 2 months before your wedding date (sooner if there are a lot of pieces to create), As these items do take some time to design, and make. Don’t worry if you don’t know everything you need right way, you can always add on items (like that welcome sign your mom suggested)!
After the Wedding
Don’t forget about the thank you cards! They can be designed along with the invitations (why not cross another to-do off your list!). If you really have your heart set on sending a card with a wedding photo on it, just be sure to send Thank you’s no later than 3 months after the wedding. Sooner is always better! After all Aunt Carol was so proud of that kitchen mixer she sent you (along with a few of her family recipe cards) she’s been checking the mailbox every day for her thank you card. Don’t disappoint Aunt Carol!
If there is anything I didn’t answer for you, Just ask right down in the comments section, and I’ll answer your wedding invitation questions as quick as I can! I’m here to make the custom invitation process fun and laid back! Spend some time with your fiancé, and don’t worry because I’ve got this!