Thursday, January 6, 2011

Invitations: A timeline for when to order and send

One thing most stationers can agree on, is that it is never too early to start shopping for your invitations. Start collecting ideas, visual inspiration, and creating a look for your event as soon as you get engaged. Next up, find a few stationers or vendors who seem like they'd be a good match for your style and budget.

If you've got the basic details of your wedding set (The date, ceremony location, reception venue) and you know you'll be having a number of out of town or International guests, you may want to consider sending save-the-date cards along with some basic hotel and travel info, or even a wedding website address where guests can go to make their plans. It is appropriate to send out your save-the-date cards 7-12 months in advance of your wedding date.

Now that you've got the details in place and probably have a good idea of your guest list, you can begin to think about ordering your invitations. If you are having a unique invitation created by a designer just for you, what we at Bride Design call couture or completely custom invitations, It is best to order 5-7 months in advance of when you'd like to send them out. Although there are times when we start working with couture couples much earlier than that, especially if they want their design and visual theme to carry through from their save the date cards to their reception items.

If you are choosing a design from an an already designed collection, and are having that design personalized with your information and colors, it is fine to order a bit closer to your date. Bride Design recommends placing an order for invitations like these 2-4 months in advance of the date you'd like to have them delivered or sent out. Keep in mind, if you are addressing your envelopes yourself, or working with a calligrapher, you'll need to factor in time to perform that task, as well as stamping and sending. If you're eager to get moving on invitations it's fine to contact a designer or stationer earlier. It's always better to have more time, than too little!

At Bride Design we recommend sending out your invitations 6-8 weeks (we personally lean towards 8) prior to your wedding and having a response date of one month before your event. This allows guests enough time to finalize their plans and for you to track down any guests who you might not receive a response from. Most of all we believe that the invitation selection process should be fun and enjoyable. With a bit of advanced planning and by choosing the right stationer for you, I think you'll find the experience to be stress-free and fabulous!

Erin Nowak, Bride Design