There are a lot of timelines to work off of when you are planning your wedding, and one important one to keep in mind is the timeline for getting your wedding invitations out to your guests. You might think of it as a project for when you are much closer to your wedding date but with all of the prep and work that goes in you actually need to start much earlier than that! Here is the timeline I use with my couples to keep them on track with their wedding invitations:
6 months before the wedding - Finalize your guest list.
5-6 months before the wedding - Start looking at invitation designs and narrow down the ones you like. This is also a good time to make sure you have the addresses of all of your guests. If you plan to have the addresses printed on the envelopes be sure that address list is separated out on a spreadsheet, or whatever format your invitation printer requires.
4 months before the wedding - Make your final decision on design and wording and place your order.
3-4 months before the wedding - Time to assemble all of those invitation suites!
3 months before the wedding - Bring one complete invitation suite to the post office to be weighed so you can ensure you are using the correct postage for the outer envelope. While there purchase the stamps you need for the outer and the response card envelopes.
8-10 weeks before the wedding - Invitation are mailed (woohoo!).
3-4 weeks before the wedding - RSVP date / Response cards are due back to you.
If you are using a custom designer add at least 8 weeks to the beginning of this timeline to account for design time, samples, and edits. If you are using a calligrapher add 4-6 weeks on to the addressing portion so they can get all of your guest names and addresses added to the envelopes.
And when should Save The Dates go out? I usually recommend 8-12 months before the wedding date, and leaning towards the longer end if your wedding is on a holiday weekend or is an extended celebration like one of our Destination Upstate weddings. Avoid sending save the dates and wedding invitations out between Thanksgiving and New Years to avoid them getting lost in the shuffle with holiday cards.
Check out our other posts for more Pro Tips!