Wedding Tips: A Timeline for Custom Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations

Monthly Wedding Guide for Save the Dates and Invitations - Grace and Serendipity

Congratulations, you’re getting married! You start planning everything, you think about all of the details, and then it comes time to book your vendors.

Perfect location to say I Do and dance the night away, check.

Perfect photographer (and) videographer to capture our memories, check.

Perfect food, florals, and music, check, check, check.

However, there is one more piece to the wedding vendor puzzle that needs to be remembered sooner than later when it comes to your wedding … your wedding invitation designer!

Specifically for your wedding invitations, I can guarantee you that you don’t want to think about them at the last minute.  Your invitations set the tone for your wedding day and are the biggest preview your guests will see before your wedding.  You want to take the time on your invitations to give them excitement with anticipation for your wedding, sometimes even as much as you and your fiance have! I have had quite a few brides that I have chatted with tell me that they really don’t know when everything is supposed to go out in the mail, so I wanted to put together a timeline of sorts to help you if you need this as well.

This below is something that I will help you with throughout our time working together, if you are interested in designing a bespoke, or custom, wedding collection together for your wedding day. This is just a small peek into a general timeline I usually go by, and I hope it helps! Each one has been organized by months of the year, to make it easier on you counting-wise so that you have a general idea as to when to design, complete, and mail each piece of your wedding day paper to your guests.

I love designing bespoke wedding collections, and want to be as helpful as possible when it comes to planning the paper side of the details for your wedding day. A lot of the time, brides contact me when it is only a couple of months prior to their wedding day, and we don’t have enough time to design the collection they had in mind.  I am hoping this post today is helpful in helping you to realize that starting sooner rather than later is a good thing when it comes to paper! You may not realize how far out you probably want to reach out to a wedding stationer for custom design, or when to order all the pieces to make a beautiful collection that you will treasure for so many years to come.  So, I hope that you find that you learn something new today!

When to Order Save the Dates and Wedding invitations by wedding month, Grace and Serendipity

Save the Dates

As a general nod to etiquette, you want to give your guests ample time to check or clear their calendars to make sure that they are able to attend your wedding day.  So, taking this into consideration, you want your Save the Dates to be in the mail on their way to your guests between four and six months before your wedding day.  If you are planning a destination wedding, you want to have them in the mail six to eight months beforehand, so that guests can book hotel accommodations and purchase airline tickets, if needed.

This means, if they are to be mailed out between four and six months, you want to give yourself a minimum of an additional six to eight weeks before mailing them to plan, design, purchase, address, and assemble them before mailing them out.  So essentially, you will want to begin working on your Save the Dates potentially as early as ten months before your wedding day.  That may seem like a really long time ahead of mailing them, but you don’t want to rush things, as rushing leads to stress.  And when you plan your wedding day, you have enough other things that can lead to stress, right?!  

When it comes to working with a custom stationer, if you want to work with them for Save the Dates and Invitations, you want to inquire with them as soon as you know you would like more information, as we normally can work with a limited number brides and grooms at a time, especially during certain months of the year.  So, as soon as you know you are interested, please contact us to make sure we are available for you!

When to Mail wedding Save the Dates, Grace and Serendipity

Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations are sentimental beauties that have a piece of my heart.  There is something about holding your wedding invitation and seeing your names in print, reflecting the day you vow to spend forever together that I absolutely love being a part of.  Chances are, your heart may flutter a bit the first time you see everything complete, and that is something I strive for when designing for your day. To me, an invitation is so much more than a piece of paper.  It shares your love with those you love the most, and is an invitation to celebrate that love with you, on a day you’ll never forget.

So when it comes to mailing this piece of your heart to those you love, generally you want them to be in the mail between 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding day if the majority of your guests are local, or mail them out 8 to 10 weeks before your wedding if it will be a destination wedding or the majority of your guests are traveling for the wedding day. The reason to mail them out this far before your wedding day is because your RSVP date traditionally is 4 weeks before your wedding day, as normally you need to have final guest counts to your caterer, florist, and venue two weeks before, so that gives you two weeks to contact those who didn’t mail your their response cards and finalize your guest details for your day.

With that said, with time taken into consideration before you mail your wedding invitations, you want to again allow yourself time to have them designed, perfected, printed, shipped (this is a pretty important one to take note of, as sometimes invitations can take 2-3 weeks to arrive in the mail after ordering them to be printed), and then assembled and weighed at the post office before mailing them to your guests.  

I begin designing with brides sometimes as far out before a wedding as eight or ten months before a wedding day.  That may sound like it is really early, but in actuality, it allows time for the perfect design to be created when working with me.  Other wedding stationery designers may suggest more or less time in the beginning when creating your collection, as each one of us is different.  These above are examples for what I have found within my own personal system.  As far as my design flow generally works, this kind of a timeline allows plenty of time for revisions and adaptations to make it perfectly yours.

When to Mail Wedding Invitations by Grace and Serendipity

There is a chance that right about now you may be thinking, “oh my goodness. My wedding is in three months and I haven’t even thought about the invitations yet.”  If you happen to be thinking that, are getting married sooner rather than later, and you are still wanting to have a custom design created for your once in a lifetime day, don’t panic. Simply reach out to the wedding designer you would like to work with to design your beautiful collection for your day, and when they reply, they should be open and honest with you from the beginning as to what kind of timeline you may have for design, or guide you as to what a better option may be.  If turnaround time is quick, rush fees may need to be added to have your collection completed and mailed to your guests at the perfect time.  

On a personal business note, I have worked with brides as close to three months before their wedding day, or as far out as a year. I have created systems within my business that allow for just the right amount of time needed to design a bespoke collection you will absolutely adore for years to come.  My goal is to completely take care of you throughout our entire time working together, so if you aren't sure about something when it comes to timing, please contact me and we will go from there!

When to Mail Your Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations - by Grace and Serendipity

If you have been looking for a handy guide to help you with remembering everything and knowing when to plan things for your wedding, I hope this post has helped!  Remember to pin these images to your wedding Pinterest board to help you to remember when to do what so that you can have a relaxed time when putting these details together!  And of course, if you are interested in working together with me to design your beauty of a collection, I would love to chat with you! Please contact me here!  

Talk to you again next Thursday, and I hope you have an amazing time planning one of the best days of your life!