Your complete wedding invitation timeline.
There are so many pieces to planning a wedding. One part of your wedding that has many pieces is your wedding stationery. Here is a guide to what should be done and when.
9-12 months before the wedding: The most important (and most difficult) of the wedding stationery timeline involves your guests- collecting addresses. Make your guest list as soon as you get engaged and start getting the addresses. This will be tedious and it is best to start as soon as possible.
If you are having a destination wedding, a lot of your guests will be travelling to come to your wedding, your wedding is in June or on a holiday weekend now is the time to send your save the dates. Make sure your venue is booked and then send save the dates to all invited guests.
6-9 months before the wedding: If you haven't already, now is the time to send save the dates. If you are unsure if someone will make the final invite list, take them off your save the date list. Only those guests that are for certain going ot be invited to the wedding should get a save the date.
4-6 months before the wedding: Start looking for ideas for invitations that match your theme and colors. Your invitations are the first impression your guests get of your wedding. You want them to match your theme to avoid confusion. For a custom design you will want to allow 4-8 weeks for design and production for your invitation suite. If you are picking a premade template (from me or from another online site) you will want to allow 2-4 weeks to get your invitations.
3 months before the wedding: If you didn't choose to add on guest addressing when ordering your wedding invitations you will want to get them over to a calligrapher to start addressing them or you will want to sit down and get started. Word of advise: don't try and do them all in one night. Your hand will cramp. Make a plan to do it over a few nights. Your hand will thank me! Once they are all addressed take one (completed- all pieces in the envelope and the envelope is sealed) to the post office and have it weighed to find out the postage. The last thing you want is to have them all returned due to a postage problem. then buy the correct postage and get to stamping!
2 months before the wedding: Mail your invitations. If you didn't do save the dates you can send them a little earlier. Once those are in the mail, take a deep breath (maybe with a glass of wine) and start thinking about your wedding day stationery. Menus? Programs? Signs? Place cards? Escort cards? (yes, they are different) Table numbers? Now is the time to get started on those.
1 month before the wedding: Compile your RSVPs. They should be due 1 month before the wedding. Take note of those that have not responded and contact them to see if they are coming. If you are doing a seating chart now is the time to get started on that. Best to have the seating chart done 2 weeks before the wedding (save yourself some stress the closer it gets to the wedding). Allow at least 2 weeks for your wedding day stationery to be completed.
Wedding day!!!! Enjoy the day. Take it all in. Make sure you eat!
1-2 months after the wedding: Thank you notes should go out in this time frame. If you want to include a photo from the day be sure you get that back as soon as possible from you photographer (many will get you one picture ASAP for this purpose). Thank you notes should definitely go out by your 2 month anniversary.
Whew! That was a lot of info! If I didn't answer all your questions feel free to comment below and I am happy to answer them.