You have selected your wedding date. You chose the perfect venue. Now, all you have to do is inform your guests! You are juggling a lot during the wedding planning process, but nothing could be more important than making sure your guests have all the details they need to get to the ceremony and reception! Don’t worry; we made it easy for you! In this post, we lay out a wedding invitation and stationery timeline that tells you when to order and when to send everything.
Save the Date
The Save the Date is a multi-purpose pre-invitation that announces your engagement and lets guests know that they are invited to the big day! A Save the Date card is of particular importance if you have a lot of out-of-town guests. Friends and family have plenty of time to prep babysitters, request vacation from work, and make travel arrangements. Your Save the Date card should be sent out six to eight months before your wedding date and should be ordered about eight to twelve months before the wedding.
Your wedding invitation sets the tone for the big day and will list all of the vital details for the event. Depending on your needs, the invitation can arrive as a suite with insert cards detailing reception information, accommodations, directions, weekend itineraries, etc. It is also an instant keepsake for your guests! Custom or semi-custom invitation suites take time to be printed and assembled. You should plan on ordering your wedding invitations at least 5-6 months before your wedding date, and send them out to your guests two months before the wedding.
Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
Your rehearsal dinner invitation will go to all members of the bridal party. The main event is the next day! You only want to invite those who are required to be a part of the rehearsal, plus immediate family members. Rehearsal invitations should be ordered at least three months before your wedding date and should be sent to guests no later than one month before the wedding.
Engagement, Bridal Shower, or Bachelorette Invitations
Share the news of your engagement with family and friends by hosting a low-key engagement party. Invite family and friends to shower you with gifts to help get your new life as a married couple started. Or, have one last big night out before the wedding with the people most important to you. No matter which pre-wedding celebration you plan on throwing, just be sure to order your invitations three months before the event and send to guests at least one month before the event.
Thank You Cards
Show your friends and family that you appreciate the gifts they have given you and the time they have spent helping you celebrate the start of your marriage by sending a Thank You card. Guests that send a gift before the wedding should receive a Thank You card right away. Guests that bring a gift the day of your ceremony should be given a thank you card within four weeks of the wedding. If possible, order your Thank You cards at the same time as your invitations to account for gifts sent early. Otherwise, order no later than two to three months before the big day to ensure you have your Thank You cards for the wedding.
Continue to wow your guests throughout your entire wedding day by ordering day-of stationery that coordinates with your invitation suite. Day-of stationery keeps the tone of your big day consistent and visible throughout your ceremony and reception. It is easy to pull these pieces together once your invitation design is complete, and guests will appreciate the extra attention to detail. Day-of stationery can include menus, programs, place cards, ceremony and reception signs, and more. These items should be ordered one to two months before the wedding.