There is so much information from non-professional wedding stationer designers on when to start planning, mailing, and requesting replies for your event, making it hard to find the real answers. The timeline listed below is the optimal timeline for planning, designing and mailing your wedding invitations and day-of stationery and signage.
Designing your save the date: Book the important parts first! Your venue is booked, great! Next to book is your wedding planner to help you build the ideal wedding vendor team to bring your vision to fruition and make your special day the best it can be. They plan and orchestrate weddings every weekend, sometimes several on any given weekend. Planner or not, the next vendors to book are your photographer and wedding stationer, that’s me!
Some of the best photographers are booked up to two years out. Start interviewing potential photographers and book now to schedule your engagement photo session. We’ll need it to print on your save the dates.
Confirm All Details First Before placing your Save the Date order, confirm your wedding details, which will become part of your design (e.g., venue, location, wedding website).
Work on the Guest list! First things first, every vendor will ask you what your guest count or catering head count is. Please note, your stationer needs to know that number broken down by households or mailing addresses. Do your homework so you don’t over order save the dates and invitations. It also helps to do this before you book your venue, so you secure the right space size, without it being too big or too small.
You most likely gathered a rough list of the people you would like to invite to your wedding. Now is the time to fine tune that list. It’s best to build this in a spreadsheet to capture the details in an organized fashion that can be shared with your wedding planner and your stationer.
Information to include: Guest’s full name (as it is to be listed on the invitation mailing envelope), mailing address (verify this is up to date), and the number of the members in the household you intend to invite. If your wedding reception dinner will be a sit-down dinner with a meal choice, utilize a second spreadsheet, or a different tab, listing each person individually with their meal option (this will come from the wedding invitation response card once it is sent back to you).
Mailing your Save the Dates: Your save the date should be ready to slip in the mail to your guests. Some guests will reach out to notify you that they will be unable to attend. You may opt to invite someone from your overflow list to fill their spot. Send a save the date to them at your earliest convenience and remember to add them to your main spreadsheet list. As you receive undeliverable save the dates, reach out to the guest to verify their mailing address and update your spreadsheet while it’s still fresh.
Don’t Forget Your Vendors and Wedding Party! In addition to wedding guests, remember to send a Save the Date to each member of your wedding party as well. Also, it is polite (and practical) to send a Save the Date to your wedding vendors (e.g., photographer, videographer, officiant, pianist).
Share the details of your wedding vendor team When you share the names and contact information for each of your wedding vendors with the rest of the team, they can help build a more cohesive look for your day and should they have a question, they can reach out for the answer without burdening you to be the middleman for the answers.
Give Guests Extra Time Let the day and location of your wedding help you decide the best time to send your Save the Dates. Weddings that may require advance planning from guests:
Weekday weddings: anything other than a traditional Saturday wedding day
Holiday weddings: especially any occurring during fourth quarter, which is already a very busy time of the year. People will want to book vacations for the holidays. Letting them know about your wedding early gives them the option to save some of their vacation days to attend your wedding.
Destination weddings: this will need even more advanced notice so your guests can save for it in conjunction with planning vacation time.
“Peak” wedding season weddings: this may differ from state to state or regions of the country, and is dependent on seasons and weather.
Once the invitations are on their way to your guests and those RSVP cards are working their magic, it’s time to move on to your day of stationery and printed signage. This may include, but is not limited to, wedding programs, place cards, table number, seating chart, bar, gift, and memory table signs, printed bar cups and koozies, cake napkins,
Thank you note time!
You may have already sent some thank you notes out to guests that were unable to attend or brought gifts to showers. Once back from your honeymoon, the thank you notes should be sent out. This is not only respectfully letting your guests know you appreciate the gift and the thought they put into it but, but it establishes a timeline for you to process your gifts. If there is a problem with the item (or you received duplicates), you will have time to exchange it within the store’s return/exchange policy, if you attend to this in a timely manner.
Let’s talk! Call me at (210) 375-8400, send me an email, or click the button below make an appointment!