This timeline is meant as a reference tool on when to order your stationery. As a stationery designer, these times are the most realistic and while adhering to etiquette.
Start Guest List – click here
Save the Date
ORDER :: 8-12 months
SEND :: Destination 8-12 months | Local 6 months
Save-the-Dates are very important for destination weddings, or weddings near a major holiday. You may want to give your out of town guests time to make may decide to turn your destination wedding into a getaway trip. They may not be necessary if you are planning a small intimate wedding.
To keep a consistent theme throughout your wedding stationery you will want to book your stationery designer as soon as you’ve booked your venue.
What to Include :: Name of Bride and Groom, Date of the Wedding, Location: City and State, “Invitation to Follow”, optional website url. Click here for a helpful Wording Guide.
ORDER :: 4-6 months prior
SEND :: Destination 3-4 months | Local 2 months
There is such a thing as too early! Send invitations so that your guest’s maximum anticipation lines up with your big day. Invitations for destination weddings should be sent far enough in advance for your guest to make their travel plans.
The style and theme of your wedding should be reflected in the invitations to give your guest a feel of the day. When ordering, count addresses, not invited guest. Many guests are invited as couples or a family.
RSVP by Date :: Destination 3-5 week prior | Local 2-3 weeks
Your RSVP deadline will depend on how much lead time your wedding pro needs. The first one to consider is your caterer’s meal count. Check with each vendor to determine when they need a final # and set the RSVP return date for a week before that.
Lightly pencil in numbers on the back of RSVP’s just in case anyone forgets to write in their name.
Keep a B-list – if less people RSVP than expected, it will be good to keep an additional list to fill up seats.
MAP/DIRECTIONS :: Make it easy for guests – providing inserts such as a map ensures they won’t get lost and will arrive on time. The out-of-towners will thank you. Reserving sections of nearby hotels in advance will help guest plan ahead.
What to Include :: Host line, Request line, Name of Bride and Groom, Wedding Date, Location: City, State, Ceremony start time, Reception and Dress code (optional).
Thank You Cards
ORDER :: 6 +/- months, with your invitations | SEND :: as you receive gifts/within 1 month of your wedding
Believe it or not, you’ll start receiving gifts before you even walk down the aisle! Friends and family who are unable to attend may send their gift in advance. Send their TY immediately to minimize your workload after the wedding. Once you’re back from your honeymoon, kick into high gear to get them out no later than four weeks after the wedding.
Day of Stationery
ORDER :: 2 +/- months | Delivered 1-2 weeks prior
Program – Menu – Table# – Escort cards/Seating Chart – Place cards – Favor packaging – Other signage …
Menu :: Creating a menu for guests to review as they take their seats will get them excited for the dishes to come.
Vows :: You definitely don’t want to forget your vows, if you will be reciting your own. Write them down on a pretty piece of paper or card to have your maid of honor hold for you till you’re ready for them at the alter. Have your designer create a frameable keepsake of your vows.
Table Numbers :: Make sure guests know where to sit by having each table labeled with a number or name.
Escort Cards :: Escort cards are important for guests to know which table they will be sitting at. It will have their name and table number on it for them to find.
Place Cards :: If there will be assigned seating at your wedding ensure guests know where to sit by placing a name card at the top of the plate setting. This helps with organizing and making sure there are enough seats for everyone.
His and Her Cards :: His and Her or Mr. and Mrs. cards are a fun way to label your seats as newlyweds. This is definitely optional but always makes for a great photo-op.
Programs :: When you are attending a big event, don’t you like knowing what’s going on? Well, nothing’s a bigger event than YOUR wedding. This is especially true if you are having a Catholic or Jewish ceremony, where guests who don’t share your faith may not be able to easily keep pace.
There are so many ways you can personalize a program, so that it truly is a telling of your love story. Your guests can know who all is involved in making it happen, the sequence of events, and any other details truly important to your and your fiancé.
It is very common to include a special thanks to those people who have been really helpful to you leading up to your wedding day. A wedding program is a perfect avenue for sharing your gratitude with all in attendance.