TIME LINE AND CHECK LIST FOR WEDDING STATIONERY
The following timeline is a reference tool of the best practices for when to order and mail all your wedding stationery. Depending on schedules and budgets there may be some flexibility.
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. Some of your out-of-town guests may decide to plan their own romantic getaway around your wedding date. If you are staying local or planning a small intimate wedding, save-the-dates may not be necessary.
You should book your stationery designer (AKA – ME!!!) by the time you have booked your venue.
ORDER: 4-6 months prior SEND: Destination 3-4 months | Local 6-8 weeks
There is such a thing as too early! You want to give your guests enough time to get excited but not so much time that they totally forget. While invitations for a destination wedding should be sent far enough in advance for your guests to make travel plans.
The style and theme of your wedding should be reflected in the invitations to help set the tone for the big day. If you haven’t already, click here to purchase my creative planning workbook.
When ordering, remember to count households and couples as one.
- RSVP CARD: Destination 3-5 week prior | Local 2-3 weeks
Your RSVP deadline will depend on how much lead time your wedding vendors need. The first vendor to consider is your caterer. Check with each vendor to determine when they need a final # and set the RSVP return date for a week before that. Assign each guest/family a number and lightly pencil in that number on the back of the RSVP card, 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.
- DETAILS INSERT: Make it easy on your guests by providing a map/directions (your out-of-towners will thank you). You may also want to include your wedding website and other relevant details.
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
- 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 wedding vows, if you will be reciting your own. Have them written on a pretty piece of paper or in a card to have your maid of honor hold until you’re ready for them at the altar. As your creative designer I could create a frame-able keepsake of your vows.
- TABLE NO#: Make sure your 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. These cards can also be used to indicate meal preferences.
- HIS & HER CARDS/PROPS: 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: As with most big events, you want to know what’s happening and when? YOUR wedding is no different, especially if you are having a traditional Catholic or Jewish ceremony. There are so many ways you can personalize a program, so that it truly is a telling of your love story. With a Who’s Who, the sequence of events, and any other details important to your and your fiancé. A wedding program is a perfect way to share your gratitude with all your guest. Special thanks to those who have helped you become who you are or have been influential in your relationship.
- SIGNAGE: This includes seating charts, guest book alternatives (poster, faux certificate), tables signs (buffet, dessert, cocktails, ), banners and any other large format signs/posters.
- OTHER: dance floor, napkins, stir sticks, favor packaging, etc.
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wedding Planning Check lists and Worksheets