Ordering wedding invitations usually doesn’t come into the picture until about 10 months before the wedding day. Prior to that, you were probably busy booking the venue and choosing the band, photographer and decorators.
So when the time for invites comes, you will start wondering how far in advance should you order your wedding invitations and when to send them out. Or, when to send invitations for destination weddings in comparison to town guests? Many couples end up stressed and in a hurry thinking that a month before sending invites out is enough to make an order - which is usually not the case, unless you are under a lucky wedding star!
We created a guide that will lead you through every step of the process so that you tick wedding invitations off your list with no stress involved!
12 - 9 months before: Explore and do your research
As for anything in the process of organizing your wedding, give yourself some time to research and explore different styles, brands and approaches to wedding invitations. About a year before your wedding date is the perfect timing to start thinking about invites - the design, the colour palette, fonts and decorative elements.
You will already want to select a number of your favorite brands and send out emails asking for prices and turnaround times as many brands get booked out even for up to 6 months in advance. Useful to know is that at this point, most brands, just like we do, will ask you about the expected date of delivery (or when do you plan to send out your wedding invitations) as well as the quantity (a rough estimate will do).
9 months before: Order samples and book your stationer
If you wish to request wedding invitation samples that will help you in making your choice, this is the time. It might take a couple of weeks for your samples to arrive so keep it in mind. If you are about to book your invitations with a brand or calligrapher you know is usually booked, give them a heads-up and if you can, book the time in their monthly schedule and get back to them once the time comes. At this point, you will also want to start finalizing your guest list.
8 - 6 months before: Order your wedding invitations
We find that the best time to order invitations is 8 to 6 months before the wedding date. Seems early?
It is definitely not. This timeframe will allow you to discuss the style with the designer, decide on text, embellishments and in the end, you will want to have enough time to add or change something to your order. If you are looking to order semi-custom, more simple invitations without much embellishment, 6 months or even a bit less should be fine. If you are ordering a custom-design or design with different embellishment elements such as wax seals and similar, make sure you do it about 7-8 months prior to the wedding day. It might take a couple of weeks to create the design for your invitation from scratch including revision or to make your wax seals. Many couples wish for a personalized wax seal stamp which also takes a couple of weeks to be made and delivered.
6 - 3 months before: Send out your wedding invitations
You want to give your guests time to plan their calendar around other events they might attend and holidays. If your guests are from a local town and its surrounding, about 3 months in advance will be sufficient. If you are inviting international guests, we suggest sending out your wedding invitations about half a year prior to the wedding. Also keep in mind that for an invitation it might take up to a month to be delivered if shipped from your local post office.
3 - 2 months before: Order on-the-day stationery
What about the rest of the stationery elements, such as menu, place cards, seating plans and table numbers? About 2 months before the wedding date are usually sufficient to order the rest of your stationery. At that point you will most likely have a defined menu and confirmed guest arrivals. And if not, in the meantime you can discuss design and production times with your stationer and see what the options are. There is nothing worse than being in a situation where it's 3 days before the wedding and you are still hoping your seating plan will arrive! If you are booking with us and the package will be shipped in the EU, we can guarantee on-time delivery for orders ready for production latest about 5 weeks before the wedding.
How long does it take to produce wedding invitations?
At our studio, on average (excluding very busy times), it takes about 3-4 weeks for designing, proofs and printing. For custom-designs, which includes development of a new design, consultations and revision, it might take up to 5-6 weeks. After that, the package is being shipped. It takes a few days for EU locations and slightly longer if shipped overseas. You should add about another week if you are ordering a model with different embellishment elements such as wax seals or ribbons and another 2-3 weeks if we are ordering a personalised wax seal for you.
Planning a destination wedding or your wedding falls on a holiday?
Save the date cards are a great solution!
You might be wondering when is the best time to send wedding invitations for your destination wedding. Consider sending save the date cards to announce the wedding to your guests. This is something you can do even a year prior to the wedding date as everything you will need is indeed the date and location. This way your guests will be able to “book” this date and start planning their holidays around it as well as transport and accommodation. It will allow them to book those things on time, at a more affordable price and without stress. The same applies if you are planning to invite international guests or if your wedding date falls on a public holiday or simply a popular wedding date.
So when is the best time to send out save the date cards? When you know the wedding location and the date! A good idea is to send it combined with an Easter or Christmas card as well. At our studio, besides printed options, you can request a digital version of your save the date card that you can simply email to your family and friends.