The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

When Do I Send Invitations and Save the Dates?

Another reader request! Thank you Hayley for using our 'Ask Rhonnie' feature! We love hearing about your wedding plans and helping out where we can.

Hayley asked us "When do we send out our save-the-dates and how long do we wait before sending our invitations?"

Some couples follow wedding etiquette to the letter (much to the delight of Emily Post we're sure) and other couples choose to eschew save the dates altogether, especially if their wedding is less than 8 months away - it really depends on the couple, your budget and how formal you wish to be but we've put together the 'ideal' timeline for your full stationery suite so that you can pick and choose the elements you'll use and ignore those you won't!

9-12 months before your wedding

  • Start putting together a guest list - remember that this will probably go through many drafts before it's fully refined and will likely go through a further 2-3 refinements down the track once the RSVP cards are returned.
  • Create a Pinterest board of images that inspire you, search the net for suppliers and samples you like and consider your budget.
  • If you're planning a destination wedding, are inviting guests from far away or are planning a holiday wedding, we recommend sending your save-the-dates now to avoid disappointment. Think about what your invitation siute will look like or the formality of your wedding so that your save-the-dates will be in line with your invitations.

6-9 months before your wedding

  • Refine your invitation options - these should be emblematic of the style and formality of your wedding. If you're planning a boho wedding, a formal letterpressed invitation will send the wrong message, and similarly, an overly floral or relaxed tone of invitation will not fit with a black tie wedding.
  • Reach out to vendors for quotes and consultations to discuss the style of your invitation suite
  • Review the wording of your invitations - this is another nod to the formality - for reference, see our post on invitation wording.
  • To ensure your theme carries through all of your stationery, we recommend purchasing it all from one vendor in the same style. A full suite might include save-the-dates, invitations, seating charts, table numbers, place cards, menus, programmes, envelopes and liners, seals, RSVP cards, thank-you cards, note cards, aisle runners, backdrops and more so decide which elements you'll include before your meeting so that you don't get carried away.
  • Review what other cards, envelope liners, invitation enclosures, embellishments, seals, stickers and envelopes you'll need to complete your suite.

4-6 months before your wedding

  • Ensure you have an up-to-date address list with full names, postal addresses (or email addresses if sending electronically), post codes and postage requirements.
  • Place your order for invitations (including calligraphy)

3-4 months before your wedding

  • If your vendor doesn't assemble and deliver as part of your package, this is the time to create an at-home assembly line ensuring all embellishments, enclosures, addressing and postage are included.
  • Order any of the additional stationery you need from the relevant stationery suite.

  • Mail your invitations and wait with anticipation for the responses to arrive - keep a tally of who has responded, who hasn't and your back up invitations to send out if your first wave of guests includes apologies.

6 weeks before your wedding

  • Contact any non-responses to confirm attendance

4 weeks before your wedding

  • Provide your final guest count to all vendors - your planner, caterer, venue, hirers and florist.

1-2 weeks before your wedding

  • If you've ordered menus, placecards, ceremony programmes or table numbers (or all of the above), ensure that the person setting them up has them the day before your wedding (or delivered direct to the venue) to avoid any set-up delays.

Within 2 months after your wedding

  • Send out thank you cards

Remember that Harlow Garland offers a bespoke stationery service, Bespoke by HG where you can pick and choose from a selection of stationery elements to create your ideal stationery suite or allow us to dream something up specific to you.

Or if you'd prefer, our online store offers ready-to-go stationery options that you can personalise yourself on the spot!

Art Deco Laser Embossed Invitations - BUY NOW

Art Deco Laser Embossed Invitations - BUY NOW

Bistro Bliss Wedding Invitation - BUY NOW

Bistro Bliss Wedding Invitation - BUY NOW

Black & Gold Opulence Invitation - BUY NOW

Black & Gold Opulence Invitation - BUY NOW

Vintage Boarding Pass Style Invitation - BUY NOW

Vintage Boarding Pass Style Invitation - BUY NOW

Introducing: "Ask Rhonnie"

While Harlow Garland has been around for a number of years, we're yet to give you a proper introduction, so what better time than today as we launch our new segment!

My name is Rhonnie Snelgar and I am the owner of Harlow Garland Weddings and Events.

I wanted to start this segment because I know what it's like to plan a wedding and having planned hundreds over the years, I've had a number of questions from brides – both my clients and DIY brides who have contacted me directly for advice because they just needed a little guidance and knowing that so many of you willl have similar questions, a podcast community seemed a great way to give you all a place to ask questions anonymously and get the answers you're seeking.

This segment will provide you with tips and tricks, answers to any questions you have whether they're about choosing suppliers, dealing with an overbearing mother in law or anything in between. It's about learning and supporting and giving you a truly accessible knowledge base to help you in your planning.

Harlow Garland Director - Rhonnie Snelgar

Harlow Garland Director - Rhonnie Snelgar

Harlow Garland is the premier boutique wedding planning and styling company in New Zealand. Harlow Garland is inspired by the elegance and beauty of a bygone era and garnered its name from two of old Hollywood's most revered icons – Jean Harlow and Judy Garland who emitted the kind of radiance and effortless grace that every bride aspires to.

Unofficially, I've been personally planning and styling weddings and events for the past 15 years but Harlow Garland was officially incorporated in 2013 and since then has expanded to include additional planners, stylists, a dedicated wedding florist and our lovely assistants. Since then, we've received a lot of really positive press and features in publications like Magnolia Rouge, Bride and Groom and recently, on The

It takes roughly 200-250 hours to plan a wedding, add another 12 hours or so for the day itself and even more if you're doing it alone because there are the added time restraints involved in making your own favours, doing the decorating yourself, cleaning up, assembling bouquets, picking up props or attire and the like.

I'm not here to sales pitch, we have our sales information on the site and if your question is about the costs involved in planning and such I will include it but more so this segment is about supporting you in your journey and a number of you will be planning to go it alone – New Zealand is a DIY state after all so the focus is on just giving you free advice from my 16+ years in the business and helping you to solve some of the trickier aspects of wedding planning.

In order for this whole thing to work, I need to hear from you! I need you to ask those burning questions you want answered – so if you go to, you'll see a recording widget and all you need to do is find a quiet place, hit record and ask away, it'll automatically submit your recorded question to me when you're finished and then from there I'll answer it as best I can. If you'd rather just email us your question, just click the button under the widget to do so. We'll either answer your question directly or turn it into a blog post like we've done for a few of our other write-ins.

I'm not the be all and end all of wedding planning knowledge but I know what you're going through and I do have a good frame of reference from my vast experience in the industry to provide you some advice and support.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I hope you'll come back again and again to join in the community and get some resolution to all of your wedding planning questions and qualms.