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!