Thanks for joining me on the blog today! You’re in for a real treat, as I’ve decided to launch an education series on the blog called “All in the Details” in order to help Couples navigate the planning process a little easier with direct advice from the Professionals themselves. In the years I’ve spent working in the Wedding Industry, I’ve noticed more and more, that many of you have so many questions throughout the planning process. And I’m sure at times, it all makes you feel a bit overwhelmed in how and what to plan for.
So I’ve asked several Wedding Industry Professionals to join me by sharing their knowledge and experience. In hopes of helping you navigate and answer some of those burning questions that you might have, while providing reasoning behind their importance and significance. Because let’s be honest here, we don’t know what we don’t know… right?
So without further ado, let me introduce you to our inaugural guest on the blog, Steph Brown of oh my! designs, as she covers the in’s and out’s of Wedding Invitations and when you should order (and mail!) them out.
Hi, I’m Steph of oh my! designs
I’m a Southern girl who happily found herself in Southern California.
I work with modern couples to create dreamy designs to set the tone for their big days. I’m a lover of good paper, fun fonts, and snail mail. When I’m not designing pretty paper, you can find me drinking a green smoothie, eating tacos, planning my next trip, or curled up on the couch watching Shark Tank or Bachelor. As a Professional Stationer, I’ve made it my mission this year to educate couples on when to order wedding invitations. Mainly because I had to turn down so many projects I was super excited about – due to the rush turnaround. (Insert sad face)
When wedding planning, there are so many moving parts and deadlines. A good planner, or even an app, can help keep you on schedule but often the smaller things – like invitations, can fall through the cracks. Since invitations are the first impression of your big day and one of the only things you can keep after it’s over, I don’t consider them to be a small detail at all!
So, when do you order wedding invitations? Well, invitations are mailed 6-8 weeks before your wedding. The time I spend working with a client to design, produce, and assemble their pretty paper can vary (we’ll get to that), but I generally recommend ordering about four to six months before the big day.
Since save the dates are mailed first, let’s talk about their timeline! Save the date cards should be sent around six months before the wedding date. Plan on mailing earlier (eight to ten months) if you’re having a destination wedding or wedding on/near a holiday.
Save the dates are not only a way to show off one of your gorgeous engagement photos, but really help guests plan ahead. Considering people have to request off from their jobs, book travel, or get a babysitter – a heads up can really help!
The suggestion of mailing invitations 6-8 weeks prior is based on sending a save the date. If you didn’t you can consider mailing your wedding invitations a little earlier.
There is such a thing as ordering wedding invitations too early. Make sure you have your major logistics finalized, like the date, venue, and overall theme. Also pull together your guest list and count the households listed to get the quantity you’ll need for invitations.
Pro Tip: Order save the dates and invitations based on the number of households, rather than the total number of guests, or you’ll end up with a lot of extras!
I caution couples who ask about sending invitations more than six months in advance as so many things can change during that time. From addresses to the guest list to your hotel block and ceremony start time. You also don’t want people to straight up forget to RSVP since it’s so far out from when they receive the invitation, yikes!
It’s important to avoid ordering invitations too late since there can be rush fees added. There are large online retailers who pump out mass quantities of invitations and can probably get your order to you quickly. There are also stationers who do full on custom artwork or printers who do everything by hand, and they might require you to reserve a spot on their calendar a year in advance.
After working with hundreds of couples in the last six years, I’ve realized that four to six months before the wedding date is really the sweet spot when it comes to ordering invitations.
When you work one-on-one with a designer to create your stationery, the process is a little different than uploading your text and clicking GO on a website. On average, I work with a couple for six to eight weeks.
First, I start with your budget and vision to pull together a concept that works. There are often a lot of questions during the initial part of the process, since you probably haven’t done this before! I help my clients with everything from color and font pairings to printing methods and wording etiquette.
Once we begin the design process, there will likely be edits and revisions. Updating proofs, waiting for feedback, getting opinions from your fiance and family, and making changes usually takes one to two weeks.
After an order is approved and sent to print, the turnaround will depend on a few things! Mainly the printing method chosen – foil stamped and letterpress invitations take longer to produce than invitations with digital printing. Along with the method of printing, upgrades like envelope address printing, envelope liners, and belly band assembly can add additional time to production.
I create a custom timeline for each client at the beginning of the process so you can know exactly what to expect before we get started.
Every quarter, I allocate a few spots for rush orders but am usually unable to accommodate couples who need their invitations in less than a month. Planning your wedding now? Put a note on your calendar as a reminder for ordering your invitations!
With my clients, I give specific advice on timing and help them make sure deadlines are met. It’s all part of the one-on-one, full service invitation design I offer.
Interested in working with Steph for your wedding invitations? Learn more about the process and get a custom quote here!