Happy new year, everyone! As per usual, this is the time of year when inquiries start coming in more heavily and we find ourselves answering numerous questions about the ordering process. One of the most common questions we receive is, “When should I order my invitations?” Since we’ve never added a guide regarding invitation timelines to our website or blog, I realized it was time to do so. With that being said, here we go!
We recommend mailing your invitations approximately 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding date. If time is tight, don’t panic! It’s okay to mail them out a little closer to the wedding if need be. Just try to allow enough time for your guests to mark their calendars and reply back to you so that you can get an accurate head count before the big day arrives.
If you are having a destination wedding, you may want to consider mailing your invitations even sooner – such as 3 or more months prior to the wedding. In this case, you want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to plan for travel, accommodations, and time off from work if necessary. If the location of your wedding happens to be a popular tourist destination, or if your wedding is occurring around a holiday, then it is especially important to give plenty of notice so that plans can be arranged. Also, by being able to plan early, your guests may be able to save on airfare or may be able to book group hotel rates. Just keep in mind that if you send your invitations out too early, there may be a risk of them becoming lost or even forgotten.
If you want to spread the word about your wedding many months in advance, you may wish to send a save the date card. Save the dates are typically sent about 4 to 6 months prior to a wedding, or about 6 to 9 months in advance for destination weddings. Again, keep in mind the amount of planning that will be involved based on the location of your wedding, as you may find you want to send a save the date out even sooner.
Once you know when you would like to mail your invitations, you can easily figure out when to order them. First off, I suggest figuring out when you want your invitations in your hands. You need to consider the time it will take to address and assemble them. If you plan on working with a calligrapher, be sure to check on their schedule and turn around time. In general, you will probably want to allow 2-3 weeks for the assembly and addressing process, though I know some clients have them ready to mail in just a few days. Keep in mind you may have to track down some addresses, so it’s always nice to have some wiggle room!
After figuring out when you would like your invitations to be in your hands, work backwards to find out when you need to order them. Recommended times may vary from one stationer to the next, but here at Oslo Press, we suggest placing your invitation order about 8 weeks prior to when you need them if choosing a design from our collection. If ordering a custom design, then we suggest ordering your invitations about 12 weeks or more before you need them in your hands. Also, it’s important to keep in mind any holidays, events, or travels that may fall during your order time. For instance, if you know you will be taking a weeklong vacation and won’t be checking your e-mail during that time, then definitely add an extra week to your ordering schedule.
Hopefully, this information will be useful to some of you! Again, if you’re on a tight schedule – do what works best for your circumstances when considering when to mail your save the dates or invitations. If you don’t feel like you have enough time to place your order, don’t be afraid to contact us anyway! When possible, we try our best to accomodate tight schedules.