Updated: May 21, 2020
When will you shop for your wedding stationery?
When will you send them out?
Are you looking to find something that will match the theme of your wedding?
Along with your save the dates, your invitations will help set the overall tone for the big day and give your guests a taste of what’s to come. It’s important to make sure that your information is clear and then the design usually reflects the personal style of you both. However, saying that I plan many mutli-ceremony events so having them all separate to suit each style of celebration can be costly to have different invites for each event, so sometimes one invite just has to fit all. And that’s fine because in reality, if we send out an invites months in advance, it is going to be highly unlikely that guests will remember the design of your invite!
Invite shopping is not an easy win. You may think that compared with choosing a venue, planning your entire day, sorting out your honeymoon, finding your perfect dress, wedding invitations you would have thought are a simpler tasks to organise but it isn’t. There are lots to consider when it comes to invites, a million of designs to choose from, what will suit your wedding day the best, what to write, when to send, it’s a thought process that may leave you scratching your head way more than what wedding car to choose!
We would advise to avoid unnecessary stress that you start to hunt down your wedding stationery designs/theme as soon as you have your venue booked and your date is secured. You will instinctively know the kind of design or style you will have on your day from your venue choice alone.
If you are going to send save the dates you could look at your invite designs at the same time or you’ll potentially get complacent that you have handled it for now or get carried away with the rest of your planning. It's worth noting that stationery shopping can take hours of carried away ness browsing designs, getting inspiration and the of course finalising wording, so starting the process asap is always a big help.
When to send wedding invitations?
Many invitation companies recommend sending your invitations 2-3 months before your wedding. I often wonder if that is just what suits them. However personally we say asap.
Why? If you have nailed your guest list and then are having food choices, the moment you have that sorted I would just get them out! Even if you haven’t got meal choices, you will want to know your guests dietary requirements which is a minefield on its own. Wedding caterers will only cater for what they have been asked to cater for, it good to remember that your venue is not a restaurant so it is important that you get those dietary requirements firmed up. Adaptability for dietary requirements is not as easy for a wedding caterer as it is for a restaurant.
I’m not going to lie, your guests can often take an age to reply, it can be a slightly painful process so you will feel the frustration of chasing RSVP’s. This is why we say it is better to know earlier than later that someone can make or not so you can consider upgrading your evening guests, or bring down your catering costs sooner than later before you are committed to paying a higher guest count.
It’s all very well sending an save the date, but this is not an invite and there is no call to action, i.e. you haven't asked anyone to tell you if they can make it, so if they have a flight booked to the Caribbean or they have another wedding invite on the same day and they haven’t’ decided which one to attend, you are left in the dark until you send out a formal invite. If you send only 2-3 months before, you are going to put yourself under pressure to chase guests.
Finally, we suggest you give yourself an 6-8 week cut off time so you can make sure you have plenty of time to get in all the guests food choices or dietary requirement before you have to hand over your final details to your caterers! You are due to get married imminently and you want to really enjoy the run up to your wedding day in matrimonial bliss, so the last thing you want to be doing is stressing out and still chasing up RSVP and meal choices to the run up to your day!
We wish you lots of luck. Whilst finding your stationery is not a quick process, it is definitely one of the most enjoyable activities that will get you lost in a world of designs, so enjoy every moment.
People will agree or disagree with our timeline suggestions, but having done over 50 weddings and seen the stress levels of couples that are still chasing untimely RSVP's, this is our recommendation for stress free wedding planning.
If you haven't done your wedding list yet or need to shorten it, especially if your wedding now needs to be smaller with the pandemic, then then head over to our blog on how to keep your wedding list down.