Hey there homegirl (or homeboy)! So your now-fiance (eek!) put a ring on it, you've started picking out colors and have a date set. Well first off... CONGRATULATIONS! The planning process can be a lot at times so at the end of the day, remember what the most important part of all of it is: you are going to be sharing your life with the person you love.
So now what? It's time to get your wedding stationery needs in order! It might seem silly for you to think about wedding stationery at this point since you've got bigger things to take care of, but it can be pretty time sensitive, and the invitation suite really is the first thing that guests see and sets their expectation for what's to come! (Insert your eye rolls here) I get it. That's what everyone says, I see and hear it all the time... "All people do is throw it away", or "It's just like every other invitation". Well guess what? It doesn't need to be! What separates all of those other weddings and invitations from yours is, well, you! It's not a requirement to do what's "trendy" at the moment or feel like you need to do something because everyone else is doing it. You and your fiance have your own unique story, your own personality as a couple and individually... Let that shine on paper!
Now that I'm hopping off my soapbox and have you thinking about your wedding stationery, these general guidelines will keep you on task when working with a wedding stationer.
9 TO 12 MONTHS
Research wedding stationers and calligraphers whose work you love (Instagram will be your best friend). Start thinking of wording for your Save-the-Dates so it's ready for whoever you hire.
7 TO 9 MONTHS
Send out your Save-the-Dates! It's important for guests to have enough time to prepare for travel, babysitting, and accommodations. Allow a little extra time for destination weddings.
5 TO 7 MONTHS
Start working with your wedding stationery designer to design the perfect suite that speaks to you and your fiance's love story. Everyone says the same thing, "invitations set the tone for your wedding".... it's because it's true! Decide how you want your love story told on paper and throughout your wedding.
3 TO 4 MONTHS
Get your wedding stationery designer or calligrapher your final guest list so there is time to calligraph your guests envelopes. Nothing is more of a wow-factor than beautifully addressed envelopes before opening the one-of-a-kind suite designed just for you.
6 TO 8 WEEKS
Get those wedding invitations in the mail! If you are the one that will be assembling and mailing these out, make sure to allow for extra time. You can always ask your wedding stationery designer to take care of this for you during the design process! Touch base with your designer or calligrapher about day-of details like place cards, escort cards, menus or seating charts.
3 TO 5 WEEKS
Your RSVP's should be coming in around this time. Make sure to hunt down any stragglers so you can start laying out your seating chart. Get your calligrapher the seating chart as soon as you can.
2 TO 3 WEEKS
Touch base with your wedding stationery designer or calligrapher and coordinate your day-of pieces and signage for your wedding day.
1 TO 3 MONTHS AFTER
Hey there newlyweds, it's time to send out thank you notes for all those wonderful gifts you received! If you want custom thank you notes that match your wedding stationery, make sure to touch base with your stationery designer beforehand (ideally during the suite design process).
Have any questions for me or interested in hiring a wedding stationery designer? I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me with anything you'd like to know! I'd be more than happy to help in any way I can.
P.S. This timeline is based off of my experience and workflow, and might differ from another stationer's timeline. If you had a specific stationer in mind, shoot them a question about their particular timeline! I'm sure they'd be happy to dish their details.