Being engaged and getting married is such a wonderful time in your life filled with so much love and excitement! You've found the person you'd like to spend forever with and, as an added bonus, you get to have a wonderful celebration where you can share your love with your friends and family.
While the planning can be lots of fun it can also have very stressful moments, taking up time and space in your brain that you sometimes feel you don't even have – eeek! For most of our clients it's their first time planning such a big event and organising all the details (even with professional help) can quickly become overwhelming! How are you expected to know what kind of food everyone will enjoy let alone when to start on things like your invitations?
Your perfect timeline for when to start your wedding invitations will depend on a few things:
- Your wedding date and how long in advance you’d like to send your invitation out.
- Your stationer’s time requirements (beautiful work takes time)
- Your design style (is it clean and simple or detailed and needing custom illustrations?)
- Your chosen printing methods (more on this in our next blog post)
So, with so many variables, we suggest working backwards from your wedding date to figure out your perfect timeline (more on this in our wedding stationery workbook which you can download for free here).
Let’s look at those points in a bit more detail:
1| When would you like to have your invitations sent out by?
Traditionally, invitations are sent out 2 - 4 months before the wedding day. With this in mind, we’d suggest working backwards from your big day to see when you’d ideally like to have your invitations in hand ready to send to your lucky guests.
2| What does your stationer say about ideal timelines?
While browsing for stationers you might want to use, pop over to their FAQ or about page and see what they say about timelines. We recommend sending the initial emails out at least 2 months before you’d like the final invitations to give everyone a nice amount of time to get things finalised and perfect. Fabulous work that reflects your personalities as a couple takes a bit of time so it's always lovely to have the time needed to create the perfect stationery for you!
3| Your design style and timeline
Some designs simply take quicker than others to create and perfect. Simple, text based designs often take a bit quicker to make than more intricate designs involving custom illustrations, hand lettering or calligraphy elements. If you have your heart set on a personalised illustrated map, for example, we’d suggest mentioning it from the beginning to your stationer to see what is possible.
4| How your printing method impacts on your timeline
We’ll be discussing the different printing methods and processes in a bit more detail in our next blog but it’s important to know that not all invitations and stationery elements take the same amount of time to print. If you’re working on a short timeline and a quick engagement we’d suggest beautiful e-invitations or ones that are digitally printed, for example. While, if you have a nice amount of time for design and printing (and if the budget allows), we can look at letterpress, foil or laser cutting - all things that needs that extra bit of time in production.
In a perfect world everyone always has plenty of time to have invitations and wedding day stationery created; the seating plan never changes and guests don't keep on changing their minds about which partner to bring :) But, if little niggles do sneak in, here are some tips to still help keep the process moving as quickly and smoothly as possible:
- A clear brief with visual references is the best way to eliminate too much back and forth before getting quotes. (it also ensures a quicker design process as the stationer will have a good idea of where they are headed) - check out our previous posts on how to write the perfect brief for your stationer here and here.
- Having your wording ready to send over once you've accepted the estimate and made the deposit is a huge help. You are welcome to take a look at some wording suggestions here and perhaps download our free stationery handbook where we help you through the process of writing your wording!
- Receiving emails and feedback as quickly as possible goes a long way to ensuring the process stays on track – giving the printers enough time to deliver their best for the job too.
For any wedding day stationery you might be needing we’d suggest chatting to your stationer a month or 2 before the big day (you can also check what they recommend when they’re finishing up the invitations). The design process tends to go quicker with the day of stationery if you’re happy to use the same fonts and colours from your invitations - that way your stationer can make sure everything works together and create a lovely cohesive look for the wedding day :)
The timelines here vary a bit more than with the invitations as it depends on a few factors:
- Your wedding venue: If it's overseas (fun!) or in a different area to your stationer they’d need a bit more time to get everything to you (keeping their courier times in mind).
- Your specific stationery elements and production processes
- Your wedding date: depending on when your summer is, you might want to give your stationer a bit of extra time during those oh-so-full wedding season months ;)
Let’s quickly summarise the above:
- Work backwards from your wedding date to see when you’d like to start sending your invitations out.
- Discuss with your stationer about how long they need to complete your beautiful stationery (keeping your design style and printing methods in mind)
- Have a clear brief for your stationer
- Have all your wording and information ready to send your stationer to help avoid delays with the designs
- Give prompt feedback
- Keep your venue location and wedding time of year in mind when planning your timeline
In our next post we’ll be chatting about the different printing and production processes you could use for your wedding stationery! Until then, happy planning.