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  • Writer's pictureJodie Wilson

When to Send Save the Dates & Wedding Invitations

Hey friends!

Today's topic is talking about the timeline of save the dates and wedding invitations. This is a question that is asked a lot because every bride's timeline is different. This is typically a part of the wedding planning process that gets put on the back burner until the last minute. Which may end up putting you out of pocket more than you intended to or having to downgrade your vision for your invitations.

The first item of stationary that is customary to be sent out are your Save the Dates! This is the first impression your guests will have on what is coming for your big day, so keep this in mind when you design them! These can be pretty much anything you want, from causal to elegant! I've seen two main types of Save the Dates: something with an engagement photo of the couple OR just text with the color design of the wedding. It is truly whatever you want it to be! Using your engagement picture allows you to make it personable and to put a name to your faces. Of course this means you have to take the engagement photos first, get the photos back form your photographer, decide which photo to use, design a layout, and get printed. Which can take some time so definitely try to get a head start on designing if you want to use an engagement photo! If you are crunched for time and pennies at the printer, a simple and classic option is to do something with your date in a pretty font with your desired wedding colors/theme throughout.

Timeline to send out: Regardless of which design you plan to use for your Save the Date, we recommend mailing these out 6-8 months before your wedding day! Plan for delays and issues with the post office as well all know things get lost or damaged. Almost make sure to order 10% or so extra just in case.

The second item of stationary to be sent out will be your Wedding Invitations! Your invitations will give your guests a more detailed peak at what you expect at your upcoming wedding! We definitely suggest you start designing and ordering your invitations 1-2 months after your Save the Dates. It will give you piece of mind and also make sure the same fonts and colors coordinate for both pieces of stationary. Design wise is also completely up to you - short and simple or classic and elegant or anything else in between!

There are plenty of resources to use pre populated templates so all you need to do is fill in your information and click order! The most popular websites I've seen used are Vistaprint, Shutterfly, Basic Invite, etc. However these can become pricey- as far as $1.50 per invitation (and if you have 300+ guests you are inviting you are looking at $450 before you even add the postage). For some brides this is not something that is included in the main wedding budget and is usually a squeeze to fit in. For the more budget friendly brides I suggest sites such as Etsy or Canva where you can still download a template to use but make it more customized to you where you can download it straight to your computer. This gives you flexibility in what you pay per invite! You could print them at home to save some money or shop around some local printer companies for a better deal.

Timeline to send out: Our rule of thumb is typically at least 2-3 months before your wedding day. This gives you plenty of time to make sure every guest receives their invite! Same as your Save the Dates, plan on some getting lost or damaged and make sure you order 10% extra in case. This also gives your guests plenty of time to RSVP to your wedding to give you a more accurate guest count.

RSVP timeline: We suggest you give your guests at least a 4 week deadline from the day you mail the invitations out to have their RSVPs in by.

PRO TIP FOR MAILING: When mailing special stationary, ALWAYS remember to "Hand Cancel" them out i the mail with USPS. What is hand canceling? It is a specific stamp that you as for from the post office that will signify to handle your envelopes with care and to avoid the processing machines at the post office. This is critical if you use intricate details, fancy ribbon, or wax sealers as they will not be able to go through the normal machine. If you do not tell them to HAND CANCEL and your invitations have a wax seal on them, you run the risk of these getting ripped off in the processing machine or leaving ugly track marks all over them.

We hope these tips and tricks help you with your Save the Dates and your Wedding Invitations!

Sincerely Your Wedding Bestie,

Wilson Weddings

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