When to Order Wedding Invitations: A Complete Wedding Stationery Timeline

An array of color block wedding invitations designed by Ashley Day at Fine Day Press overlaid with text that reads When to Order Wedding Invitations: A Complete Wedding Stationery Timeline

This is one of the questions that I get asked the most often! When people think about wedding stationery, it’s the invitations that often feel the most important. It’s a little taster of all the fun to come! The truth is that when to order wedding invitations does vary depending on a bunch of different factors.

You should order wedding invitations about four months in advance. If you are working with a designer to create custom invitations, you may need to start even earlier, and earlier again if you are having a destination wedding. 

I’ve put together a complete timeline to help you figure out when to order wedding invitations for your wedding. We’re also going to look at save-the-dates, too, because these are a crucial part of inviting people!

When to Order Wedding Invitations: the Factors

The timeline for when to order wedding invitations is going to be affected by several factors. You’re going to need to calculate for extra time if:

  • You’re ordering custom invitations (rather than selecting an existing design). If you’re creating something from scratch, you need to give the designer time to work, and keep enough time for you to give several rounds of feedback before you land on the perfect design.
  • You have multiple guests who are traveling from afar. With more people starting to travel again, you’ll want to give plenty of time for people to buy tickets and arrange their transportation, not to mention booking accommodation. Plane tickets should ideally be bought at least 4 months in advance.
  • You’re having a destination wedding (especially if passports are involved!) If you’re going international for your wedding, keep in mind that you will inevitably have a few guests who haven’t left the country before – give them time to get their papers in order and ready to travel.
  • You’re mailing them to friends and family who live internationally (this takes more time!)

Taking all of that into consideration for when to order wedding invitations and save-the-dates, you’ll want to start reaching out to stationery designers at least six months ahead!

A birds eye view of wedding invitations laid arranged with flowers by Fine Day Press

When to Order Save-the-Dates

Before you start thinking about when to order wedding invitations, you have to send out your save-the-dates! We’ve got you covered there – check out our incredible range of customizable save-the-dates to get inspiration. It’s so important to get your save-the-dates out in good time so that people can begin to plan! Remember, you don’t have to have every little detail ironed out: the date and the city are all the information you truly need. Here is the timeline you’ll want to follow:

When to Order Save-the-Dates for a Destination Wedding

For a destination wedding or a wedding where a good chunk of the guests will have to travel significant distances, order your save-the-dates between 9 months and a full year in advance. In other words, get on it!

It can be tempting to wait until you have nailed down a color scheme for your wedding or you have the perfect photos from an engagement photo shoot (for tips on how to smash your engagement photo shoot, by the way, check out this blog), but my advice would be not to wait! It’s better to get your save-the-dates out in good time and then have the space to focus on creating the perfect wedding invitation package than to spend too much time perfecting the save-the-date and have to pair down your guest list. For a destination wedding, aim to send out your save-the-dates a good 8 months in advance.

When to Order Save-the-Dates for a Local Wedding

If you’re not having a destination wedding, you have a little more wiggle room. I’d recommend ordering your save-the-dates 8 months in advance. If you’re going for an existing design and using an online service to send them, you can probably get away with ordering them closer to 7 months in advance, but you want people to be receiving the save-the-dates at least 6 months before the wedding, so keep that in mind.

CHECK OUT OUR SAVE THE DATE SELECTION

When to Order Wedding Invitations

After you’ve got your wedding save-the-dates in the mail, it’s time to start thinking about when to order wedding invitations. Just like save-the-dates, this will depend on how much of a process designing and deciding on invitations will be, and on how far people will have to travel to get to your wedding.

A birds eye view of wedding invitations laid arranged with flowers by Fine Day Press

When to Order Wedding Invitations for Destination Weddings

If you’re having a destination wedding, or if any of your guests are going to have to travel internationally to get to you, you should order wedding invitations 5 to 6 months in advance. This is when to order wedding invitations so that they are ready to be sent three months before your wedding, which is when they should arrive for a destination wedding.

When to Order Wedding Invitations for Local Weddings

If you’re wondering when to order wedding invitations for a local wedding, which is the vast majority of couples, then I’d say you are safe to order them 3 to 4 months ahead of the wedding. You do want to leave time to receive proofs and offer feedback. When you order wedding invitations from Fine Day Press, you’ll receive your proofs within 3 days! After this, allow 2 weeks for printing before they are ready to be sent off.

As you consider when to order wedding invitations, keep in mind that you want your guests to receive their invitations around 8 weeks before the ceremony. 

Final Thoughts on When to Order Wedding Invitations

There you have it! A guide on when to order wedding invitations and save the dates. Choosing your save-the-dates and wedding invitations should be such a fun and inspiring process – I would never want it to be ruined by time pressure or the need to rush! That’s why it’s so important to know when to order wedding invitations, and it’s also why we strive to give you the quickest turnaround time when you order any of our beautiful designs. Take a look through your options here!

xo, ashley

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Ashley Austin, Owner/Designer

ABOUT FINE DAY PRESS

Fine Day Press is a stationery studio founded in 2010 by designer Ashley Austin. Creating paper goods for your wedding day is a task we are honored to take on – we are truly thrilled to be a part of your big day! Our goal is to produce modern, luxe invitations on high quality materials with a creative, colorful design sense.

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