Wedding Invitation & Stationery Timeline

When do you send out Save the Dates?  When should I start designing my Wedding Invitations?  When should I have guests RSVP?  So many questions!

I created this Wedding Invitation & Stationery Timeline for you to help answer all those questions and more.  Including the biggest question I get asked by my clients — When should I mail my wedding invitations?

Wedding Invitation Timeline

Wedding invitation and stationery timelines vary based on how long you are engaged and your planning style. This timeline is based on a 12+ month engagement. If you are planning a wedding in less than 6 months, skip your Save the Dates and move to planning your wedding invitations.

No matter how long your engagement is, you will need to start with your guest list to have a pretty close to accurate guest count and household count for all your wedding vendors.

 10-12+ Months Before Your Wedding

Classic Wedding Invitation with Addressed Envelopes for Chicago Wedding at Galleria Marchetti by Emery Ann Design

The Guest List

Grab your pen and paper or spreadsheet, it’s time to make that guest list! Be sure to get a guest list from both of your families and have your list looked over by your fiancé. Once you have a close to accurate count, count your households up to see how many save the dates and wedding invitation suites you will need. I suggest adding extras for keepsakes, guest list additions, and for your photographer and videographer to capture all your details you have spent months planning.


This is time to start planning how you are going to spend your money for your wedding stationery.

Collection – Starts at $435 for 100 invitation suites with average clients investing $900 for digitally printed invitation suites

Custom – Starts at $735 for 100 invitation suites with average clients investing $1,500 for digitally printed and $2,800 for combination print methods

Wedding Day – Starts at $1.00 per place card with average clients investing $1,100 for menus, programs, signage and more options

Custom Clients

Now is the time to secure your spot on my design calendar for your custom wedding stationery.  Schedule an introductory call to get started on your Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations.  Let’s dream up something beautiful, just for your wedding day.

8-9+ Months Before Your Wedding

Save the Dates

Custom clients will start designing at nine months or earlier while collection clients should order their Save the Dates 8 months before their wedding.

6-8+ Months Before Your Wedding

Mail Save the Dates

Mail your save the dates eight months or sooner before your wedding if most of your guests need to travel and six months for local weddings without many out of town guests.  But really, the sooner the better, so you won’t be planning your wedding day around someone else’s vacation plans.

5-6+ Months Before Your Wedding

Blush Wedding Invitation for Paris Wedding

Custom Invitation Design

Time to begin bringing together all the details of your wedding. This is where I use proper etiquette to create your custom wedding invitation wording and design invitations options for you to provide feedback. From there I create your full wedding invitation suite by bringing together all the details from your feedback, colors, and all of your embellishments — wax seals, envelope liners, and ribbons — and make any revisions until your wedding invitations are perfect.

Collection Wedding Invitation Clients

Emery Ann Collection clients should place your wedding invitation orders at this point.  Plan for two weeks of proofing time as well as 1 – 6 weeks of production time and shipping depending on your printing method and embellishments.

3-4+ Months Before Your Wedding

Purchase Postage

As soon as you receive your invitations, take an entire assembled Invitation suite to the post office to be weighed. Ask them to tell you the required postage you need for your wedding invitation suite. Don’t forget to request them to be hand cancelled.

Are you looking for custom postage or interested in me curating a set of vintage postage, please let me know you want that extra special touch!  I will take care of it for you!

Stuff Envelopes

Make a night of it with your fiancé or bridesmaids.   Grab a glass of wine or your favorite craft beer and stuff those envelopes!  If I printed your guest addresses and response envelopes, you are ready to rock and roll!  Just put postage on the front of the envelopes and seal them tight.

Not into spending hours assembling your wedding invitation suite, let me take care of this project for you.

6-10 Weeks Before Your Wedding

Mail Invitations

The recommended time frame to mail your wedding invitations is between 6 and 8 weeks or sooner for out of town guests.

Day-of Stationery/Wedding Day Paper Goods

At ten weeks or sooner, order all of the pretty paper goods you need for your wedding day such as, wedding programs, escort boards, place cards, table numbers, menus, and other signage.  We can figure out exact quantities once you have your final guest count at 4-5 weeks before your wedding.

4-5 Weeks Before Your Wedding

Guest Response

Your guests should be responding by the date given on their
response card, which is typically 4 to 5 weeks before the wedding.  If it is getting close and you haven’t received a response from your guests, give them a jingle.  This info is crucial for your day-of stationery and your venue.

Final Guest List & Count

Finalize your guest list with meal choices, table/seating assignments and send them off to me so we can finalize you wedding day stationery.

1 Week Before Your Wedding

Receive Day-of Stationery

Most planners and venues will need your
day-of stationery around a week before your wedding.  I schedule all day-of stationery to 
be completed the week before your wedding.  If you need them sooner, I can adjust your timeline to accommodate that!

Wedding Day

Watercolor Florals with Mauve Wedding Program for Chicago Wedding at Winnetka Community House

Celebrate Love

Celebrate your first day of marriage and enjoy all the beautiful details you have been planning with your family and loved ones. Dance the night away making some of the most special memories of your lives!

After Your Wedding

Thank You Cards

If you didn’t order Thank You Cards that coordinate with the rest of your stationery, order them now. Did you get pictures back from your photographer? Let’s design a card featuring you looking glamorous in your wedding day.

Ready to inquire about Custom Wedding Invitations?

Click below to get started!  I can’t wait to help you create beautiful pieces of art!

Custom Wedding Invitation Inquiry