Oct 12

Wedding Stationery + Signage Timeline

With all that has changed in the wedding and paper industry in the last couple of years, many of our couples are struggling when it comes to the timeline of their stationery and signage design. What is effective in 2022 and beyond is much different from what we have seen in the past. To help you get a better understanding, we’ve put together a few quick notes and a free downloadable cheat sheet below!

Save the Dates

The first step in the timeline is often your save the dates. Most couples start thinking about these once the venue is booked and planning has begun! In the past, couples sent these out in the 6-10 month range, but now we recommend mailing save the dates out closer to 8-12 months, depending on a couple of factors:

  1. If the majority of your guests live near your wedding location, and your wedding is not on a holiday or other difficult travel day for those guests driving in (hello SXSW & ACL Fest here in Austin), you can plan on mailing your save the dates out around the 8-9 month mark.
  2. If quite a few guests will need to book domestic travel for your wedding, you might want to plan on a couple extra months and shoot for 10-12 months.
  3. If you are planning a wedding on a holiday weekend when hotels will be difficult to book, and/or your wedding is in a destination the majority of your guests will need to plan travel for, we recommend mailing your save the dates as early as possible, ideally 12-14 months ahead.

When should you order Save the Dates?

Our custom save the dates typically have a turnaround of 6-8 weeks, so you’ll need to plan on ordering 1-1/2 to 2 months prior to your mailing date! In a rush? We have semi-custom options we can talk through with you to cut down on the production time, typically with a turnaround of 3-5 weeks!

If you’d like your save the dates to be the last time you worry about what to order & when when it comes to your stationery, ask us about our full service wedding branding! We take all the stress out of your paper + signage design, and help you create a cohesive look from your first mail to your guests to your reception!

Invitation Suite

For invitations, the traditional 8 weeks from your wedding date is likely cutting it way too close for most weddings. Many wedding day vendors need 30+ days notice on your guest counts & seating arrangements, leaving you needing to follow up with guests who take longer to respond, and rushing to create seating charts and guest lists.

We recommend mailing invites out a full 2-3 months in advance. Your rsvp date should be roughly 5-6 weeks ahead of your wedding. This will ensure that you have time to get your guest list finalized by the 30 days out mark.

When should you order invitations?

Custom Invitation design takes between 3-4 months. This includes initial sketch to being ready and ready to mail. Plan booking of your custom invitation design 6-7 months out from your wedding date (or earlier!) If you are one of our full service wedding branding clients, and had us create save the dates, we’ll get in touch with plenty of time to get this process started. So you won’t have to worry about a thing!

Wedding Day Signage + Stationery

Signage & stationery for your wedding day (place cards, menus, escort walls etc.) should be booked 3 months prior to your wedding date. This allows time to nail down all of the items you’ll need, get design started, and then finalize everything. The goal is that this is complete around the 3-4 weeks before your wedding day. Depending on your needs, this also means seating assignments/guest list will need to be finalized.

Again, full service clients don’t have to worry about when to start! We’ll keep track of everything for you, and keep it all on track for a seamless wedding day (for stationery + signage at least!)! If you need a recommendation for a planner to keep everything else seamless, we’re happy to let you know our favorite vendors to work with!!

When to Book Based on Your Timeline

Now, the big question – when to book? We like to think it’s never early to reach out. We’re happy to let you know if you’re early. We’ll simply replay with a recommendation of when to get in touch based on your needs. If you’re looking for us to create save the dates all the way to day of signage, we recommend contacting us at least a year in advance!

Stationery Timeline Cheat Sheet

Want a cheat sheet for when to book your wedding stationery? Click the link below to download a free stationery timeline!

The Dream Team of Vendors:

Photographer: Marni Wishart Photography
Film Lab: Rewind Film Lab
Stylist / Planner: Hawthorne & Poppy Events
Floral Designer: Blumen Floral Co.
Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Julian Gold
Rentals: Bee Lavish Event Rentals
Accessories: Nicole Mera
Venue: The Arlo
Cake: Morgan Pearl Cakes
Hair & Make-up Artist: Makenzi Laine
Hostess: Jenna McElroy Photo The Editorial Series
Stationery: Owl & Envelope
Models: Anthony and Sydney
Cookies: Olive + Aries
Suit: The Black Tux
Linens: BBJ La Tavola
Napkins: Tono + Co.
Tabletop Rentals: Table Manners TX
Sponsor & Styling Mats: Madison Popkess

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