You have finally settled on a date and location for your wedding. Now it’s time to let everyone know! Communicating your wedding plans; the ceremony date, place and time, to all of your guest can feel like a daunting task. When should you send your save the date cards? What is the right amount of time before the wedding to send the invitation? What about all of the thank you cards you have to write? Not to fear! We can help you with your timing so that each piece will have the most effect while serving its purpose.
Let’s take you through the wedding stationery process in order from start to finish.
Save the Date Cards are custom themed cards that let your friends and family know that you getting married and when. It is your way of asking them to reserve that time to join you. The additional benefit of sending out the save the date card is collecting your guests mailing addresses ahead of time, and finding out if any are incorrect because the card is returned to you.
Save the Date Cards can be sent out up to a year and a half in advance. If you are having a destination wedding where everyone will have to travel it is advisable to send them out as early as possible. This will allow your guests plenty of time to save up and plan some time off. If your wedding will be a little closer to home you won’t need to send them out as far in advance.
One piece of advice that we give all of our couples is to avoid and electronic save the date. In this day and age there are so many electronic options, many of which are quite beautiful. However, if you send it electronically you run the risk of it being forwarded to someone you don’t have on your guest list. That possibility, that we have seen become a reality, is the reason we recommend against the electronic card.
Your wedding invitation is the most important element leading up to your wedding ceremony and reception. It is the official request for your family and friends to attend. It is also the first handshake that you are extending as a couple to all whom you invite. The invitation has a number of possible pieces, the invitation itself, the response card and a self addressed, stamped envelope for the response card (even if you are using electronic responses as well) are the must haves. There are a number of additional items that may be included with the invitation, your wedding planner and/or stationer can help you decide what will be best for your event. They can also help ensure that your invitation will convey the tone, theme and formality of your wedding and reception to your guests.
Once you have your completed invitations in hand you have to get them into the mail.The timing of this mass mailing of your wedding invitations is very important. Give your guests too much time and they may forget to respond, give them too little time and they may not be able to make the necessary arrangements to attend. The accepted timeline for mailing your invitation is six to eight weeks before the wedding day. If you are having a destination wedding, this increases to ten weeks, with some couples preferring twelve weeks. Once in the mail it will only be a few days before your guests tell you how thrilled they are to receive your invitation!
The moment you announce your wedding will be the moment you begin to receive gifts. It is amazing how generous and thoughtful your family and friends will be, and it is your responsibility to acknowledge this with a thank you note. Many couples will order thank you notes as a part of their wedding suite so that they will be on hand immediately and will be a part of the overall feel of the wedding stationery. A best practice for all couples is to write the thank you note when you open the gift. It is the easiest way to ensure you get them all completed in a timely fashion. It is acceptable to send your thank you notes within the year that follows your wedding ceremony but your guests will appreciate a “thank you” while your wedding is still fresh in their memories.
This is where we come in. We work directly with you (or with you and your planner) to create custom wedding and personal stationery that sets the tone and feel that you want. All of the elements above: Save The Date Cards, Wedding Invitations and Thank You Notes can be part of a full wedding suite we create with you. It is an exciting process to create something unique and special, and we would be honored to be a part of your special day!