This article refers to ordering from a stationery vendor or store (if you are ordering online, you might still want to follow some of these guidelines).
So, how far in advance of your wedding date should you order your wedding invitations? Its a good question…and I get it all the time. I generally recommend ordering them five to six months ahead. This timing is typically not too early, and not too late. Let’s first talk about the “not too early” part. You can start looking for invitations whenever you want. But you can’t actually order the invitations until you have some key information including:
-exact number of households invited
-entree selections (if you need to provide them to your venue)
-website URL (if you want to include that on your invitations)
-hotel block information (if you want to include that on your invitations)
You also want to know who is “hosting” the event. Is it you as a couple? Or one or both of your parents? That is important information because it affects the way the invitation is worded.
Then, once you have all of the above information…ask yourself…are the details subject to change? You don’t want to order invitations, have them printed, and then decide to alter your ceremony time/reception as the date gets closer. Or that you need more invitations. Or that you are moving and need to change your return address. So really think about the logistics and details and decide whether you are ready to set them in stone.
Now for the “not to late” part….
Once you have all that information, typically five to six months ahead, you should get to work on ordering them. This will allow enough time for:
– Perfecting them (you should order proofs, perhaps a few reproofs)
– Printing (this can take as little as three days or as much as five weeks depending upon your invitation)
– Shipping (they will need to be shipped from the printing facility)
– Assembling (some require mounting, gluing, attaching ribbons, etc.)
– weighing them, stamping them and sending them out.
All that said, don’t worry if you are less than five months out and you need invitations pronto. If your in a crunch, a good stationer will give you options for getting them quickly.