You're engaged!! Congratulations!! For most brides and grooms, the first wedding planning decisions are obvious: pick a date, pick a location, find a dress. Save-the-dates and invitations may pop into your head at some point, but where do you start? Here's a quick rundown in bullet-point fashion (because I know how crazy busy wedding planning can be):
Wedding Paper Breakdown
- Absolute bare minimum: wedding invitation suite and ceremony program
- What most people do: save-the-date card, wedding invitation suite, ceremony program, thank-you card
- Common additions: rehearsal dinner invitation, bridal or couples shower invitation, table numbers, place cards, reception menu
- Other extras: engagement announcement, bachelor/bachelorette party invitation
- ASAP #1: compile your guest list and get their addresses
- ASAP #2: take engagement photos (if you're doing them)
- At least 7 months before wedding: order save-the-date cards
- At least 6 months before wedding: send out save-the-date cards
- 3-4 months before wedding: order wedding invitation suite
- 6-8 weeks before wedding: send out wedding invitation suite and rehearsal dinner invitations
- 3 weeks before wedding: RSVP deadline, follow-up on missing RSVPs
- 1-2 weeks before wedding: caterer will need a final guest count
Super Helpful Tips
- Email out a Google Docs form to collect the mailing addresses for all of your guests (I'll make a blog post on how to do this soon). Most people have easy access to everyone's email address but not their mailing address, so this tip is a huge time saver.
- As painful of a process as it can be, really try to get your guest list solidified as early as possible. It will dictate what venues you can use and how much you can spend on per-guest expenses like food, transportation, and invitations (of course).
- If the printing cost of your wedding paper pieces is getting too high, forego a preprinted return address on your envelopes for a custom self-inking address stamp for as little as $15! They give your envelopes a hand-made feel without the cost of calligraphy or pain of writing it all yourself (can you say hand cramp??).
If this is starting to overwhelm you, LET ME HELP!! Even if you're budget doesn't allow for custom invitations, I have beautiful pre-made designs available on Etsy, or I can help you pick out an amazing design from Envelopments or Carlson Craft. Just because you want to pick from a catalog doesn't mean you have to go at it alone. I can help you customize the wording, choose which pieces to include, decide on paper and ink colors, etc. Talk about a weight off your shoulders, right? :)