Wedding Stationery Timeline

Luxury wedding invitation set with rose gold wax seal

Your wedding stationery is one of the most important elements of your wedding day. It sets the tone for your special day and fuses together the best bits of your venue, colour scheme and theme, while communicating important information to your wedding guests. How else would they know when and where to go? However, there are several different elements which can make the world of wedding stationery a little confusing…

Firstly, we group it into two categories:

#1 Wedding stationery: This is anything sent out before your wedding day including save the date cards, wedding invitations, RSVP cards and additional information.

#2 On the Day Stationery: This is any stationery that is part of your ceremony and wedding celebrations such as your order of service, table plan, table numbers, place cards or even wedding signage to direct your guests.

Maroon watercolour table plan

Secondly, here is a useful timeline of what to order and when. Please note: This has been written for UK weddings, if you are getting married abroad, you should allow your guests extra time to make arrangements.

12 months before your wedding

Before you get started with your wedding stationery, you have a few things to confirm:

  • Your wedding venue and the date of your wedding
  • Your guest list
  • Any themes / colour schemes that you want running through your wedding

Splendid Swan is flexible with turnaround times, but it’s a good idea to meet with your stationery designer 12 months before your wedding to look at samples, confirm which paper and card you like and get a feel for design styles. 

9 - 12 months before your wedding

Send your save the date cards...

To help ensure your close friends and family are available for your wedding, you should send save the date cards as soon as possible, but only after you have finalised your date and venue. Note: If you’re having a destination wedding, you should give your guests more time to plan and budget. Your stationery should be coordinated, and your save the dates should match your invitations, table plan etc. It’s useful to choose save the date cards that can be easily pinned to a notice board or fridge. Or you can go for something quirky like a bookmark design.

Luxury save the date card with wax seal

5 - 8 Months before your wedding

Finalise your wedding stationery...

Your stationery designer will work closely with you to finalise things like the paper stock, sizes, colours, fonts and any embellishments such as wax seals, gold leaf or tassels on your wedding stationery.

3 - 6 months before your wedding

Send out your wedding invitations...

Your wedding invitations are an important aspect of your wedding, and many guests like to keep them forever as a memento of your day. You should allow plenty of time for your stationery designer to create, print and deliver your invitations. If you’re incorporating things like hand calligraphy, watercolour illustrations, line drawings or illustrations of your venue this may take additional time. You should also consider how long it will take you to write out the invitations and envelopes and send them to your guests, particularly if you have work and family commitments alongside your wedding. 

Italy wedding invitation with lemons

RSVP Cards

You should send RSVP details out with your wedding invitations. Some couples like to send a physical card for their guests to complete, others might include an email address or direct guests to their wedding website. If you are sending physical cards, you should also include a stamped addressed envelope. Don’t forget to include a date that your guests should confirm by. This will vary depending on where you are getting married, so let your wedding venue guide you on this. 

Extra Information

You can also include information cards or scripts with your invitations, detailing menu options, venue directions, accommodation details etc.

Illustrated wedding guest information card

1 - 6 months before your wedding

Confirm your order of service...

The order of service is like a programme for your wedding, guiding your guests through the timings of each part of the day. They can be handed out by ushers before your ceremony, or some couples like to place them on the seats. The order of service is normally a double sided card, folded card or booklet. Some couples also like to have a sign at the entrance with key timings on it. The order of service should match your other stationery, and some couples like to personalise them with hand rendered illustrations, drawings of the venue or elements drawn from the wedding theme. The deadline for your order of service will depend on your wedding venue’s regulations and may vary depending on whether you are having a civil ceremony or religious service. You should take guidance from your wedding coordinator on this. 

Wedding order of service

6 - 8 weeks before your wedding

Finalise your ‘on the day’ wedding stationery...

Now it’s time for those finishing touches! Your stationery designer will work with you to finalise things like menus to go on the tables, place cards, seating charts, favours, quiz cards and any bespoke signage you are having commissioned.

Luxury wedding menu with wax seal

4 - 6 weeks after your wedding

Send out thank you cards...

Once the celebrations have ceased, remember the importance of manners and etiquette by sending out thank you cards. You should thank the guests for attending and also for any gifts you’ve received.