Wedding Stationery Checklist for the Newly Engaged
Having worked in the wedding industry for over 5 years now, I can confidently tell you what the top 3 problems are that newly engaged couples have when they come to us. I can't dive into all of them today, but we will talk about one... the stationery timeline. Now, if you hire a planner as soon as you start planning, this usually isn't a big deal as they are handling that for you. But if you are like many of our clients, you are taking on several aspects of your big day, including getting those invitations out, so we are here to help!
We have a timeline, that in most cases, will help our brides stay on track to getting all of their stationery out in a traditional timeline. Sure, there are custom designs that will take longer, or very simple projects that might even cut your timeline in half. But more often than not, this will keep you on track. This printable checklist is tailored to our process and the information that we need at A Fabulous Fete to begin the process of your custom or semi-custom suite. Other stationers may vary.
So, if you are newly engaged and don't know where to start, print out this checklist below and start writing in those dates!
What did we include? Well, it all starts with your wedding date. Once your wedding date is set, you can easily work back and fill in each of the milestones to hit. We also included sections that couples seem to get stuck on... color palette and style. It's so important to narrow these down in order to give your stationer a really great vision of how they can help you. I know it's hard to narrow down that Pinterest board that you (and WE ALL) built. The best way that I've found to do this is only keep what really makes you excited. What images make your heart beat a little bit faster, or make your eyes tear up when you think of your guests receiving. Those are the key pieces of inspiration to start with. Pick which colors stand out to you (3-4 are great), the style you feel they are communicating (bright, fun, modern, minimal, etc.) and narrow those down to one or two. Under the style elements column you can also list things you'd love to see, like a custom wax seal or silk ribbon to tie your suite together.
How to complete each step in the timeline:
18 weeks || Reach out to your designer: We usually like to give ourselves and new clients 1-2 weeks to talk things through when choosing your semi-custom suite. Couples will have questions on color palettes, how to send their address lists, how to word their invitations, etc. This 2 weeks period gives us plenty of time to iron out ALL of the details before finalizing your wedding suite.
16 weeks || Finalize your suite: This essentially gives us 8 weeks to design and print your suite. Holy crap... 8 weeks?? Yep. From the outside, it can look like all we have to do is hand letter your names and pop them into our design. BUT, just like any other company, there are several other projects and clients on our calendar. So this 8 week period allows us to create a queue with our clients so that everyone receives our full attention. This accounts for us sending proofs to our clients, receiving feedback, making changes, etc. There's nothing worse that rushing through the design process. Mistakes are made, quality is sacrificed, and that is not something we ever want any client to experience!
11 weeks || Send your address list: This applies to those who opt for hand guest addressing. For the typical wedding (around 100 households) we block out around 2 weeks. These 2 weeks allow me to comfortably complete the addressing by breaking them up into chunks each day. Let me tell you, I COULD do them all in one day, but hand cramps and rushed work never lead to a beautiful end result;)
9 weeks || Receive your completed suite: Yay! All of the pieces to your wedding invitation suite are complete and they are in your hands. This gives you around 1 week to gather your friends and family to help assemble. We also offer assembly but know that so many couples love to take this on themselves.
8 weeks || Send your invitations: This gives guests plenty of time to mark their calendars, plan travel, etc. We see shorter, and we see longer. But traditionally, 2 months is the perfect amount of notice for a local wedding.
And finally, what do I need as your designer. I've listed all of the key elements that allow us to dive into your design. For example... copy for your suite, guest/household count and envelope colors. All of these things are helping us stay on time behind the scenes, even though it may seem like you won't need to decide until the end. While I am working on the design, our production manager is ordering envelopes, finalizing quotes and timelines with printers, making sure you will have enough wax to use your seal, etc. And all of those small details play a big part in that.
We hope this gives some of our brides out there a bit of relief! We know there are SO many things to do when planning a wedding and hope that this makes your stationery planning a tiny bit easier!
Scroll through some of our favorite semi-custom suites below, or take a look at our entire process here to decide if custom or semi-custom is right for you!
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