Wedding stationery is one of the first really exciting bits of the wedding planning process, as it’s the first chance you get to rave to your loved ones about your plans. Your save the dates (or invites if you’ve decided against them) are the first glimpse your guests get into the day you’re planning. They suddenly make everything seem real and tangible and NOT THAT FAR AWAY.
Next week we’ll be getting into what you need to think about with your wedding stationery and how it can set the tone, but this week we’re focusing on the wedding stationery timeline. When’s too early? When’s too late? How long do stationers need? When you’re first engaged, 2 years can seem like a super long time to get everything sorted, but the clichés are true: time flashes by, and soon you’re on the home strait. If you want a bespoke stationery suite, these can take longer to plan and perfect than you may imagine, so we asked the fabulous stationers in our directory to help us with their ideal wedding stationery timeline, from conception to completion.
Calligrapher extraordinaire Laura Patrick says the first and most crucial thing to consider is how long bespoke wedding stationery suites will take to create. “Most designers will work with clients on a 10 – 12 week timescale from when the design work starts to their receipt of the stationery,” she says. “Asking for a whole list of highly bespoke finishes and paper goods that you need to send out ASAP often just isn’t possible. When you’re doing your research, do also bear in mind that a lot of things are created for one off styled shoots. Handmade french blue torn paper with whimsical hand calligraphy, gold edging and finished with tiny rose petals is easily produced for a shoot, but when you need 100 of these beauties, be realistic in how much it would cost and if it’s possible to get the materials to produce this in a sensible way.”
“If you’re looking to have someone design bespoke stationery for you, also bear in mind that custom design slots book up in advance as designers take on a limited number of clients a year.” Laura adds.
Every designer is different, of course – that’s what makes this industry so wonderful – but here’s a rough guideline of the timeline you need to be thinking about for bespoke stationery suites:
12 months before the big day
EYI Love, the kings and queens of gold foil and beautiful graphic wording, recommend doing this at around the 12 month mark. “You have hit the 365 day milestone and paper panic is on the horizon, so it’s time for some serious internet trawling for inspiration! We would recommend considering the kind of aesthetic you are aiming for on your big day and seek out companies who share a similar vision with the products they have previously designed.
If you are heading to more exotic climes to celebrate, or people are going to need a lot of notice to take time off work or organise childcare, now is the also time to consider ordering and sending your Save the Dates.”
9 months to go
Now, it’s time to discuss in detail your requirements with your chosen stationer. Whether that’s in person, or over Skype, it’s a fantastic opportunity to make sure you’re all on the same gorgeous, letterpressed page.
6 months to go
“Invitation ordering should be next on your list of stationery musts to tick off,” EYI Love continue. “Having decided upon a style and colour which will enrich the overall look of your big day and excite your guests, consider the wording you will use and decide upon any further extras you may wish to include. Remember that beautiful extras such as calligraphy will take extra time to accomplish, so organisation is crucial at this stage!” It’s also a good time to have a think about any other stationery details you’re looking for, such as place cards, table plans and menus, to integrate your wedding style. Thinking about these things now will ensure that your chosen stationer has enough time to do them in the next 6 months.
3 months to go
IT’S TIME! Ok, no, there’s still 3 months to go before it’s officially time, but now it’s time to send out the invites. This is the chance your guests get for their first full-blown look into your big day, so make sure you’ve got all those important details on there. When are you getting married? Where is it happening? What’s the accommodation situation? Are there any details they need to know: bring wellies if it’s an outdoor wedding, that there’s a pre-wedding party on the Friday or you have a wedding gift list set up? All of these questions will be answered in your stationery, so your guests can start to officially make their plans – and then the real countdown begins!