GENERAL WEDDING PLANNING TIMELINE
For many couples, their wedding is the biggest event they will ever plan! There are dozens of tasks to accomplish during the engagement, from buying your perfect gown and finding your "something old" to planning an exquisite meal and practicing your first dance. Even something as seemingly easy as your paper goods can take a bit of time, so plan ahead! With a little bit of organization, the process will be smooth and simple. Refer back to this timeline as you plan your invitations and other paper goods, so you'll know what to expect every step of the way.
SIX TO EIGHT MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Work with a Lavandula designer to create your Wedding Save The Dates. These cards can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like, but should generally match the feel and tone of the wedding you will be throwing, as the save-the-date is your guests’ first glimpse of the day to come. Many couples like to include an engagement photo with their Wedding Save The Dates. Once the design is to your liking, have it printed and send them out to your guests at least six months in advance. If you are planning a destination wedding, send them as soon as possible so your guests can begin making travel arrangements.
FOUR TO SIX MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Begin working with your Lavandula designer to create your wedding invitation suite, including the main card and any enclosures. Once you have approved the wedding invitation suite design, allow at least one week for printing. You may need to pad your timeline a bit more if you are taking advantage of specialty Lavandula’s print options, such as hand-painted illustrations, edge gilding or custom laser or die-cutting. Talk to your Lavandula designer to get a more specific timeline based upon your custom wedding invitation suite.
At this point, you may also choose to order matching wedding thank-you cards, so you will be ready for your bridal shower or gifts that arrive in advance of the wedding. You can also order custom marriage announcements by Lavandula if you wish to send them.
THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
If you are sending your envelopes to a calligrapher, expect the process to take two to three weeks. The calligrapher can address both the outer and inner envelopes, and you’ll need to provide a complete guest list with all addresses, ZIP codes, and how you would like each family or couple to be addressed. Once you receive the envelopes back, allow a few days to stuff and stamp the envelopes. Be sure to take a complete invitation suite to the post office to be weighed before affixing postage to all the envelopes. You don’t want your beautiful invitations stamped “return to sender” due to insufficient postage!
TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Send your wedding invitations. Be sure to allow an extra week or two for invitations that may be traveling overseas, and ensure these have the correct extra postage. Wait for the responses to come in!
THREE TO FOUR MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Your reply-by date should be based on when your caterer needs a final headcount, usually at least three weeks before the wedding. The day after the deadline has passed, begin calling guests that have not responded by mail.
ONE TO TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING
By now you should have worked out the details of the marriage ceremony with your officiant, the menu should be finalized, and you should have heard back from all your guests so you can finalize seating arrangements. It’s time to get your programs, menus and place cards ordered, as well as escort cards if you will be having them. Your Lavandula invitation designer will be able to utilize elements from your invitation suite to create cohesion among these paper goods.
DAY OF THE WEDDING
If you have ordered marriage announcements, have one of your attendants drop them in the mail after the ceremony. It’s official!
AFTER THE WEDDING
Begin sending thank-you notes as soon as possible after the honeymoon. Let your guests know how much their presence at your wedding meant to you, and thank them for their gift if they gave one. You can begin writing thank-you notes before the wedding as well, if guests choose to deliver gifts in advance, or if you receive gifts at any showers or engagement parties thrown in your honor; doing so will put less stress on you after the wedding, so you can relax into married life!