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Designing wedding stationery is one of the most exciting parts of the planning process. You and your future spouse get to put your own special touch on the cards while inviting all your loved ones to share your big day with you. Since you are ordering custom stationery, you need to mark it well in advance on your wedding planning checklist. Here is a timeline to help you order your invitations in time:

Wedding Stationery Timeline

12 months - order save-the-date cards and thank-you notes
If you have a large block of time in which to plan your wedding, you can order your save-the-date cards early. It's best to have some peace of mind and order them in the beginning of the planning process. Order thank-you notes early in the process so you can write and send cards as gifts are received.

Six months - send save-the-date cards
At the six month point you can send out your save-the-dates. This gives everyone a heads up that the wedding is coming soon, yet it's still far enough away that they can make arrangements in their schedule.

Four months - order wedding invitations and rehearsal dinner invitations
Selecting your wedding invitation can be challenging- you want it to be perfect. Give yourself plenty of time to order free samples and to choose the perfect invitation wording. If you choose to send a formal invite for your rehearsal dinner, order it four months before the wedding. Traditionally, this event only involves the wedding party and the parents of the bride and groom, but it's nice to send out printed invites anyway. You can send this card along with your formal invitations. 

Three months - holiday invitations
If you are hosting your big day over the holiday season or having a destination wedding, you might want to send the formal invites well in advance so guests can make travel and hotel arrangements.

Two months - escort, place and note cards
From six to eight weeks before your wedding, you should order your place and escort cards. These act as the finishing touch to a reception's decor and can help limit the hassle of guests not knowing where to sit. Have them arrive a week before the wedding along with other parts of the decor. You can also order custom note cards at this point as well.

One month - wedding invitations
Plan to send your wedding invitations so they arrive a month before the wedding. This gives people time to plan their schedule, pick up a gift and plan an outfit for the event.

One month after the wedding - thank-you notes
Be sure you send your thank-you notes no later than a month after your wedding. Your guests will expect you to be busy, but try to send your cards out as soon as possible.