Time to get started...
The average engagement is one year, which seems like all the time in the world to plan. My best advice is to have a solid guest list and set a budget from the beginning. These two things need to be known and followed at all times. Without a guest list or budget you wont be able to pick a venue, order food, or plan seating. I feel that everything falls around how many people will be there and how much money you are able to spend. So don't underestimate their importance.
But when do you start your invite planning? You can start as soon as you know these five things.
- Ceremony and Reception Venues
- Guest Total
- Guest Addresses
Most of these things you will know from the beginning of your wedding planning, It's that last little bit that people forget. And in a time where address books are on your cell phone, you might be realizing that you don't have many mailing addresses for people anymore.
If you are wanting to send save the dates you should get all of your addresses in line 6 months before the wedding, to send those out.
Invites should be sent about 6-8 weeks before the wedding, but if you sent save the dates you could shorten that a little to 4-6 weeks.
You'll need to get in contact with your invite printer at least a two months before you plan to send them out. If you are handwriting the addresses then don't underestimate the time that will take. I personally need a full month for proofing, printing and adding all the little special details. This isn't something you want rushed through. An invite is the first thing a person will see and it's not very often you get time to plan a first impression... So make it count!