Timeline for Your Wedding Paper Suite

Photo by Jenna Marie Photography

Newly engaged couples can quickly find themselves in a whirlwind of deadlines once they pop the question. Between choosing vendors, signing contracts, and ironing out last minute details, there are a lot of things that need to be done between saying “yes” and “I do.” One topic I often get questions on is the timeline for everything to do with paper – invites, save the dates, programs, and more.

To make the process easier, I have put together a guideline of when you would typically want to do things like send out Save the Dates, order your Day of Paper Suite, and everything else involving the paper elements of your big day.

Order and Send Out Your Save the Dates
6-12 Months Before the Wedding

Order Invitations and Book Calligrapher
6 Months Before the Wedding

Order Invitations for Other Events (Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Reception, etc.)

6 Months Before the Wedding

Order Day of Paper Suite and Thank You Notes

2-4 Months Before the Wedding

Order Favors
2-4 Months Before the Wedding

Send Invitations
6-8 Weeks Before the Wedding

Send Invitations for Other Events (Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Reception, etc.)
1+ Week After Sending Invitations

Set RSVP Due Date

3-4 Weeks Before the wedding

Contact Anyone That Didn’t RSVP
Immediately after RSVP Due Date

Finalize Seating Chart, Escort Cards, and Favor Stationery

2 Weeks Before the Wedding

Send Thank You Notes
Within 6 Weeks After the Wedding
(Gifts received before the wedding should receive a thank you within 2 weeks)

Minted Spring Event and Giveaway

From now until Monday, March 16th, Minted is having a sale! They are offering 15% off of the entire site – from invitations to save the dates, everything is on sale. 

But wait, it gets better: I am raffling off two fabulous prizes: one lucky winner will win $250 towards Minted and one runner up will receive $100 towards Minted! To enter, all you have to do is comment below with your name and tell us what you would buy from Minted. I will announce the two lucky winners on Monday, April 13th.

If you need some inspiration, check out these gorgeous designs, or click here to explore the site yourself!


Envelope Etiquette 101

Are you wondering what to do when addressing an invite to someone who kept their maiden name? Or if a couple is living together but unmarried? Addressing envelopes is probably one of the questions that I answer over and over again.

Married couple with the same last name

Outer: The husband’s full name (no nicknames), preceded by “Mr. and Mrs.”
Inner: Don’t use first names; in this case, it would read Mr. and Mrs. Harbin

Mr. and Mrs. William Harbin
9319 Oak Bluff
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Married couple with children under 18 living at home

Outer: Children’s names are left off the outer envelope
Inner: “Mr. and Mrs. Burleson” on the first line; children’s first names on a line below


    Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Burleson
    125 Magnolia Circle
    Birmingham, Alabama 35213

    Married couple in which the woman has kept her maiden name

    Outer: The wife’s name appears first, on its own line; “and” indicated marital status
    Inner: Place “Ms. Olsen” on the top line; “and Mr. Hayes” is written below


      Ms. Olivia Olsen
      and Mr. Ethan Hayes
      62 Waterfront Road
      Seattle, Washington 98118

      Married couple in which the woman is a doctor

      Outer: The woman’s name is placed first, if the husband is also a doctor, the address is either “The Drs. Werner” or “Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.”
      Inner: “Dr. Werner” is written first; “and Mr. Werner” appears second

        Dr. Barbara and Mr. Robert Werner
        3747 Valley View
        San Francisco, California 94107

        Unmarried couple living together

        Outer: The guests’ names (ladies first) are written on two lines, without “and”
        Inner: Write “Miss Stein” on the first line, with “Mr. Richmond” below


          Miss Christine Stein
          Mr. Joshua Richmond
          43 East 92nd Street
          Apartment 6D
          New York, New York 10128

          Single person with a date

          Outer: Address this envelope to only the guest you know personally
          Inner: The words “and guest” are added. For example, “Mr. Paris and guest”. And never capitalize Guest.


            Mr. Matthew Paris
            1686 Stanhope
            Dallas, Texas 75225

            Final Tips and Tricks:

            • Never use first names on the inner envelope, except for children’s
            • Spell out state names, plus words and terms such as “Street,” “Road,” “West,” “Place,” “Post Office Box” and “Apartment”
            • Whenever a woman’s name appears independently – no matter the reason – it always goes on the first line
            • Include titles such as “Doctor” or “Judge” only if guests use them both socially and professionally

            Jaisa + Charlie: Cafe Brauer Reception

            Yesterday, I posted about Jaisa and Charlie’s morning and their ceremony at Saint Michael’s Church.  Today, there are lovely photos about their gorgeous Cafe Brauer reception.

            A very modern invitation.

            I love any cake with buttons!  The style would fit perfectly on my Gustavian pin board.

            I adore their linen choice.  It is very modern and chic!

            The gorgeous centerpieces.

            The menus matched the modern invitations.  Can I just mention one more time how much I love that linen?

            It’s always so nice to see family wedding photos displayed at a reception.

            A place card (not an escort card) with a pretty bow.

            I love the little touches like these.  
            Do you love the handmade map aesthetic?  I just love it!

            I love the little giraffes… they are my favorite animals ever!  So cute.

            Congratulations Mr. and Mrs!

            Lisa + Steve’s Peninsula Wedding

            I met Lisa over coffee months before the wedding because she was in town from New York City. As we talked, I was totally loving every word that came out of her mouth.
            … custom gown by local designed, Alice Padrul

            …maize and coral color scheme

            …rainbow cones?!

            …christmas cracker

            All of Lisa’s ideas made for a deliciously detailed wedding. I had the best time working with her and her family. Everyone was so sweet on the day of the wedding. Below are the photos from the morning until the cocktail hour.
            Band: Front of House

            Florist: Zuzu’s Petals

            Hair: Livia Caporale

            Make-up: Sonia Roselli

            Hotel + Reception: Peninsula Hotel

            All photos by Allure Photography.

            Lisa and Steve’s gorgeous letterpress invitation

            Is there ever a better dress photo than one that includes the Mother of the Bride?

            Lisa with her bridesmaids.

            With this ring…

            Isn’t the Alice Padrul gown just breathtaking?

            I adored the over the top arrangement for the escort card table.

            The cocktail hour in full swing!

            Visually stunning hor d’oeuvres on the terrace.

            Lisa’s wish came true, the rain stopped in time for guests to enjoy the outdoor space.

            I will post photos about the reception tomorrow!

            And the winner is…

            Jacklyn! She chose this gorgeous invitation from Smock.

            Her entry read:

            We are planning an elegant vintage/modern wedding reception at a historic Chicago church with a reception at an old golf course in Lemont. The colors will be black and white – likely a damask motif on our stationary – with a pop of green. The decor in the room will be lots of candle light and tall displays of white cala lilies – their exposed stems will serve as that simple pop of green in the room.

            I’ve always loved the look of letterpress. It is such a classic look and it truly can help us set the tone for a vintage wedding. Plus it looks so pretty and feels so nice when you run your fingers over it 🙂 I always try to print all of my event invitations on letterpress at work and I always wanted to use letterpress on my wedding invitations one day but felt it was out of my reach so it would be amazing if I could win it through a contest!

            I love that Smock has so many different designs and that they are eco friendly as well. Initially I was drawn to the first invitation featured on their page on your site. I love the classic script and I feel the design would work well with our damask theme.

            Thank you so much Kara at Magnificent Milestones for hosting this fantastic contest. What a wonderful way to kick off 2010!!

            Magnificent Milestones Fantastic Invitation Giveaway!

            Magnificent Milestones is teaming up with Honey Bee Weddings for a fantastic invitation giveaway. Located inside the Smitten Boutique, Magnificent Milestones is a gorgeous invitation design studio. Their selection is fantastic. Both Kara and I agree, the invitation sets the tone for the wedding.

            Here is a small sampling of their fabulous wedding invitations:

            To enter the contest:

            Ask the Bee: Belated Reception wording

            I am looking for wording for my wedding invitations. Two weeks after our ceremony, we are having a casual reception. Also, we would like to include our parents names on the invitation.

            Here is an example of a belated reception. Since you are planning on having the reception two weeks after your wedding, the guests will be receiving the invitation before you are married. Therefore, I would not include the wedding date on the invitation as it might confuse guests.

            Best Wishes!!

            Mr. and Mrs. Michael Thomas
            Mr. and Mrs. Steven Wilson
            request the pleasure of your company
            at a reception in honor of
            Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Michael Wilson
            Saturday, the second of October
            two thousand and ten
            at half after three o’clock in the afternoon
            Yellowgate Club
            Hammond, North Carolina

            If you have a wedding related question, Ask the Bee!!