Golden Hour Paper Calligraphy and Custom Wedding Invitation Design

fine art design for the modern sophisticated bride

When do you send out wedding invitations?

Madeline KellyComment

Wedding invitation timeline

Earlier this week after talking to a client, I looked through my blog for something I thought I had written on the topic of timing for ordering wedding invitations and then I realized, "I never wrote that blog!".

It was an odd feeling but put a little fire under me to write this blog and help so many of the brides out there that get lost on Pinterest trying to figure out what a good timeline is for starting design on their wedding invitations (especially if they want custom wedding invitations!) to when they should be ready to receive them and send them to their friends and family.

So, let's start with the date you most likely know before you contact a designer...your wedding date.

When do I send my wedding invitations?

Knowing your wedding date, we are able to work backward to know when to send out your wedding invitations.

Most of the time, wedding invitations should be sent to your guests 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. That is if the wedding is not a destination wedding for the majority of your guests. 

If the wedding is a destination for most guests you should either send Save-the-Dates out to your guests 6-8 months in advance so they can make travel arrangements or send your invitations 3 months ahead of time!

Continuing to work backward from your wedding date and wedding invitation "send date", we can start to come up with a timeline for when you should hire a custom wedding invitation designer.

How long does custom wedding invitation design take?

This answer varies for each designer! For Golden Hour Paper, which is based in the greater Portland area, we like to hear from clients around 6-8 months before their wedding day. Creating beautiful custom wedding invitations takes time and we like to get to know our clients well at the beginning of the process!

We work with some of the best printers in the business to have your dream wedding invitations printed perfectly (even offering services like color matching to a Pantone color you love!)

The printers we partner with have a turnaround time of around 1-2 weeks, meaning we like to send final files (of course with the stamp of approval from you!) around 4 months before your wedding date in order to receive them by 3 months. 

Your wedding invitations are then looked over to ensure they are all well-printed, are assembled, and then shipped to you - ready for finishing touches before heading out the door just in time for your guests to receive them 6-8 weeks before your big day.


*wait, I'm 5 months out...would you not consider designing my wedding paper?* 

If this is you, my best advice is to inquire right away! You can do so here and I will be in touch within the next 2 business days.

Also, there is this great thing called the semi-custom collection which makes the design process go much faster, is more budget-friendly (!) and they can have a quicker turnaround time.

Is your heart set on a custom wedding invitation suite of your dreams? I understand...So reach out and if it's a rush order there may be a small fee if we can fit you into our calendar. 


What can I do now to help the wedding invitation process design go smoothly?

  • I absolutely love when couples have Pinterest boards to give me an idea of what they love and the aesthetic they are looking for in their wedding invitations. 
    • Bear in mind that sometimes the things you see on Pinterest may be very expensive to accomplish but we love to help couples have a custom wedding invitation suite that also fits within their budget.
  • Your invitation wording. This is something you may want to check with your parents on or other close loved ones. I've written a blog post here that helps break down what typical wedding invitation wording looks like and common wedding invitation etiquette. I love helping my couples with any questions they have and would love to hear yours in the comments!
  • Any special details upfront, like if you want your invitations to be oversized or for them to be front/back, or printed on handmade paper. These details help us start the design process on the right foot and keep us from many headaches in the future.
  • Lastly, an idea of what type of printing process you'd like your wedding invitations printed in. This helps us also set up your files correctly from the beginning! You can read more about printing types and what their pricing differences are here.


Well, that's a wrap! Thanks for visiting - I would love to hear any questions or comments below!

All my best,
Maddy Kelly


custom wedding invitations portland
Pinnable timeline.jpg