You’re Engaged! Welcome to Wedding Invitations 101, part 1

Congratulations on your engagement! According to Wedding Wire, seven out 10 of the most popular days to propose are between December 1 and January 1. So it’s safe to say that I’m congratulating a lot of people today. If you’re like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and are planning a 2018 wedding then you should think about your wedding invitations soon.

If you are anything like me when I got married many many moons ago, your head is probably swimming in things to do and you don’t have a clue where to start. Well, now that Penny Post offers wedding invitations, I’m here to give you a little guidance. In a three-part series, I will give you the CliffsNotes of wedding invitations and sprinkle in some pretty pictures to get you inspired. Today we are talking timeline.


Save the Dates

You can never give enough notice to your guests, especially if they live far and wide or if it’s a destination wedding. Save the Dates should go out six to nine months before the wedding so folks can add it to their calendar and plan around your special day.


The Invitation

Now that your guests have it on their calendar, the lead time for the invitation is a little less stressful. The actual invitation should be mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding. That gives folks plenty of time to make their final travel plans and to respond.



That leads me to the RSVP. It’s always wise to request for final RSVPs two to three weeks before the wedding. Of course, that will depend on your comfort level and the demands of the venue, but two to three weeks should give you plenty of time to get a true head count to your vendors.


Thank You Notes

To show your true appreciation Thank You notes should be sent within two weeks of getting the gift. Because of that fast turnaround time, it’s always a good idea to order your Thank You notes when you order your invitations, that way you are prepared when you need to be. Don’t forget many wedding gifts will arrive well in advance of your actual wedding day.

The next important piece to add to your schedule is the printing process for all of these things. Each element of your wedding invitation suite can take several weeks to several months depending on complexity, changes, edits, and life getting in the way.  It’s wise to allot three months for the Save the Date and for the invitation package itself, just to be safe.

Now that I have thoroughly stressed you out, please know that we are here to make this a smooth, easy, and enjoyable process. Jenn Burch, our chief wedding consultant, has a graphic design background and has been working with brides for nearly a decade. She is well versed in all things invitations and is ready to help you make your wedding day as special as you ever dreamed it could be. To make an appointment with Jenn or one of our other consultants, simply email us.


  • The latest from Amy
Owner Amy Rutherford started Red Barn because she wanted to deliver a service — to provide both old and new in one place. No longer will busy shoppers be limited to reproductions or forced to shop multiple flea markets for the look or gifts they want. The trick in blending old and new, vintage and modern, classic and quirky, is balance. And Amy’s knack for mixing rustic antiques with urban chic has created a look that is both fresh and familiar.

Red Barn Mercantile opened its doors in September 2007 with a single vision in mind: providing old and new to offer our customers signature whole-room designs at great prices.

We’re more than a furniture boutique and provide more personalized service than a big box retailer. We work hard to bring you the highest quality furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall hangings and accent pieces, whether they come from off-the-beaten-track flea markets, or the latest designers.

1117 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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