What if you’re behind on your wedding invitation timeline?

A common question wedding calligraphers get asked often is “when should I send out my wedding invitations?”

In case you’re wondering that yourself, I wrote a comprehensive timeline about that here.

But what if you read that timeline and realized you’re already behind? What if it’s less than 6 months before your wedding and you haven’t designed your save the dates yet?

Wedding planning timeline tips from #thehandlettershop

If these questions are making you anxious, it’s time for a pep talk, and some actionable steps.

First of all, take a deep breath and know it is going to be okay. Your wedding day is ultimately about starting your life with your future spouse. The little details will make your day extra special and memorable, but the main event is about your marriage, not your wedding (yes, this is a wedding calligrapher telling you this–I’m all about building strong marriages first!).

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Your engagement doesn't have to be stressful!

Savor this time (and stay organized) with a free Guide to Engagement.

Second, I’ve got you, friend! I’ve compiled several tips to help you fast track your wedding invitations, without sacrificing quality. So if you feel like you’re behind, keep reading.

Skip the save the dates

If you’re less than 6 months out from your wedding (therefore behind on the save the date timeline), one option is to skip sending out save the date cards. Save the dates are designed to help guests mark their calendars for your wedding, but they don’t have all the details your guests need.

Instead, you might want to focus on getting your invitations out on time or even a little early. Plus, it is one less round of stamps, addressing, and running to the post office if you just send out invitations.

An alternative to skipping your save the dates is to download a printable save the date. You can customize the text, print at home and send them out without the rounds of revisions (and time) that custom stationery requires.

Wedding planning timeline tips from #thehandlettershop

done is better than perfect

Making decisions can be a long and drawn out process (like choosing what to watch on Netflix is for me). If you’re anything like me, decisions can be incredibly hard, especially when you’re planning the rest of your wedding too.

With “last minute” wedding invitations, it helps to keep the big picture in mind. Done is better than perfect, and your wedding invitations can still reflect you without taking months of revisions and tweaking.

Consider semi-custom suites

The beauty of semi-custom invitations is that the pretty details are already designed for you. Semi-custom collections allow many wedding calligraphers (myself included) to serve you with stunning stationery, even if you’re on a time crunch or a tighter budget.

Many semi-custom suites still feature custom calligraphy (like this one) and a selection of ink and envelope colors, so you can create a cohesive color palette without spending hours on the details.

Read more about how semi-custom invitations work here.

Simplify your design

Intricate details like custom illustrations, calligraphy and other embellishments add time to the creation process of your invitations. Anything that is customized on your invites requires a design proof, tweaks and finalization before the invitations can be printed.

Choosing a simpler invitation design (like this one or this one) can shorten the design process and get the invitations into your hands faster.

Embellishments like ribbons, wax seals and pockets can also add to the time needed to assemble your invitations. Going with a simple invitation card and envelope will make your process much faster if you don’t have a ton of steps to assemble each invitation.

Wedding planning timeline tips from #thehandlettershop

Use an invitation wording template

Don't overthink the wording of your actual invitation! Sometimes its easiest to write out the wording for your invites according to a template, so you don't have to worry about the formalities of what to say. 

Here's a guide on how to word your wedding invitations to get you started!


Grab your bridesmaids, your friends, and your close relatives, it’s time for an invitation party! Invitations often come to you unassembled, so to send out your invites sooner, bring in your squad and knock it out in one evening.

Get your envelopes printed

Hand-writing each address (whether you do it yourself or get them hand lettered) adds significantly to the timeline.

Choosing to have your envelopes printed can save to a ton of time (not to mention hand cramps from writing out addresses!). Printed envelopes can still look clean and modern, and create a luxurious feel to your wedding day.

Wedding planning timeline tips from #thehandlettershop

Make the most of your wedding website

Maybe you’ve put off designing your wedding invitations because you just don’t know all the details yet. Wedding websites can be a lifesaver if you’re in this boat!

You can instantly update your website as you decide on the details like attire and accommodations, so you can send out your invitations even if everything isn’t decided yet!

Another convenient way to save time with your website is to have guests RSVP online. You won’t have to wait for your guests to mail back their response cards, and you can compile your finalized guest list sooner (which will make planning the other details of your wedding simpler as well!).

Reference your website on your invitation or details card, mail out your invitations, and you’re good to go. It’s a win-win!

I hope you found this guide helpful if you’ve realized you’re behind on your wedding invitation timeline. My goal is to encourage you during your wedding planning process, and be a voice of reason even if wedding planning feels overwhelming.

A Guide to Engagement #thehandlettershop

Your engagement doesn't have to be stressful!

Savor this time (and stay organized) with a free Guide to Engagement.


If you’re still in need of wedding invites, don’t wait! Please feel free to reach out to me today for information about high quality wedding stationery design. 



P.S. For more wedding advice, inspiration and fine art curation, view the Pinterest Library here.