Custom calligraphy, invitations and wedding stationery should be requested at least 6 months prior to your wedding date, in order to give ample time for planning, designing, printing, and mailing. Ideally, Save the Dates should be ordered 9-11 months prior and mailed 6-8 months prior. Invitations should be ordered immediately after, 6-8 months prior, and mailed 6-8 weeks prior. This recommended timeline is based on standard wedding timelines. If you are planning a destination wedding, I recommend adding 2 months to the time frame.
A full invitation suite typically takes 8-10 weeks from planning to final packaging. For more intricate suites (custom illustrations, paintings, sketches) please allow 2-3 months. This time frame includes creating and reviewing your custom concept sketches and allowing time for revisions, painting your custom designs, digitally editing your designs, creating a beautiful layout with your watercolor elements and text formatted for print, and making any revisions necessary before print. I prefer to start planning day of pieces 1-2 months prior. Obviously items such as place cards, escort cards, and table numbers cannot be completed until you have your guest list finalized. In order to keep things on track, though, it is a good idea to have the design finalized and a plan in place so that I can begin work as soon as I have the list in hands.