In the Mail: A “When-to” for Wedding Invitations

The beginning of a new year marks the beginning of a new wedding season.  Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles answers some of the frequently asked questions about the most optimal timelines for ordering and sending wedding invitations. 

Congratulations! You’re getting married, you’ve locked down your dream location, and now you need to spread the word. Here are a few tips for a wrinkle-free work flow that will result in perfectly timed wedding paper.


When is the best time to send Save the Dates?

Save the Dates are usually sent anywhere between six and twelve months before the event. Consider sending them out on the early side if your wedding is in a location with limited flights and accommodations such as Aspen or St. Barts. If the wedding is located in New York City, six months ahead is usually fine. Be sure to include the hotel block information with the Save the Date and not later with the invitation because that’s when guests need it most. If everyone is invited to Friday night festivities and Sunday brunch, call it a “Save the Weekend” so that your lucky guests will know to book a longer weekend.


OK, my Save the Date is in the mail! When do I need to start the wedding invitation process?

Trusty sources say that invitations should be posted between six and eight weeks before the wedding, but here at Dempsey & Carroll, our clients generally prefer eight weeks out. Working backwards, producing fine engraved papers with hand finishes takes about six weeks and calligraphy of the envelopes takes  a minimum of two or three weeks. For design time, allow about three weeks. Faster results are certainly possible when required, but to get the most enjoyment out of the process, come to see us at least five months in advance of your big day for a stress-free, luxurious experience of a lifetime!


And what about the paper I need for the day of?

We usually start working on menus, welcome notes, ceremony program booklets, escort cards, and place cards right after we send the wedding invitations to print. All the paper then has a congruent feel for a perfectly polished wedding!


Spotlight on Emily and Steven


Emily Morrison and Steven Krall

June 13th, 2015


Lake Bluff, Illinois


On a flawless June Saturday, an absolutely lovely Emily and a dashing Steven were married on the inviting and placid shores of Lake Michigan, in Lake Bluff, amidst the verdant beauty that is Shoreacres. Entirely gracious welcome cocktails and a Sunday brunch took place amongst the mature trees and cooling shade of Lake Forest resulting in the perfect warm-up, and wind-down, for the big day.


Emily and mother, Susan, collaborated brilliantly as we created an expanse of needful papers starting with an elegantly subtle Save the Date. The wedding invitations were Empire (our largest) with hand beveled edges and rounded corners, carefully painted with Aquamarine ink. The text was hand calligraphed before being etched in copper for presses built long before any of our grandparents were born. The text was then engraved, one by one, with our stately Baron Gray ink. To complete the suite, a classic one-line response card and an literary card, all with coordinating edges, were enclosed in each hand calligraphed envelope finished with a soft and luxuriously simple aquamarine tissue lining.



For the day of, there were sweet little program booklets bound with aquamarine silk ribbon, hand calligraphed escort cards, and charming menus perched at each place setting. On the tables, the theme was completed by way of a provision of soft cotton stock with aquamarine bleeding borders that encouraged guests to scribble a few lasting thoughts for the delightful bride and groom to cherish.







Congratulations Emily and Steven! Dempsey & Carroll is delighted to have had a role on a most important day!