He just popped the question and you said yes! Congratulations! This is such an exciting, love-filled time of life. But the stress of the wedding planning can drain the excitement very quickly and suddenly your relationship goes from hanging out and having fun to talk about all the wedding things, ALL.THE.TIME. I get it, you've never planned a party for 300+ people. There are so many details to keep organized, so many things that need to happen in a specific order and quite frankly it's totally overwhelming.
You don't get to see the fruits of your labor in the early stages of planning and sometimes you just want to see something tangible coming from all your hard work. Your wedding invitations are one of those first tangible things in all of the planning.
There are a few things that need to happen before you can order those invitations:
:: Choosing a date and time is one of the first things. The length of your engagement needs to be something you are comfortable with, some are able to do all the planning and pull off a beautiful wedding in as little as 2 months. My husband and I had a 5 month engagement and wouldn't have wanted it to be any longer.
Take your family as well as close friends (bridal party) and their schedules into consideration because it is important that the most important people in your lives are able to help, attend, and be part of your big day. Once again, drawing from my experience. . . We got engaged in January. My parents own a greenhouse business and the busiest season is March-May. So, we were either going to need to have a super short engagement or wait until that busy season is over, so we chose June.
Time of year also plays a large role in when you decide to get married. Have you always dreamed of a summer wedding? Or do you prefer the fall months?
:: Compile a guest list. . . You should invite approximately 10% more guests than your target number, since between 10% and 20% of those invited will decline. This will aid you in looking for an appropriately sized venue. Having a guest list before you order your invitations will help you know how many you need. It's nice to have a few extra invitations in the event that you missed someone, as well as keep on hand for sentimentality's sake. But having a whole stack of extra is a waste of money and paper and end up being clutter that you will eventually throw away.
:: Next, search and book a venue that has an opening for the date you've chosen and is an appropriate size for the amount of people that will be attending. Keep the comfort of your guests and convenience of your vendors in mind: accessible parking, ease of going from ceremony to reception, short walking distance, kitchen on site at reception, etc.
:: By the time you are engaged you may already have an idea in mind of what theme and colors you would like use for your wedding: vintage, classic, elegant, western, rustic, etc. with corresponding colors. This is something you should have a decided by the time you contact the person who is designing your invitations as they will set the tone for your wedding. Your invitations are the first impression the guests will have of the type of event they will be attending. If you are undecided, the designer should be able to walk you through choosing an invitation style that will fit your wedding. Most designers are more than happy to provide you with a few different invitation proofs to choose from. But if you are very specific with what you are wanting that isn't always necessary and will, in the long run save the designer time. The designer will be able to help you choose a size and type of paper that will work well for your invitations, as well as a few other details. After the invitation design is decided, the rest of the wedding stationery can be designed to match (colors, fonts, design elements).
I wish you all the best in your wedding planning! Remember to take some time to still date each other, to spend time not talking about wedding. You will do great and will have a beautiful day!