The Ultimate Guide to Last Minute Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitation Template – Available from Loud Bride on Etsy

This post contains affiliate links and/or links to my own products. I never recommend anything I don’t love or wouldn’t use myself.

I’m a professional stationery designer and former bride who’s here to share, not just my knowledge, but advice from real couples. I’ve done extensive research over the past few weeks on where to get wedding invitations for all budget levels. And this week I’m covering where to get wedding invitations when you just need them as quickly as possible.

How fast can I get wedding invitations?

Whether you’re planning a wedding in a short amount of time or just let the deadline slip past you to order invitations, this article is for you if you need to send wedding invitations out fast and don’t know where to start.

You can get wedding invitations in as little as one day, or on average in 2-4 weeks. The fastest you can get wedding invites is the same day from local photo printing services like Walmart and Staples. You can get pre-designed invitations in as little as 2 weeks from most stationery companies. Custom wedding stationery takes the longest with 4-8+ weeks working with a designer.

Here’s a breakdown of 12 of the most popular companies for wedding invitations, how fast their processing and shipping time is and whether they offer same day pick up.

Wedding Invitation Printing CompanyTime to Process & ShipOffers Same Day Pick Up
Minted9-14 business daysNo
Walmart Photo5-7 business daysYes
Zazzle7 business daysNo
Vista Print7 business daysNo
Moo10 business daysNo
Magnet Street7 business daysNo
Shutterfly6-10 business daysNo
Costco7 business daysNo
Staplessame day Yes
Fedex Office5-7 business daysYes
Canva7-17 business daysYes (next day at Fedex)
Amazon10 business daysNo
Print It Yourself At Home0 daysYes
This is a table showing popular options for wedding invitations and how long it takes for them to process and ship.

As you can see from the chart above, most companies will be able to get you your invites in 2 weeks with standard shipping and processing options. Some of these companies offer rush shipping, which I cover in a table below.

The fastest way to get wedding invitations printed

The absolute fastest options are the companies that offer same day pickup – Walmart, Staples, and Fedex. Not on this list are companies like CVS or Walgreens, which also offer same day pickup if they have a photo center inside. You’ll need to check with your local store to find out.

I included printing invitations yourself at home because it is an equally fast option but I caution you to avoid it unless you’re familiar with your printer and know it will produce high quality results. If it’s gather dust in the corner from 2019, you can’t rely on it to have ink, not jam or need a cleaning. Suddenly what you thought would take 15 minutes is taking up your entire day. You’ll also need to make sure you have supplies like cardstock and envelopes on hand. If you need to go to Staples to purchase supplies anyway, it’s kind of silly when you could’ve been picking up your finished invitations at that point.

If you want to learn more about printing your own invitations, here’s an article I wrote about making your invitations.

When to send out wedding invitations

If you’re completely new to wedding planning, all of the timelines for when to book a venue, when to order invitations, when to get RSVPs back, etc can be overwhelming. Here’s a simple chart to help you figure out when you should send wedding invitations based on your wedding date.

You can read more about when to send out save the dates, wedding invitations, when to ask for RSVPs back and more in this post. If you’re behind this timeline, follow the advice below based on how much time you have to get your invitations out the door.

If you have one month to find wedding invitations

If you only have a month to secure your wedding invites, don’t panic. You’ve got a good chunk of time to pick out invitations that you like with most of the popular wedding invitation companies.

If you have your heart set on custom invitations from a stationery designer or ordering a custom illustration from Etsy, you’re not out of luck. Some designers will be able to work with a rush timeline to get you your invitations in four weeks or at least get you a design in 2-3 weeks that you can then print locally faster than they can print and ship them to you. You may need to pay an increased fee to rush the order, as well as expedited shipping charges.

Custom invitations in this timeframe will be harder to find if you need more than 150 invitations printed or a full suite of designs made with multiple pieces like a details card, RSVP card, etc.

If you have one week to find wedding invitations

If you only have one week before you need to send out your invitations, you can go with any of the most popular companies and still have time to order from them. But you’ll want to upgrade to faster shipping and processing times. Make sure you have room in your budget to pay $25-100 extra depending on the company to get your order to your door within a week. Keep reading for the full list of companies that offer rush shipping and what it costs.

You won’t be able to get a custom design in this timeframe. So a lot of the more luxury looks you see on Instagram or Pinterest will be out. Letterpress, custom watercolor illustrations, personalized monograms or crests, all take a few weeks to design and print. It’s much harder to expedite that process.

A lot of the designs available are beautiful and customizable to your wedding theme. My pick for the best designs is Minted. You can see all of their artist-community-driven designs for wedding stationery here. And check out my review of Minted in this post for more on why I think Minted is an amazing choice for your wedding stationery.

Custom wedding invitations from Minted – Available Here

If you have one day to find wedding invitations

If you need to print wedding and have less than twenty-four hours your best option is to pick out a pre-made design from Walmart Photo or Staples depending on what is closest to you. Many locations allow you to order invitations for same day pickup where you can get your invitations in as little as two hours in some cases.

When you’re in a time crunch, this is not the time to DIY. Don’t try to come up with a design from scratch or break out your Cricut to make custom gate-fold invitations. It’s best to go the simplest route by ordering something from a company that has a design for you to fill in with your information.

But let’s say you already have your design made, you just haven’t gotten around to printing it yet. Then I would suggest printing it at home for the fastest results. You can still send a template of your own to Walmart or Staples but if that’s not convenient for you or you’d like to save the most money possible, your printer is your best bet. You’ll need cardstock, envelopes and make sure you have enough ink in your printer.

I have a step-by-step guide to making your own invitations here.

Where to find rush wedding invitations

Where to find rush wedding invitations can be tricky to research. Especially if you’re short on time. We found the fastest options for you to print and ship rush wedding invitations.

You can find rush shipping for wedding invitations at most printing companies to get your order faster. Zazzle and FedEx have the fastest shipping options to get your invitations in 1-3 days. FedEx, Walmart, and Staples also have same day in-store pick up options.

If you’re willing to pay extra for rush shipping, here’s a list of all the companies that offer faster shipping times, how fast you’ll receive it, and what it costs. The rush shipping timeline below includes processing times. This is how fast it will take from checking out to receiving your order.

Wedding Invitation Printing CompanyRush Shipping TimelineCost to Rush Ship
Minted7 business days$35.95
Walmart Photo5 business days (standard)
Zazzle1-2 business days$65.90
Vista Print3 business days$35.49
Moo3 business days$36
Magnet Street9 business days$72.30
Shutterfly2 business days$19.99
Costco4 business days$19.99
Staples2 business days$24.99
Fedex Office1-2 business days$9.99-$19.99
Canva2-3 business days$25
Amazon4-6 business days$13.99
This is a table showing popular wedding invitation companies, how fast you can rush an order and how much rush shipping costs.

As you can see from the table above, in terms of fastest processing and shipping, your best options are Zazzle or FedEx. You can customize a template, place your order and have it at your door that same week.

The fastest rush shipping option for the price

FedEx is the best option in terms of price since the cost to rush it is only between 9.99 and 19.99 depending if you want it 1 or 2 days after you place the order. That’s extremely fast. And at FedEx if you need it even faster you can pick it up in-store the same day you order it for no additional cost. FedEx also has a partnership with Canva so you can get the same design templates that Canva offers printed and delivered by FedEx.

Zazzle charges a lot more but you can get a significant savings on that cost by signing up for Zazzle Black. Zazzle Black is worth it if you think you’ll need additional stationery items for your wedding and want to benefit from faster shipping and processing on all of your orders.

You can read more about Zazzle Black and what I like in general about ordering from Zazzle for your wedding here in my review.

Wedding Invitation with photo – Available on Zazzle

How long do wedding invites take to mail?

Now that you’ve ordered your invitations, addressed them, and are ready to send, just how long will it take before your guests receive the invite?

In general, wedding invites take less than a week to mail. Within the continental United States, the US Post Office will deliver your invitations in 2-4 days. For international guests, it can take weeks for them to get their invitations through regular mail service.

That means you’ll want to add at least a week of time to your planning before you should expect to hear back from anyone that they received your invitation. When you take into consideration the average time to order invitations, mail them out, and get guests’ responses back, the advice to mail out your invitations 2-4 months in advance starts to make a lot of sense.

What is the fastest way to ask people to RSVP to a wedding?

Again, I know you’re on a time crunch here so I’ll get straight to the point with my advice for how to ask people to RSVP to your wedding as quickly as possible.

The fastest way to ask people to RSVP to a wedding is electronically through a wedding website or email. You can include a response card with information on when to RSVP by, how to RSVP with a yes or a no, and any additional details about the wedding like how to provide a meal preference.

Including a response card that needs to be physically mailed back to you is the slowest option. It will add another week or two (at least) to your timeline since you need to wait for the post office to send it to you and then you need to manually record those responses as they come in. You also need to rely on your guests to fill it out and mail it. Yes, this is as simple as putting it in their own mailbox if they are in a house but if they’re in an apartment they may need to find a post office box or go to the actual post office in order to mail it out which may add a day or two of procrastinating.

With a wedding website, not only is it simple for your guests to respond (They can do it from their phones instantly.) but you can also seamlessly collect and track RSVPs all in one place. Then when someone doesn’t get back to you in time, it’s easy to follow up with them.

Need additional tips from other like-minded brides? Whether you’re planning a wedding at the last minute or on a budget, check out our free, exclusive Facebook group – Wedding Planning Club


Jaime is the owner of Loud Bride and Coast Designs LLC. She got married in 2017 in Geneseo, NY and designed her own wedding invitations and programs for the occasion. Now, she designs bespoke wedding stationery and affordable templates for other couples. She lives in New York city with her husband and two children.

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