I uploaded this nifty little 2009-2010 Ordering Calendar for ya'll. The calendar shows recommended months to order your wedding and social stationery based on the month of your event. As always, it is best to order early - but should you find yourself in a panic with your event rapidly approaching - I do my best to accommodate rush orders. If I'm really pressed I can (depending on the type of stationery) get an order done in two weeks. The greatest exception to that rush two weeks is silk products. Silk products take on average 4-12 weeks to arrive from the manufacturer.
Weddings ... in the chart I show columns for save the dates (and/or engagement announcements), invitations & reception. The reception column speaks to table cards, escort cards, place cards, programs, favor tags, etc. I do recommend ordering everything together - around the same time you're ordering save the dates & invitations - however, with reception stationery you have a better idea of quantities once all your replies are in. You can always place your order early then we can adjust quantities as necessary prior to production.
When to Mail for Weddings ...
Save the Dates = Send 4-6 Months before the wedding
Invitations = Send 8-10 Weeks before the wedding
When to Mail for Social Events ...
Invitations = Send 4-6 Weeks before the event