What stationery will I need and when should I send it out?
Beautiful wedding stationery sets the tone for your big day by building the excitement of your guests from the moment they receive their gorgeous invitation in the post! It also gives them an inkling of the style/theme/colour scheme of your upcoming event.
Often invitations and matching stationery items are forgotten about in the budget, or designated to DIY. Be careful here as making your own stationery can be just as expensive and very time consuming/stressful. If you don’t have access to beautiful artwork, fonts, quality card stock and a decent design program /printer to put that all together, you may end up with a Microsoft word document monstrosity thrown together in sheer desperation.
You’re planning one of the most exciting, awesome (and possibly lavish) days of your life, so it’s a great idea to invest in decent wedding stationery to reflect that – something you can frame or pop in your wedding scrap book and look back on with fond memories.
So today I’ve created a checklist of stationery items you may need, what information you’ll need to supply your guest with and when to send it out in the post. That way you can think about it all well in advance, and won’t miss anything or have to make any last minute rush orders.
Before your Wedding
Most people think of the wedding stationery as being the invitation, but there are a few items you may need before you have even chosen a venue/wedding date.
Engagement Announcement/Party Invitations
Announce your engagement or invite close family and friends to an engagement party. Make sure only to invite guests who you plan on inviting to the actual wedding.
- Ask your closest girlfriends to walk with you down the aisle with a “Will you be my bridesmaid card”. You can also send these out to your groomsmen, Paige boys and flower girls as a lovely gesture (and to make sure they are available for your event!).
Hen Party Invitations
- If you’re having a particular theme for your hen party, it could be fun to send a card to the hens to set the tone.
Save The Date Cards
(Send these out as soon as you have booked your venue & know your date)
- In our opinion – the most important card you will post! A Save the Date signifies to the guests that they are invited and indicate your wedding date. Especially crucial if you are getting married in the spring or summer (and may need to compete with other events, weddings & holidays) or if you are getting married abroad and need to give guests advanced notice (to save for plane tickets etc.)
- These aren’t official invitations, they usually just feature the bride and grooms names, the date and some brief details of the location, town or area town the wedding will be held and explain that a wedding invitation will follow.
Wedding Invitation Set
(Send out 1 year – 6 months before your wedding date)
- Invitations invite your guests to your wedding ceremony and the following reception and inform them of the date, location, start & finishing times etc.
- Sent with your invitations, these cards allow your guests to tell you whether they are attending or not. You can also include a “dietary requirements” area (if your caterers need to know whose vegetarian, allergic to certain ingredients etc.) and a “song request” area to make sure you play the right tunes to get everyone dancing at the evening reception.
Our tip: Get guests to RSVP by a certain date – incase your venue/caters need final numbers, or if you want to order on the day stationery items (place cards etc.).
- These are for additional (night time/reception only) guests that may not be attending the ceremony. Evening Invitations just feature the reception venue address and start time and perhaps a phone number or email address for guests to RSVP to (if needed).
- Directions, accommodation, and gift list details are just a few things you can include on your guest information cards. They can also be used to let guests know if children are allowed to attend, or if confetti isn’t allowed at the venue etc.
Wedding Itinerary (Optional)
- This card lets the guests know if there are other activities planned prior to or following the wedding day, such as a welcome party/rehearsal dinner the night before, or a breakfast/brunch the following morning
On The Day Stationery
(Order 1 month before your wedding date – time to chase up those RSVP cards!)
Order of Service
- For traditional church weddings an order of service card/booklet is used for the service and contains the order of introductions, readings, songs & hymns etc
The Wedding Program
- Great for non-religious ceremonies, this explains to guests how the day will unfold from when photographs will be taken, the start time of the wedding breakfast to the cutting of the cake and the first dance. You could even have this printed as a large sign somewhere in your venue (perhaps as guest leave the ceremony) to save on giving each person a card.
Table Plan/Seating Plan
- Table plans are displayed at entrance of the reception area to show your guests where they will be sitting for the wedding breakfast.
- Place cards are set at the seat of each guest and inform him or her where to sit.
Table Numbers/Table Names
- A number/name you can place on each table so your guests know where to sit.
- This card informs the guests of what’s on the menu & wine list etc. If you are having a buffet instead, perhaps you could used place cards as little food labels instead.
After the Wedding
(Send these out asap after the wedding, but no later than 6 months)
Thank You Cards
- Thank you cards are sent out to your guests shortly after the wedding, thanking them for their attending & for their gift.
Our money saving tip: hand these out (have them on the tables) at the reception to save on postage stamps!
- To announce your marriage to elderly relatives/family and friends who couldn’t be there (perhaps with a photograph).
Other Stationery Items
If you’re wanting to theme your whole wedding day, you might like to use matching signage (“Ceremony This Way”), bunting (such as a CARDS banner), wedding favour tags, cupcake wrappers and a guest book etc. Work with your designer who should be able to create a whole range of matching items for you.