Sweet brides can often swoon over shoes, shirts and take extra care with skin care for their sepia snapshots and take stress relief while choosing their stationery.
An invitation is said to be the first signal of the atmosphere of your wedding.
There are many different elements that can make up a wedding stationery suite. What to use for your own wedding is entirely up to you, with the only absolutely necessary items being the wedding invitation and thank you card. But there are so many more pieces that can add a special touch or make things a little easier on guests.
Here’s a guide to picking your stationery:
Mayfair Engagement Invitation by Poppiseed Designs
An engagement is worthy of a celebration! Invitations to an engagement celebration can be as formal or as casual as you’d like. This is the start to the world of wedding stationery!
Save The Dates
Hitched Save The Date Card by Minted
Save the dates are a great way of letting guests know your wedding day well in advance to allow them to save for plane fares, book hotels and make arrangements for children and pets.
Save the dates are especially important if you are marrying on a holiday weekend, inviting a lot of out of state or international guests or choosing a weekend (such as a Grand Prix or a festival) where your wedding will be competing with other events (and thus guests will be competing with hotel bookings!)
Pre Wedding Celebration Invitations
Grater Kitchen Tea Invitation by Effi Georgia
Although showers, kitchen teas, hen’s parties and buck’s parties are often thrown by the bridal party or close loved ones. The invitations are an important part. They’re also a lot of fun!
Deveril Invitation by Bella Figura
Options for colours and styles of your wedding invitations are only limited by your imagination (and budget!)
It is often the custom for the invitation itself to be placed inside an inner envelope which is then placed in an outer envelope. The inner envelope is printed with the names of the guests invited to the wedding. The outer envelope has the name and address written on it, and protects the inner envelope from being soiled. This is very traditional, and for modern couples, a single envelope is appropriate.
Wedding invitations are sent out 4-6 weeks before the wedding.
Autumn Leaves Reception Card by Wedding Paper Divas
In very formal circumstances, the reception details may be placed on a separate card to the wedding invitation. This may also be used if the reception is at a different location and there is not enough room to place the information on your invitation.
RSVP /Response Card
Catherine & John’s Suite by Ceci New York
The RSVP or response card is a newer part of the wedding stationery suite (previously guests would use their own stationery to respond) However nowadays it is considered helpful to guests to provide a card for them to indicate whether or not they will be attending. The card can be blank and simply titled RSVP or can provide check boxes for attendance, number of guests attending and menu choices. You may even choose to provide a stamped, addressed envelope to make it even easier on guests.
Map from Paper Impressions
If the locations of your wedding are difficult to find, or you have a lot of guests unfamiliar with the area, a map is a great way to help your guests find their way.
Programs/Order of Service
Damask Order Of Service Cover by Pretty Inviting
These can be as brief or extensive as you’d like. You may include names of members of the bridal party, readings, hymns, directions to the reception venue – as much information, or as plain and simple as you’d like!
Ornate Band White Place Card: Bamboo by Wedding Paper Divas
Escort cards are much more common in the USA than they are in Australia. Normally displayed during cocktail hour or at the entrance to the reception, each guest’s name is put in alphabetical order (traditionally on a small envelope, though you can be much more creative!). Inside the envelope, or on the card, is the guest’s table number. Escort cards are used to guide the guest to their table.
Escort cards are a great way to have fun with your wedding theme- there’s a lot of room to be creative!
Love Light Seating Chart from Alannah Rose Stationery
An alternative to escort cards, the seating chart allows guests to find their names and their table assignment at a quick glance. Seating charts are often displayed at the entrance to the dining room of the reception on easels or hung on the wall in frames.
My Love Place card by Poppies For Grace
Designed to guide the guest to their seat once they are at the table, the place card sits above the plate (or if you’re a little more creative, on the plate, on the chair or beside the plate) and uses the guest’s name. If you have guests with the same name, using their surname will be helpful.
Moon and Star Box by Gravity Design Studio
Often accompanying your gift to guests, the favour tag can match the rest of your stationery. It may include a personal message to the guests as a whole, or try a handwritten personal message to each guest for an extra special touch.
Bronze Bead Menu by Cottongrass
From a five course dinner to a simple service of chicken and lamb to guests seated adjacent to one another, it’s always nice for guests to get a full description of what you’re serving them! Let’s face it, by the time the food comes, guests are usually pretty hungry and it tantalises their taste buds!
Table Numbers or Names
Table Numbers from Poppy Letterpress
Used to advise guests of their table and can be as decorative or as plain as befits your scheme.
Thank you Cards
All That Glitters thank you card by Paper Marc
A definite must, thank you cards can be printed in the same style as your other stationery. Etiquette dictates thank you letters should be sent within two weeks of receiving the gift. However honeymoons often throw this awry so two weeks from your return is suitable.
Added to all of the above you may also have:
- Rehearsal dinner invitations
- Accommodation cards
- Wedding announcements
- Weekend itineraries
- Guest book
- Day after celebration invitations
- Drink menus
- Reserved cards for ceremony seating
- Web site cards
- Registry cards
- Petal/Confetti cones
- Photo Cards (advising guests of where to send copies of photos they have taken during the day)
- Address Labels
If you can afford it, hiring a calligrapher to address your envelopes and personalise invitations with your guests names will add a luxurious touch.
There are also many different types of stationery available (including ‘Do it Yourself’ options if you have the time or are especially creative).
Hollywood Nights by Alannah Rose Stationery
Known as offset or flat printing, this form of printing can be done on a variety of cardstocks including plain and shimmer. Printing such as this allows you to be creative with your design as there are few limitations. You are also able to easily add embellishments such as ribbon later.
Lovebirds by Artisan Press
Letterpress stationery is beautiful and there is something luxurious about running your fingers over the inked text that is pressed into the paper. It can be expensive due to the printer having to set up a new ‘plate’ for each design. Thus personalisation of guests’ names is often not feasible.
Harvest by Louella Press
Engraved invitations are created using an engraved plate or die onto which paper is pressed. This creates a raised effect and requires thick cardstock. A costly option, it nevertheless creates a very special hint of the style and ‘quality’ of the wedding. Themography achieves a similar effect and can be cheaper.
Specialised (personalised) invitations
Invitation by Angels Dreaming
Some companies use other materials as well as paper, such as silk flowers, beading, fabric and ribbon to create invitations.
Do it Yourself
Depending on your skill level and the amount of time you have available there are many paper stores who will be able to provide you with the materials to create your own invitations. This can be an arduous task and may not always work out to be cheaper. To obtain a professional feel you may have to buy specialised cutting implements, embellishments and expensive paper. But it can be lots of fun and will really reflect a personal element.
You can be really creative with your wedding invitations. Some unique ideas include:
- A video message from the couple on a DVD
- A message in a bottle
- A scroll