When you first think about wedding stationery, your mind will immediately go the wedding invitation itself, but there are many other possible elements of wedding stationery to consider. Most brides want to use a common theme, colour scheme and motif throughout their wedding stationery, so it is worth ordering it all at the same time to get a consistent look. Take a look at the following list and decide which items are necessary and within your wedding budget.
Engagement party invitations
An engagement party is a great way to announce your betrothal, and to kick off preparations for your wedding. If you are very organised, you could co-ordinate your engagement party invitations with the rest of your wedding stationery, but most brides treat this as a separate occasion, and many haven’t even set the wedding date at this point.
Save the date cards
If you are using save the date cards, they can be sent out up to twelve months before the wedding, and should introduce the theme and feel of the wedding to your guests. They can be less formal than the actual invitation, and are often sent in the form of a postcard.
Hen or Bucks party invitations
It may be that your maid of honour and groomsman take care of the arrangements for the bridal shower, or bucks party, but the invitations should still convey the type of event they are planning to hold. Recently many couples have chosen to celebrate together rather than having separate parties, and a well designed invitation can help to add excitement in the build up to the wedding itself.
A wedding invitation can come in many distinct parts that can be sent together or separately depending on your guests. The ceremony invitation will be sent to all guests attending the formal part of the wedding. There may be two reception invitations if you are having a wedding breakfast as well as an evening reception afterwards. You may choose just to invite some people, such as work colleagues, to the evening reception.
You may also choose to include directions or other enclosures in your wedding invitations. These could include suggestions and contact details for local hotels. If you are including a wedding response card in the envelope with your invitation, remember to put on a stamp for the guest to mail it back to you. Don’t buy stamps to mail out your invitations until you have weighed a complete invitation, you may be surprised how heavy they become.
Will you be purchasing a wedding album from your photographer?
A wedding program is essential for your ceremony, especially if you have a lot of friends or family involved in the service. It will tell them when they have to do their piece, and will let other guests know who they are. Co-ordinating the wedding program with the rest of your stationery will improve the design flow of your big day.
You will have put a lot of time and effort into getting the seating plan for your reception just right, so you want it displayed in a tasteful and easy to understand format at your reception venue. Ideally it will co-ordinate with the place cards and menus if you are using them.
Not everybody will find their exact seat from the seating plan, for most people the plan will just tell them which table to head for. Your place names will direct them to the right seat, and so should be printed in a clear font so they are easy to read from a distance.
Menus on the table are crucial if your guests have a choice regarding what to eat at the wedding reception. Even if they are all eating the same, a menu can be a nice touch to let your guests know what the dishes actually are. It is not always easy to tell the type of meat that is being served if it is covered by a sauce for example. A printed menu also lets vegetarians know what the meat free option is.
Thank you cards
Sending out cards to thank your guests for sharing your special day with you, and for their gifts, are absolutely essential. Most brides choose to use the same design theme as their wedding invitations, to round of the event in a seamless way.
Ordering your wedding stationery
Confirm with your wedding stationery supplier exactly when to order your stationery, but this is usually done four to five months before the wedding. Also check the turnaround time with your supplier, you may want to send the invitations out earlier than they realise. Ask about their payment policy, and if you are ordering many different items of stationery, see if they will arrange a discount.
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