Wedding stationery items
There are many wedding stationery items, some are obvious, like wedding invitations, other less so and new items come along as trends are introduced, often from another country. Here, I try to demystify the types of wedding stationery items for you adding an estimated order time for you, although most brides order all at the same time to make sure of availability.
Before the day wedding stationery
The old tradition of sending an engagement announcement card is now considered a luxury, but with the advent of digital invitations, they may become more commonplace! It does what it says on the tin, it advises that the couple have got engaged. Most couples are more likely to put an announcement in a newspaper.
Couples that are having a formal engagement dinner or are throwing a party will want to send engagement invitations. An engagement invitation can be pre-printed or personalised. You may decide that you want your engagement invites to be of the same design as your wedding stationery and start the relationship with your wedding stationery supplier as early as possible. Send out a few months prior to the event.
Save the dates
Save the Dates are a new trend that has come about by the increase in people living abroad. A save the date is usually sent out 3-6 months in advance of the formal wedding invitations, and up to a year before the wedding. It is a good idea to send out save the date cards if you are getting married abroad or you have a lot of guests living abroad. A save the date is also sent if you are getting married in a holiday season.
Wedding Invitations -
Day wedding invitations
Wedding invitations for guests that are attending the full day from the church/wedding venue through to the reception. It is a formal invitation and gives all the details of who is hosting, who is getting married, where it is taking place and when. Wedding Invitations are sent out typically 3-6 months before the wedding. They can be flat card, folded card, gatefold or pocketfold style.
Evening Invitations are sent out to guests that are not invited to attend the wedding ceremony or the wedding breakfast. They would typically be invited to join you ate the ceremony in the evening once dinner is over. Evening invitations can be of the same design as the day invitation with different text or they can be of a slightly different style. Evening invites are usually sent out the same time as the wedding day invites, but you may decide to wait and see how many regrets you receive before you send the evening invitations, so that you can "upgrade" the invitation. It is more difficult to send out a day invitation if an eve invite has already been sent!
RSVP cards are also called response cards or acceptance/regret cards and they are usually included inside the wedding invitations, together with a complimentary envelope, which can be printed with the return address. You should use RSVPs if you have a limited number allowed in your venue, but have lots of guests, that way you can make sure you make the most of any invites that are declined. You may decide not to use RSVP cards, but just have an email address or telephone number on the wedding invitations for an RSVP. It is always a good idea to put a return by date.
Extra information can be printed on matching information insert cards. This can include accommodation details, directions to both venues, including a postcode for sat navs and possibly a google map. You may also include an indication of your gift preference and any gift list details. information inserts are usually popped inside the wedding invitation envelope with the RSVP.
On the day wedding stationery
Order of Service
An order of service is usually a card with a printed insert, listing the running order of the wedding ceremony, the readings and the hymns. You can just state the name of the hymn and expect guests to use a hymn book or you can have the hymn verses printed in the order of service. Your vicar/priest can give you advice on what should be included, but be mindful of the added cost if there is too much text!
A wedding program is a list of wedding day events in chronological order, you may even include the time of each event. This is a great idea for event that are not having a religious ceremony and are staying in the same venue for the ceremony and the reception.
A seating plan is like a welcoming sign and is usually propped on a table, hung on a wall or stood on an easel outside the door to the dining area of your wedding reception venue! It shows the table names/numbers with a list of the guests below each number so that they can look and find which table to go to and find their place card. Seating plans come in many sizes and can be framed or unframed, depending on your budget.
Table name cards
Table name cards or table number cards are stood on each table so the guest can see which table to go to after locating their names on the seating plan. These can be tent style to sit on the table, flat cards that can be held by table name holders or popped inside a picture frame and stood on the table. The higher they are held the easier they are to see.
Menus can be flat card style or a folded card. You can have one or two menus per table or a menu on each plate setting.
Escort cards are a new trend and can take the place of a seating plan. They are small cards that have the guests name and their table number / name printed on them. The cards will be placed outside the dining room on a table, tied onto a favour or hanging from a line. There are many unique ways of displaying your escort cards.
Place cards are needed unless you are having an informal free for all on the seating. You will also be able to mix up the guests exactly how you want to and seat people away from touch paper situations! place cards can tent style freestanding cards or they can be flat cards. You can choose to have the guests names printed on the place cards for an additional charge or you can write the names on yourself.
Favour tags can be attached to your favours, get them pre-printed with a thank you message from the bride and groom. You can then place them on the tables or on a separate table somewhere in the wedding reception venue.
Favour boxes are a decorative way to present you wedding favours. A few sugared almonds take on a different look when presented in a small box with a pretty ribbon tied round it! You can buy favour boxes pre-filled or flat-packed for you to fill.
Wedding signage can range from a sign for the candy buffet table, to a sign showing the way to the wedding venue. They can be made to match your wedding stationery or be completely different. get wedding signs made from card or weatherproof poster board. Wedding garlands can also be hung around the wedding venue, a banner saying just married or one to signal where the cards/gifts should be left.
Wedding guest books are a lovely way for your guests to leave a personal message for you to have as a keepsake of your special day. A guest book is typically A4 in size and has blank pages for your guests messages. You can have a personalised one to match your wedding stationery or make your own. Place it on a table in a quiet place with a pen and a sign making it clear how you want your guests to use it.
Wedding Wish Tags -
Wedding wish tags are a new trend. You supply tags for your guests to write a personal message on and a "tree" for them to hang it on. The prettiest wishing trees I have seen have been made with a few bare branches sprayed with white or silver paint. the branches have then been stood in a large vase and the tags hung on the branches.
Post wedding stationery
Thank You cards
As it says on the tin, a wedding thank cards allows you to thank your guests for their gifts and their presence on your special day is polite and rounds off your wedding very nicely. It is deemed polite to send Thank you cards out within a couple of months of the wedding at the outside.