Before you order your stationery it’s recommended to assemble a list of all the things you’ll need to be printed for your wedding. Review this list with your fiancé and figure out which pieces are essential for your upcoming nuptials. Many of the items in this list are optional, and depending on the type of wedding you are planning, some of these items may or may not be needed.
Before the wedding
Engagement Party Invitations
If you are having a formal engagement party, we suggest sending out invites one to two months in advance. Many couples include a romantic photo on their engagement invitations, and as a creative twist to this tradition, we recommend turning your favourite photo together into a digital illustration to feature on your invitations. Be sure to also include the location, date, time, and dress-code.
Save the Dates
Save-the-dates should be sent six to eight months in advance and should outline the location of your wedding, your date, and a note that a formal invitation will follow. For destination weddings, we suggest sending them up to a year in advance. Save the dates are not mandatory, but result in a higher guest acceptance rate. It also allows your guests ample time to plan and book their travel if necessary.
The Wedding Invitation Package
The formal wedding invitation should be sent out 3-5 months before your big day. The package typically includes the invitation along with response cards and other details of the event.
RSVP cards are a traditional way to collect guest responses when planning your wedding. Typically, they specify a “reply by” date, and are included with a return envelope to your address. They traditionally offer two options for guests to choose from, “accepts with pleasure” and “declines with regret.” There will also be a fill in the blank section for guests to write in their names. If you decide to collect your RSVPs online, it’s a good idea to still include a small response card in your invitation package with a link to your wedding website and instructions on how guests can confirm their attendance.
The wedding invitation is the feature item and is typically a 5×7” or 6×9” card. The invitation should include the names of the couple, the date, time, and location of the ceremony. If your reception is happing at the same place as the ceremony, you can simply state something like “reception to follow”. However, if your reception is taking place at another location, you should leave room on the invitation card to include these separate details. As an alternative, you can include a separate reception card.
Hotel Accommodations Card
If your guests will be traveling to your wedding, you should include an accommodations card with recommended hotels in the area, as well as all relevant booking information and codes.
If your wedding venue is in a remote or hard-to-find area, it’s a good idea to include a card that has directions and/or a map to make it easy for your guests to arrive at your wedding on time.
At the Wedding
If you choose to create programs, they usually include a brief welcome message and a timeline of the ceremony and proceedings. Programs also list the names of everyone involved in the ceremony.
Escort cards are used to direct guests to their assigned tables/seats, and are usually placed at the entrance table of your venue.
Place cards will rest on the dinner plates to direct guests to their seats. They are also useful to help the staff at your venue determine which guest is getting what meal option. Rather than the traditional paper cards, wood or acrylic place cards are a fancier option that also double as a personalized favour for your guests.
Menu cards list what will be served for the reception meal, and will detail the options to choose from (starter, entreé, and dessert).
After the wedding
Thank-you cards are a common courtesy to send to your guests within a few weeks of receiving their gift. Include the gift-giver’s name, the item they bought, and personal note of appreciation.
When designing your stationery, we highly recommend using colours, graphics, and fonts that compliment your overall theme and match your décor setup. To ensure that items are easy to read, make sure there is enough contrast between the colour of the text and background, and avoid choosing fonts that are overly decorative. When you order stationery from The Topper Shop, we make this process easy for you. We take care of the entire design and printing process, and can even deliver the invitations directly to your guests to help you save time.
95 thoughts on “The Essential Wedding Stationery Guide”
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