Complete Guide To Wedding Stationery

Wedding stationery is not only invitations and the table seating chart set up in front of your reception venue – there is a little bit more to it.

Wedding stationery includes invitations, RSVP cards, menus, order of services, name cards, and any other small bits that can be designed and printed for the day of your wedding.

You can also decide to go digital with some of your stationery. Digital stationery includes save the date emails and a wedding website for guests to gather further information about your big day.

As obvious as wedding stationery may be, during the planning process a few smaller items can slip through the cracks so here is a list of the most common wedding stationery items that you will need for your wedding.


PRE-WEDDING

Engagement Announcement

These are used to announce the couple’s engagement. Traditionally, these are sent out via post.

If you are looking to go digital with you wedding stationery, then this is a great item to have designed into an email and sent to your guests.

Engagement Party Invitations

These invitations can act as the engagement announcement as well as the invitation to the engagement party.

Be My Bridesmaid/Groomsman Cards

You will need your gals and/or guys around to help support you through your wedding planning journey, and most importantly to stand next to you on the day of your wedding.

The ‘pop the question’ can be a printed card attached to gift, or it could be a digitally designed item added to an email.

Kitchen Tea/Bachelorette/Bachelor Party Invitations

The bride and groom are not in charge of all the wedding stationery. The invitation for your pre-wedding parties is left up to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. We are not saying that you may not get involved at all and you may decide that you want to design these yourself.

If you want to be surprised on the day of your kitchen tea or bachelorette, let go of the reins and let your bridesmaids take control. Discuss a theme with them and what you would like to see on the day and the image that you want to have come across at the party and then put them in contact with your wedding stationery designer. By doing this, your bridesmaids have an idea of what you would like and your wedding stationer has already designed some of your stationery so they will know the general feel that you would like in the design of the invitation.

Save The Date Cards

Save the Date cards let you guests know that they will be invited to attend your wedding and should reserve the date on the card. Traditionally, these are sent out via post to guests that may need to travel far for the wedding so that they have enough time to prepare to travel.

It is important to note that the Save The Date card is not an invitation. It is simply a card with the name of the Groom and Bride, the date of the wedding and the town and country that the wedding is in. Make sure that you let guests know that a formal invitation is to follow.

If you are looking to go digital with you wedding stationery, then this is a great item to have designed into an email and sent to your guests.


THE WEDDING INVITATION SET

There is a lot more to a wedding invitation than just the invitation. If you decide to go the more traditional route and mail your invitations to your guests then it is important that the invitation envelop contains a number of additional items.

If you are looking to go digital for your wedding stationery, then it would be a great idea to email a designed invitation to your guests that directs your guests to respond either via email or perhaps through a wedding website.

All of items within the invitation envelop could be designed digitally and added to a wedding website.

The Invitation

These are the most important piece of your wedding stationery. The invitation invites your guests to your wedding ceremony and the reception. It needs to have the date and time of the wedding.

RSVP Cards

This is the first additional item that needs to be placed in the invitation envelope. These cards will allow your guest to reply to your invitation and tell you whether or not they will be able to attend your wedding.

If you are going digital, you could request that your guests respond via email or via a wedding website.

Directions

This card should contain information about local accommodation and have directions and a map to the venue to help out of town guests find their way to the wedding venue. If your ceremony and reception are at different locations, make sure that you include both maps and directions to each venue.

If you are looking at going digital, a website could be designed to include this information along with a map that your guests can use to get accurate GPS directions to your venues.

Reception Invites

It is common to invites guests to the reception and not to the ceremony. For the additional guests that might not be attending the ceremony, the Reception Invites are formal invitations to the reception only.

Wedding Events Itinerary Insert

This card lets guest know of any other wedding related activities that are planned before the wedding or after the wedding. Examples include a welcoming party for out of town guests, the rehearsal dinner, or breakfast or lunch arrangements the day after the wedding.


THE WEDDING WEBSITE

Modern weddings are going the more digital route with invitations, responses, directions and all other additional information that is commonly in the wedding invitation set. A wedding website is a great way to reduce the amount of printing that you would need to do for the wedding stationery.

A wedding website may not always be the cheaper of the option. Although it might save printing costs, you are likely to spend a similar amount of money on having a website designed.

The Digital Invitation

Still the most important piece of your wedding stationery – the digital invitation invites your guest to your wedding ceremony and the reception. The only difference that instead of sending it via post it will be sent as an email or as a link to a URL where the guest will be able to view it.

The RSVP Page

Instead of having a card that allows your guest to respond to your invitation, you can have a page on your website that allows your guest to respond by ticking a box or filling in a form.

Directions and Accommodation

Just like a business website has directions on their contact page, your wedding website will need directions to the ceremony and reception venues. It would also be a great idea to include accommodation options that are in the same area as the wedding venue for any out of town guests.

Additional Pages

The great thing about a wedding website is that you can add as much or as little information as you like. Give your guests the story about yourself and your partner, add a link to your wedding registry, and even give details about additional events that will be taking place around the time of the wedding.


THE WEDDING DAY

Order of Service

The Order of Service is used for the wedding ceremony and contains the names of the bridal party, the marriage officer, the plan for the ceremony as well as an songs that guests would need to sing.

The Order of Services differ vastly between religions and civil ceremonies, and are adapted according to the type of wedding.

The Order of Services may contain additional information that you may want your guests to read during the ceremony. This could be information such as bio’s of the bridal party, poems and “in memory of’ tributes to loved ones that have passed away.

The Reception Programme

This programme is used to inform guests of how the evening is scheduled to unfold. Things to put into the programme include the time that dinner will be served, when the cake will be cut, when toasts will start, and when the dance floor is open to them. There is no need to go into detail with the programme – a brief overview highlighting the main events of the evening is all that the guests need to know.

Seating Plan/Table Plan

Seating Plans are usually displayed at the entrance to the reception venue and show your guests where they will be sitting. It allows them to find their seat quickly and easily. The Seating Plan and Place Cards need to correspond.

Place Cards

Place Cards are named cards that are placed at each seat in the reception venue that inform guests where they will be sitting. They often form part of the wedding favour.

Escort Cards

Escort Cards are growing in popularity at the moment, and may even replace a seating plan in some instances. Tables are set up at the entrance to the reception venue and the Escort Cards are placed on the table in order of the table numbers. It should have the guest’s name and their table number on it so that the guest knows which seat and table he or she is assigned to. These cards allow guests to decide which seat they would like to sit in at the table that they are assigned to.

Recently, Escort Cards have formed part of a welcome drink. Think name tags tied to the stem of a champagne glass, or tied to the straw that can be popped into a drink.

Table Numbers

Table Numbers are used to identify the table to your guests. They will have picked up their Escort Card or seen their name on the Seating Plan and will now need a way to identify their assigned table.

Menu

The Menu card is used to inform guests of the meal of the evening. It can contain the food options that are available to them if you are having a plated dinner for the evening, or it can show them the set menu that is ahead. They are a good way to indicate allergens that food items might contain for the guests that have dietary requirements.

Guestbook 

Guestbooks are great to have as they allow the couple to remember who shared their happy day with them. Guestbooks come in many shapes and forms in modern weddings, ranging from a simple book, to signing corks and writing loved messages on polaroid pictures.


AFTER THE WEDDING

Thank You Cards

Thanks You Cards are sent to guest shortly after the wedding to thank them for the gift that they have given you and for attending the wedding. Make these cards meaningful to your guests by leaving a space on the back of the card for a hand written Thank You. Put effort into the message by thanking them for the specific gift that they got you and mention a moment at the wedding that you and that particular guest were together.

If you are thinking of going digital, have a template designed for an email and then personalise it for each of your guests before sending it to them.


Additional Optional Wedding Stationery

Wedding stationery has no end – there are so many bits and pieces that can make up wedding stationery. It all depends on the style and type of wedding that you are having. Here is a list of wedding stationery items that you might forget about:

  • Sweet Labels for a dessert/sweet table
  • Wedding Favour Tags
  • Buffet Choice Tags
  • Cupcake Flags/Toppers
  • Gift labels for the Mother of the Bride/Groom
  • Gift labels for Bridesmaids or Groomsmen
  • Signage

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