If you're at the very beginning of your wedding planning journey then one of your big questions may be, 'what wedding stationery do we need?'
The simple answer is, there is no right or wrong with any of it. You may decide not to have any stationery. (which is totally fine, but not so good for stationery business's like myself!) You may be having a very low key day and you may not need certain items. And then most of you will decide to have the stationery which is essential for making the day run smoothly, and then some of you will go the extra mile and have all the little details that will make your day feel extra special which are personalised and meaningful for you and the guests, which I just love working on, as this is when custom items come into play as every wedding is unique.
So always keep in mind that it is what you want to it to be, and what you want it to look like and the purpose of your selections.
Let's talk save the dates.
This is always a common query with couples asking, 'do we actually need them?' Again the answer is simple, it is entirely up to you. Some send out save the dates just for fun, but here are some reasons why you would want and need to send them out.
Some couples get engaged and may set a date that is one or two years away, (with some venues becoming popular you may have to wait until they are available) so it is a good idea once you have booked your venue to send save the dates to your guests to let them know when it will be so they know ahead of time.
If you are getting married abroad you may want to send save the dates to your guests to allow them plenty of time to get organised with their travel and accommodation arrangements to get sorted ahead of the big day.
If you have a very large guest list, you may want to get a feel of the numbers you are expecting before the invites go out. Once guests receive a save the date they will soon let you know if they cannot attend. Therefore helping you save on your invitations and you may want to replace them with another guest.
The invites I would say are the most important stationery element, as this is where you announce when the big day is, what time it all starts, the venue and location of the reception and it is also the first impression of what your day may be like, which is down to the style, colour and wording of the invite you choose, it is your guests first clue what to expect as this will begin to set the tone. You also may choose to include thoughtful details such as directions, recommend accommodation for them to stay at, dietary requirements and music suggestions. This is a nice touch as this makes the guest feel more relaxed about the whole thing and makes them feel more part of the day.
In this modern age we are getting married in now, and being on tight budgets, many modern couples are changing the way guests RSVP to the invite. A common approach is fitting an email or phone number on the bottom of the invitation so that guests can respond quickly at their finger tips. It is also becoming increasing popular for couples to direct their guests to their wedding website where they can message the couple and find out all the additional information too.
Although wedding invitations sets are still so popular and look amazing with the matching invite, details and an rsvp card which is most thoughtful for your guests to fill in and send back, so they don't have to go out searching for one. There is something so nice about receiving a letter in the post rather than using technology all the time.
Order of Service
An often over looked stationery piece is the order of service for your ceremony, as it is one of the very last items on the list to take care of as you won't of decided everything until further down the line. This will include the entrance of the bride, readings, signing of the register, hymns or songs, prayers and thank you's and the exit of the bridal couple. Which is a good guide for your guests to follow. They are commonly used for a church wedding. For civil ceremonies you may want to include an order of the day which would be more appropriate.
Table Numbers & Table Plan
Unless you are planning to have a 'sit where you like' approach at your wedding reception then having a table plan with table titles will solve this issue for you. Having your tables planned out for who sits next to who will avoid any confusion and avoid guests being uncomfortable next to people they don't know. Regarding the titles of the tables, many couples like to name them after something fun or meaningful to them which may match their theme or love story, which will create a great talking point.
Place cards come in many different varieties, you can certainly get creative here, the ideas are endless. Once your guests have found their table to be seated, they want to find their seat with ease, so make it obvious where their name is. Place cards can now double up as personalised gifts which will make every guest feel special as they sit down and they will want to take them home with them to treasure.
Depending on what your budget is for the day, and what your decor is like, some couples go all out and supply wedding menus on each place setting which can look stunning in your wedding photos. Others choose to have one for each table to pass around. And others may have one big menu sign so all the guests can see whats in store for the wedding breakfast. I have even had couples personalise each menu to each guest as they have had the guests select their meal before hand which is a nice and thoughtful surprise for the guests to sit down to. Again it goes back to your style of wedding and how you want your guests to feel.
Signs are a great way to direct and inform your guests what's going on as they navigate through your day. From Welcome signs to greet your guests, to your timeline of events that will make sure your guests won't miss a thing. Unplugged ceremony signs will make sure your guests remember to turn off mobile phones, and fun photo booth signs will let your guests know what to do without asking. They are a great and in-expensive way to keep your day flowing so your guests have the information like you do, avoiding any confusion and frustrating situations, like guests going missing when you need them around.
Stationery like favour tags, reserved cards, drink straw flags, gift tags for the wedding party, and advice cards are all extra special details that will make your day come more alive with your own personalities. The style and colours want to compliment your decor which will really help show off your day. These touches can be personalised which will give a thoughtful touch to show you have thought about every ones needs. And it is a chance to add some fun for your guests to interactive with.
So I do hope this has helped you decide on what you will need for your wedding stationery. A great tip before you start is: Navigate yourself through your day and think about what may be needed to make your wedding flow and how you can add those touches you know will make your wedding day shine from the rest.
I offer a bespoke design service so please get in touch for custom design work to bring your idea to life.