After the flurry of breathless phone calls – telling friends and family, “We are engaged!” – the first bit of real information that most of your guests will receive about your wedding is the save-the-date card or wedding invitation.
Selecting the perfect wedding stationery is one of the most important tasks in the leas up to your wedding. It’s the first big announcement of your wedding, and lets your guests know well in advance what to expect from your big day.
When sending out wedding invitations to your destination wedding, be sure to do it early! A “Save-the-date” card should be sent out as soon as you have finalized your wedding day, usually six to four months before the wedding date. You'll want to give a time for the guests you've invited to be able to make arrangements to attend. We can help you to get your arrangements made with enough advance notice that you'll be able to send out those invitations with plenty of time to spare.
Below you’ll find a list of each wedding stationery item that you may need befor, during and after you wedding day.
A wedding isn't just about the big day - there are Engagement party, Bridal showers, Bachelor Party, Rehearsal dinners … to consider.
Engagement Announcements/Party Invitations
Hosting an engagement party is a great way to announce the big news to your friends and family and include them in your celebration. Be sure to include all of the information that pertains to the event itself, such as the date, time, place, city, state, and attire request, if any. If you have had your engagement photos taken, it is nice to include one of these with the invitation or announcement. Be sure to only invite those guests who you plan to invite to the wedding.
Bridal Shower Invitations
Bridal shower invitations generally hint at the shower's theme or colors and include all of the information pertaining to the party, such as date, time, place, and location. Hosts may also include small "memories" or "wishes" cards, which can then be presented to the bride as a collective gift from the group.
Bachelorette (Bachelor) Party Invitations
Bachelorette parties are tons of fun and usually have some sort of a theme to them. Carry this theme through to your invitations and get creatively funky with the designs! Invitations can be wild, vivid colors and should be a wonderfully fun keepsake for the bride (or groom) and her/his closest friends. These would contain all of the information that is needed for the actual bachelorette/bachelor party (date, time, place, etc.), plus any additional information needed for the party goers (travel, accommodations, instructions, etc.) This is (usually) a once in a lifetime experience, so go all out!
Save the Date Cards
Save the date cards announce your wedding date in advance of sending out invitations to ensure guests keep the date free. Save the Date Cards are usually mailed around three to six months before the wedding, although you could send them out as early as a year before. This is particularly useful if you're getting married during a busy holiday period, if you're inviting overseas guests or you are planning a destination wedding in the snow or on a tropical island. You'll need to give your guests notice that they need to plan for your wedding.
Choose a style of card that suits the invitation that will follow.
Wedding Invitation Set
Wedding invitations are the centerpiece of your stationery, and depends on the couple's event, style, taste, and budget. The wedding invitation is a card or set of cards that formally invites a person, couple, or family to a wedding. They are typically mailed out 6-10 weeks prior to the event date. Wedding invitations can be as simple as one invitation sent in a hand-addressed envelope or as detailed as a set of embellished matching cards sent out in a presentation box.
Whether it's a casual beach party or a formal black tie do, you may need to include:
This card is the formal portion of the set and informs the guests of the details pertaining to the ceremony itself. Couples generally choose wording that flows well with their distinct personalities, the level of formality of their event, or the event's theme. This wording will let the guests know who is hosting the event, the names of the bride and groom, plus the details of the ceremony (date, year, time, venue, city, and state). If the reception is held in the same venue, a line is usually printed at the bottom of the invitation that states "Reception to immediately follow" or something similar.
Wedding Reception Card
A reception card is generally used if the wedding reception does not immediately follow the ceremony or if the guests will need to travel to a different location. The card will list the address of the new location, the time that the event begins, and any details about the reception itself (cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, etc.)
Wedding Website Card:
A wedding website card notifies the guests of a couple's wedding website. These are very popular for destination weddings, as it allows the couple to post their detailed and current travel and accommodations information on the website. Guests can then easily access their webpage to find everything in one place. Guests can also visit the wedding website after the event has passed to view any wedding photos that the couple posts following their big day.
Weekend Events Insert:
This card lets the guests know if there are other activities planned prior to or following the wedding ceremony and reception. This could include such events as a Welcome Party, a Golf Outing, a Wedding Day Luncheon, a Late Night Barbeque, or a Goodbye Brunch. Generally, the specifics of each event are listed with it so that your guests can plan their travels accordingly.
Travel Information Insert:
This insert contains any pertinent travel information for the guests, including directions to a hotel, from an airport, or to a reception venue.
This insert informs the guests of the couple's hotel and lodging recommendations. This is a great way to notify and instruct the guests on any type of room blocks or discounts that are reserved with a specific hotel.
Maps sometimes accompany a directional insert and are helpful for guests that are unfamiliar with an area. This provides even more detail about the wedding and reception location and could also include the locations for other venues being used for weekend activities.
Response Card (with envelope):
This card is used to gather information from your guests. The amount and type of information that a couple gathers is up to them and could be as simple as just asking whether the guests are attending or not. Couples that are hosting a large wedding or an entire weekend of activities prior to and following the wedding might want to make their planning easier by asking for more information, such as: the number attending, a choice of entrée, what day the guests are arriving, where they are staying, whether they will attend any of the extra activities that are planned, etc. These details are quite helpful when finalizing plans with caterers and vendors. A response date is determined by the couple; this date guides the guests and informs them by when to reply. Inevitably, there will be some who do not send it back on time. Generally, a quick phone call will solve this problem.
Rehearsal Dinner/Welcome Party Invitations
Rehearsal dinner or welcome party invitations can either match the style of the wedding, or they can take on a look of their own, so as not to upstage the wedding invitations. If an event is being held at a themed restaurant such as Italian, Moroccan, or Greek, the invitations can reflect that theme with colors and style. All information pertaining to the event itself should be included, such as date, time, place, and location. It is also helpful to include directional information for your guests in case they are not familiar with the area. These invitations are generally mailed out after the wedding invitations and 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding.
Ceremonial Wedding Programs
A wedding program is a wonderful way of including and informing your guests of your order of ceremony, plus it provides them with a beautiful and memorable keepsake from your big day. These can range from very simple to very elaborate with the amount of information that is included. The purpose of a program is to let the guests know the exact order of the ceremony, but it can also acknowledge those friends and family that are particularly special to the couple.
The basic information includes the couple's names, wedding date, ceremony location, and order of events. Additional information that could be added to make the program even more memorable could be: the names, relationships, and bios of the bridal party, special quotes or poems, family history, name of the officiant, directions to the reception, a thank you to the guests, "in memory of" tributes to loved ones who have passed, and a thank you to the hosts of the wedding.
A reception menu is generally placed at the plate of each guest in attendance and informs them of the details of the meal they are about to enjoy. These can be as simple or as elaborate as the couple would like. Adding details to the names of the dishes not only gives your guests something to read and discuss with the other people while waiting, but also adds to their lovely set of keepsakes from your wedding.
Reception favors are a perfect way to show your appreciation for your guests' attendance to your ceremony or reception. These can be anything from handmade trinkets to homemade candies and cookies... the possibilities are endless!
An escort card escorts your guests to their designated table. These are generally placed somewhere near the main entrance to your reception room. Guests look for their names, pick up their card, and take it to their table. These are a wonderful way with which to carry on your wedding theme, as they can be styled and decorated to match the rest of your wedding stationery. Escort cards can also be combined with the wedding favors so that they serve two purposes!
Place cards are placed at the seat of each guest and inform him or her where to sit. Place cards are also a great way to signify to the servers the guest's choice of entrée. This can be done subtly with varying colors, embellishments, or symbols. These cards can also be combined with the wedding favors, so guests would not only know where to sit, they would also have a small gift waiting for them with their name on it!
A table card is used to identify the table to your guests, so that when they pick up their escort card, they can immediately recognize a table card that matches it. Traditionally, tables are numbered, but couples can also be more creative with their naming system by using flowers, sea shells, places traveled, pet names, and more.
A wedding guestbook gives guests an area in which to leave their best wishes and congratulations. These books can range from basic sign-in books to elaborate wedding scrapbooks, which hold not only the guests creativity, but also candid wedding photos, keepsakes, and wedding memorabilia. When all is said and done, this is one of the most treasured keepsakes a bride and groom will have in their collection.
Wedding favors are a charming way to thank your guests for participating in your special day. Homemade confection-iced cookies, chocolate truffles, fudge brownies, peanut brittle, candy-prettily colored and pleasing to taste-are always gratefully received. Tiny paper bags make perfect takeout pouches for baked goodies wrapped in way paper. To personalize plain white bags, detail them with velvety ribbon, silvered tassels, wired pearls, or a single seashell. What's more, your friends and family will appreciate an eternal memento of the love you share for each other.
Cake boxes and bags
Cake boxes or bags are a delightful touch for guests who want to take their slice of wedding cake home. With the array of boxes, bags and containers available, there is bound to be something special that suits your theme.
Wedding Stationery for After the Wedding
Thank You Cards
Thank you cards are sent to your guests shortly after the wedding, thanking them for their gift and for attending your wedding. Thank you cards are also used to thank bridesmaids, flower girls and the host of your hen party.
To announce the couples marriage to family and friends if couple have a small intimate ceremony or elope.
Change of Address Cards ( Optional)
Change of address cards can be useful if the bride or groom has changed their residence following the wedding.
Other Optional Wedding Stationery
If you’re planning a lot of venue decor ideas at your wedding, like having a sweet bar or dessert table, a photo booth, baskets in the bathrooms, a fingerprint guest book etc, then you need to think about appropriate signage and stationery for it. There’s nothing worse than a handscrawled or word/clipart sign to ruin all your great work. Worse, with no signage people mightn’t even use what you’ve created.
Common things you may need include:
- Wishing Tree Tags
- Wedding Guest Book
- Wedding Favour Tags
- Sweet Buffet Tags/Labels
- Signage ( this can indicate buffet choices, drinks choices, men’s and ladies’ rooms -basically any spot you can think to customize
- Thumbprint tree
Destination Wedding Invitation Etiquette
When making the guest list, check with family and friends if they plan to attend. If they wish to attend, you should make arrangements for your guests before you send your destination weddings invitations.
If you have only a few wedding guests, this will simplify the task. But if you're having several guests, you will need to include lodging information, maps and even activities and events around the area. All of this information should be sent with the destination weddings invitations. In lieu of that, many couples create a web site with this information and put the URL on the destination weddings invitations.
The goal is to have all of this information researched, compiled and sent to guests so you don't have to do it when they get to you wedding location. Additionally, the guests will know that you appreciate that they have traveled so far for your special day.