Your Guide to Wedding Stationary & Invitations
Like most brides, wedding stationery is something we're obsessed with. We often get to see the invitations our brides decide on, and we love watching the way they set the tone of their wedding events with the stationary they pick. With that in mind, one problem we see many brides face is not knowing where to start when it comes to choosing their wedding stationery, so we wanted to take the time to write a comprehensive guide to help you decide.
First things first: don't forget to include wedding stationery in your overall wedding budget. Wedding stationery is often overlooked when budgeting, but it's essential to understand and remember that finding the right person for this will cost you money. While prices will vary based on several factors, the average cost of wedding invitations sits between around $350-$650 for most soon-to-be-wed couples.
It's also often assumed that 'wedding stationary' is just the wedding invitations. However, for many brides, it can be far more than that. While everything is optional and should be suited to your wants and needs with your wedding, here are some examples of other wedding stationary brides may go for:
Save the date cards
The purpose of a 'Save The Date' card is to let your guests know that they are invited to your wedding and should save the date you've chosen so that they can attend and celebrate with you. While these are not traditionally considered wedding invitations, they're very similar yet simplified in nature. A 'Save The Date' card for your wedding will be the primary information your guest will need to plan far ahead of time, such as the date of your wedding, a short detailed description of your wedding location, and the area surrounding where it'll be held. It also lets them know that your formal wedding invitations will be coming in the future. It's common for brides to send out save-the-date cards about 4-5 months before the wedding. (with your formal invitations/RSVP cards going out approximately eight weeks prior!)
Hen's Party Invitations
While invitations for your hens' party tend to be more informal, some brides send out invitations to their friends. If you're choosing a specific theme or style for your hens' party, sending out an invitation that showcases that can be a great idea. Your next question might be 'What would I even put on a hen's party invitation?" Well, hens party invites generally tend to have information like the address of the venue or place you'll be holding it (or a starting point if you'll be visiting several venues!) Along with the date, time, and your name, add a brief intro to let your friends know what it's about. Brides tend to get pretty creative with how they let their friends know it's time for a hen's party.
Interesting fact: a bachelorette party was initially named a hens party because hundreds of years ago, in the English language, women in any species were commonly referred to as 'hens,' and a grouping of women could be referred to as a 'hens party.'
It's always a cute gesture to send a card asking your friend to be your bridesmaid. While it's become quite the tradition to send some form of a gift or a box of goodies, don't forget to put a card in there too, it creates an excellent little sentimental item your friends will cherish long past the wedding day itself. Some brides will send gift boxes, a clothes hanger for their upcoming bridesmaid dresses, a plant such as a mini succulent or something similar, or even personalized champagne. There are many options on hand if you choose to go that route but a nice 'be my Bridesmaid' card is a great touch or idea.
Engagement Party Invitations
Sending invites to someone for your engagement party is always a good idea. It gives your friends and family a formal invite to celebrate the fact that you and your love will be spending the rest of your lives together. Just be sure to keep your invites to those coming to the wedding to avoid any awkwardness, though! (Unless they are people you will want at the engagement party that won't be able to make the wedding). Much like other invitations, you'll want to include the date & time and the location's full address. Also, let your guests know where you plan on having the engagement party (and who's hosting it if someone is), as well as how to RSVP and a short, detailed introductory phrase to let your friends or family know the purpose of the invite.
Without a doubt, wedding invitations will be an essential part of any wedding stationery you choose to use in the lead-up to your wedding day. Not only will they be the way you give your guests all the relevant and essential information that they need surrounding your wedding day, but they're also a unique way to showcase your style and a view of what's to come for the theme of your wedding. Of course, the wedding invites will always need all the specific information, such as where the wedding reception and ceremony will be held. In addition, you'll want to include what time each of those will be held and on what date. Also any other details your guests will need depending on the type of wedding you're planning for your special day.
An Itinerary for Extra Wedding Events
An itinerary is something you can use as an insert if you have any other events planned to surround your wedding ceremony and reception. These are usually just relatively simple inserts that hold the relevant information on the occasion, where it's going to happen, and what time.
Accommodation Info & Maps
Many wedding venues can end up being in harder-to-find places, so including the relevant information for some of the less tech-savvy guests is always a good idea to ensure everyone finds their way to the right place on your wedding day. Additionally, if you have a ceremony that requires a bit of travel for your guests, listing some potential accommodation options is always an excellent idea too!
First things first, what does RSVP even mean? We've all asked ourselves that at one point or another, and the answer is: 'répondez, s'il Vous plaît' which is French for 'Respond if you please". The purpose of RSVP cards is to understand who will be coming to your wedding and who may not be able to make it, a vital piece of information you'll need for your venue and overall planning. RSVP cards are sent out with invitations about eight weeks before your wedding day. Traditionally, brides tend to ensure their RSVP cards (as well as their formal invitations) match their wedding theme. It's also essential to have a date you require your guests to respond by. That way, you can finalize numbers with your venue within a reasonable time, generally three or four weeks before the wedding.
Wedding Ceremony Order of Service
Booklets or paper for the order of service during the wedding ceremony is a traditional staple at most weddings. However, the way it's planned out can differ depending on several factors such as the bride's style or religious processions, and more. Generally speaking, the order of service for the wedding ceremony covers things such as the Bridal party's names, the songs or music that will play during the ceremony, and more. However, some brides like to personalize these with beautiful words or quotes, memorials to loved ones that have passed away and thank you's to those in attendance, and more.
Seating & Table Plans
A seating/table plan is put on display at the entrance of the venue your reception will be held. This allows all guests arriving to see the tables they'll be sitting at for the course of the reception all in one place to avoid any confusion. These often go hand in hand with place cards that have the table numbers and names on them. Place cards are usually placed on/in front of the seat for each guest to let them know where to sit and table name cards on each table to identify which table each one is to help keep your guests flowing to their seats & tables to ensure the reception runs smoothly. Additionally, each table tends to have a menu card to cover possible food options (if applicable) or cover what's on the menu for those that may have some form of dietary restrictions. Menu cards are not always necessary, though, especially if you're only having a small intimate reception with appetizers, for example, or if you have a 'serve yourself' buffet for your guests.
Optional Extra Stationary
There are always extra pieces of wedding stationery you may want to add in or use for your wedding and ceremony. For example, a wedding guest book is a tradition most couples tend to choose and go for so that the newlyweds can have all their friends and family sign it during the reception or before they leave. Some brides also choose the personalize their signage for the venues for things like the bar, bathrooms, or other vital parts of the venue. Doing this allows your signage to match your theme but isn't a necessity.
Some brides may also choose to have 'Thank You' cards for their wedding or wedding-related events as a show of appreciation for all the lovely people that take their time out to celebrate with you. This isn't mandatory, but it's always possible if it's something you want to include. To keep the continuity of your overall wedding theme, you'll want to make these match the theme you've used for things like wedding invites or hens party invites and make these as personal as you wish to. These are very much an individual choice in terms of the information you want to put on them!
An essential part of all of this is that it suits you and your taste or style. Nothing on here is mandatory, so when you're choosing which wedding stationery you want to include in your planning, just be sure to prioritize what suits you and the theme of your wedding.
If there's anything on this list you think we missed, please let us know in the comments, we always love the feedback our community has for us!