Planning 101 26th October 2013

Wedding Invitations and Stationery

First impressions are very important and through your wedding invitations, stationery and save the date cards you will be able to convey the style and theme of your wedding! Sit down with your husband-to-be and work out, carefully, what selection of stationery you like best.

The basics

Traditionally the bride’s parents sent out the invitations. Nowadays, it is more likely that the couple sends them!

Order your invitations at least 6 months before your wedding, earlier if your wedding is during holiday periods.

If your wedding is a long time in advance, during the school holidays or perhaps overseas, a save the date card or magnet is a great way of letting your guests know what dates to keep free!

Make it clear on the invitation who is invited and what part of the day you would like them to attend! The ceremony and the reception, or the evening celebrations only.

Remember to add a RSVP date to the invites so all your responses can be collated in time for the venue! You can use Wedding Planner’s free online Guest List Manager and Table Planner tool to help you keep everything in order!

On your invitations you may also want to indicate the dress code, for example, if evening dress is required the words "Black Tie" should appear in the bottom right hand corner. Alternatively, you may want to encourage evening guests to participate in a theme and dress accordingly!

Order 10% extra of your invitations to allow for any mistakes or to invite any last minute guests.

By ordering and writing out your "thank you" cards at the same time, it will save you time searching round for addresses at a later stage!

If your gift list was organised through a gift registry at a store, be specific about the gift you received!

Inviting children

Wedding InvitationThe situation regarding not inviting children can be tricky! Many parents will assume that your invitation includes their small children. To save any embarrassment you could telephone people before sending out the invitation or, you could include a short personal note saying, "Much as we would like to invite the children of all our friends, it is only possible to accommodate the children of close family".

If you are inviting small children and you have made special arrangements for entertainment, a bouncy castle for example, you may want to advise parents when you send out your invitation so they bring along appropriate clothing. Avoid addressing your invitations to "John, Janet and family"; if they have teenage children they might turn up with their girl/ boyfriends, too!

Sending your invitations

Send all your invitations at the same time. Include a stamped addressed reply card and indicate and deadline for responses. You may also want to include the following:
- Directions from the church to the reception
- A note asking for any special dietary requirements
- Hotel details for guests staying over night
- Your gift list
- If you are managing your guest invitations using Wedding Planner’s free on line tools or sending electronic invitations then the invites, RSVP and dietary requirements etc. will all be tracked automatically!

Perhaps think about including Wedding Poem cards and Guest Information cards:

Wedding Poem cards can be a great, quirky way of asking for monetary gifts and these can be included with your invites!

Guest Information cards are also a fab way of getting information out to your guests. They can convey all sorts of detail from accommodation and transport, to your policy on children and your gifts! Again you can pop this into the invitation envelope!

Other Stationery

1) Order of Service Sheets – these are the agenda for the ceremony and state the name of the bride and groom, the date and place of your wedding, the order of events and the music and readings included. If you are marrying in church, rather than have the ushers hand out hymn and prayer books, you could include the words of the hymns on your Order of Service Sheets. Make sure you check the schedules of events with your minister or registrar before having them printed!

2) Reception Stationery (coordinated to your theme if you like) can include:
- Place cards
- Table plans
- Lottery ticket holders or favours
- Table names
- Post box for cards and gifts
- Menus
- Cake boxes
- A book for your guests to sign
- Thank you cards

Your "thank you" cards could be your favourite wedding photograph made into a card!

For Inspiration, please see the invitation and stationery section on our website for an excellent choice of stationery and outstanding customer service to guide you through the purchase of your invitations and stationery.

Other Timeless Advice you might like to read:

‘Invitations- Wording Variations’
‘Guest Lists- who to invite?