Wedding Stationery - What you need to think about and when
When you reach a certain age it’s easy to become fearful of the post. Your eyes are attuned to scanning the door mat and within a split second putting the cascade of letters into categories labelled ‘recycle’, ‘put unopened on the side and ignore for a few days’ and ‘that’s Christmas cancelled then’. However very occasionally something flops on your floor that requires a new category, one which we call ‘OOOH, exciting!’. Yes that’s right folks, we’re talking wedding stationery. Now it’s your turn to send invitations and here we’ll talk you through what to think about, when you need to and where to go to find it.
If you’re a close friend of the betrothed then this possibly isn’t the first time you would have heard the happy news, however if you’re the neighbour your parents used to live next door to…
“you remember Jill & Gordon, they used to baby sit you! Anyway we have to invite them to the wedding because we went to Sally’s….darling you MUST remember Sally, she was the dauhter from Gordons first marriage” etc
….then this little bit of card may be the first time they would have heard the news (unlikely considering how much Jill gossips). This little bit of card will not only tell them all the information required if you want a person to turn up somewhere at a certain time, it will also give them hints about what sort of couple you are and what sort of wedding this will be. This is the point at which your wedding theme starts so it’s worth giving it some thought now (as if you haven’t already!).
Now, like most things in the world of wedding planning there are things you NEED to do and things you really don’t. In their simplest form, the purpose of wedding invitations is to let people know where & when you’re getting married, what is expected of them on the day and they allow you to get a solid idea of numbers by asking your guests to RSVP by a certain time.
You could leave it there and all would be well, however if you’ve got a big budget or a penchant for parchment you may want to get deeper into it. To save money it’s worth thinking about all the stationery you may need and placing one big order rather than doing it in dribs and drabs. Also, by using the same stationer it will be easy to tie all the stationery together into a theme. Here are some things you may not have thought about, however remember you don’t NEED to do them all –
· Engagement party invitations
· be my best man / bridesmaid cards,
· hen / stag party invitations.
· Send about 10-12 months before the date. Especially important if you’re inviting people from far afield who will need to make travel arrangements.
· Send about 4-6 months before the date
· Information sheets can be added asking for information you need to know (dietary requirements etc) and giving information your guests will need to know (gift list, accommodation, schedule of the day etc)
· RSVP cards are an easy way your guests can indicate whether they’ll be attending and give answers to your questions on the information sheet. You can of course save money and ask people to respond electronically if you wish, this is becoming more popular as the environmental impact of paper is becoming more of a focus. However we find that including an RSYP card encourages quicker responses!
· You may want to send the invitations out in waves. This means if certain people can't make it then you can 'upgrade' some people in the next batch to day guests etc
· Road signs pointing the way along the route
· Table names / numbers
· Table plan
· Menus for the tables
· Favour tags
· Buffet food labels
After the day
Obviously if you employ a calligrapher to hand etch each and every piece of wedding stationery you require on heavy grade organic ivory eggshell parchment, the costs may become prohibitive. However, there is a way to get cheap wedding invitations without compromising on quality. If you’re handy with a ball point you could opt for DIY invitations. Although these may not be personalised invitations or designs, you’ll be able to choose from a range of designs, but they will require you writing some of the information inside – peoples names etc.
Hopefully your wedding will be a relection of the sort of couple you are and it's important that your wedding staionery is in-line with this. If you're having a country house wedding then your invitations should reflect the tradional feel of the day, however if you're having an urban wedding then your deisgns should perhaps be less formal. Think about what colour scheme or font best suits the day you're hoping to have
Making design choices may not be something that you do regularly in your day to day life and it can seem overwhelming, but just remember that your wedding is about you and your partner celebrating your love together. Like all the things you're now in the middle of organising, with a little bit of thought your wedding stationery can help make your wedding a day you'll never forget. Happy planning!