Wedding stationery is often confusing for couples, as there are so many different sets, multiple-choice options and a lot of decisions to make.
If you have a wedding planner helping you, then they’ll be able to advise on the best course of action, but it’s still good to have a clear understanding of what each piece is for.
In addition to the actual purpose of each element, you will also need to consider the wedding stationery design.
Since it is the first element of the wedding that your guests will be exposed to when they receive their envelopes with invitation suite, it is important to ensure that these reflect and transmit the look and feel you’re aiming for on your wedding day. Think of the stationery as the teaser sneak peek for your guests.
Below you will find the ultimate wedding stationery checklist, which can hopefully help you navigate in this seemingly complicated question.
Remember that this list is in no way all-inclusive, and you can pick and choose which elements you want to have and which you want to commit.
Before the Wedding
photo sourced via Pinterest
Wilde House Paper
If you are planning a few pre-wedding events, or maybe you have opted for a destination wedding, you will need a few extra pieces of stationery even before your invitation suite comes along.
- Engagement party invitations
If you like throwing parties and entertaining, why not gather your nearest and dearest to celebrate your engagement? This bit can use a different aesthetic, and you get to work on your guest list a little earlier — usually, you invite the same people to the engagement party as you will for the wedding day. If you’re planning a destination wedding and know that quite a few people won’t be able to travel, it’s a chance to make them feel like a part of the celebration as well.
- Save the Date cards
Save the Date cards are there to notify your guests of the reserved wedding date in advance enough for them to mark it in their busy calendars. This can be done in digital or print form and is usually sent out as soon as you lock the date in — the earlier, the better.
Save the Date cards do not provide extensive details, but simply some guidelines: couple’s names, date of the wedding, and location, with a note that formal invitation will follow soon after.
- Welcome or Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
These can be included in the Invitation Suite or sent individually. But if you are planning any pre-wedding events, make sure to notify your guests with a separate invitation, as having this information on the main invites may lead to confusion, or people might easily miss this detail.
State of Reverie
The Little Norse Sea studio
The Bright Line studio
- Invitation card
The most important part of your invitation suite that provides your guests with all the details of the event: timing, location, dress code.
- RSVP card (with included self-addressed and stamped envelope)
These cards allow your guests to easily respond whether they’re attending or not and if they’re going to have a +1 (if that was something you allowed).
- Direction cards (maps, accommodation details)
Especially useful if you are planning a destination wedding and the majority of guests are required to travel. Maps can be done very decoratively, and accommodation details are there if you are arranging it for your guests instead of them doing it on their own.
- Inner and Outer Envelopes
There are usually two envelopes, the inner one holds the whole invitation suite together and is done in the same style and aesthetic as the rest of the pieces, with the invitee's names written on it.
The outer envelope is used for actual mailing, so names and addresses can be printed on them.
On the Wedding Day
- Order of Service / Ceremony programme
These can be used for both civil and religious ceremonies, and outline the key events of the ceremony, names of the bridal party, wordings that need to be repeated by everyone, etc.
- Seating cards (if ceremony seating is reserved)
If you wish to make sure certain spaces are reserved for certain people (e.g. front row for parents, immediate family, etc), it’s a good idea to consider seating cards to be placed on the seats (only those that need to be reserved is fine).
- Escort cards OR seating chart
Escort cards are more traditional in the US, but you can choose between either seating chart or escort cards based on your preference. Their role is basically to guide guests towards their designated seats at dining tables.
- Place cards
Place cards are name tags placed at the dining table seat. It can be separate, incorporated into menu cards or guest favours.
- Menu cards
Menu cards make a great addition to a place setting, folding in extra creative touch. Consider the overall aesthetic of the dining table when designing your menu cards.
- Table numbers
Cards usually put on the side or centre of the table for guests to easily find their way around the dining area.
- Favour tags
Guest favours are in no way obligatory, but if you do opt for having them, it’s a nice touch to have them personalised. If personalisation is not done directly on favours, they can be tied with a ribbon and a name tag.
After the Wedding
- Thank you cards
Thank You cards are usually sent after the wedding to those who attended and/or sent presents to appreciate their presence with you on such an important day.
We hope this list will help you navigate in this somewhat complicated world of wedding stationery. Working with your stationer, wedding planner, and creative director, you can come up with the best combination of pieces necessary for your wedding, and work on a unique personal design.