If you’ve started planning your wedding, then you’ve already realized that there are what feels like millions of details that need to be considered, vetted, and selected. If you think your only consideration when it comes to your wedding stationery is for a single invitation with the essential 411 (date, time, location), take a step back and consider the bigger picture. If you have friends and family traveling from all corners of the country (or world!) to celebrate your big day with you, you need more than just an 8 x 5 postcard.
Start your planning process by understanding all of the components of a traditional wedding stationery suite. Then, meet with your stationer so that she can guide you in selecting, designing, and unifying those components you need to ensure effective communications for your big day. What follows is a summary of the typical elements of a complete wedding stationery suite. While this is list is not comprehensive, some—or most—will apply for your wedding.
- Engagement Party Invitation. Whether you are throwing your bash for yourselves, or your family and friends are hosting, this will be the first opportunity for the most important people in your life to celebrate your coming nuptials.
- Save-the-Date Card. Whether you are getting hitched during wedding season or during a less popular time of year, expect your friends and families’ weekend availability to book up fast. Give your guests the courtesy of letting them know as soon as possible what date you have chosen for your wedding so that they can try to plan accordingly. Ask your wedding stationer for advice, but typically couples should mail their save-the-date cards six to eight months before the wedding. Click here for some save the date design inspiration.
- Bridal Shower Invitation. Once you have announced your engagement, your bridal party will want to plan a shower for you. You may even enjoy multiple showers depending on if you have family out of town, or if your groom’s family wants the chance to celebrate you separately. If your squad asks, refer them to your wedding stationer to ensure all your stationery elements share the same theme, colors, and overall design.
- Bridal Shower Thank You Cards. Your girls may be in charge of planning your shower, but you are in charge of sending the thank yous. Pro tip from your stationer: whether you are given a traditional, female-only bridal shower, or a jack-and-jill shower where both you and your fiancé are present, since, all of the wedding gifts are intended for both of you, your shower thank you notes should be written and signed from both you and your groom.
- Bachelorette Party Invitation – If there is an element of your wedding that deserves its own theme, it’s your bachelorette party. Click here for our top ten bachelorette party theme ideas.
- Rehearsal Dinner Invitation. The rehearsal dinner invitation is too often overlooked, but it is a critical part of your wedding timeline that needs to be communicated in advance, especially for those traveling out of town. The rehearsal dinner may include immediate family only and your wedding party, or you may want to make it a larger event that is open to all out-of-town guests who have taken on the biggest expense by traveling for your wedding. No matter who you invite, plan to send them a custom invitation.
- The Wedding Invitation Suite. Now that we have reached the part of the planning process where you communicate the day’s itinerary, you will need more than a single piece of cardstock to do the job right. Your wedding invitation suite may include:
- The outer envelope
- The invitation card with formal ceremony announcement and day and time details
- A reception card with separate date, time, and location details if necessary
- Directions and map
- Reply card and self-addressed stamped envelope
- Hotel accommodations card
- Registry information
- Possibly a belly band or box to hold it all together
- Day-of-Stationery. But wait, there’s more! You can’t forget all of the critical communication pieces that your guests will rely on during the ceremony and reception. Such items may include:
- Card table signage
- Ceremony program
- Dinner menu
- Signature cocktail drink description
- Pew cards or “reserved seating” cards
- Escort cards
- Place setting cards
- Table number cards
- Favor tags
- Post-Wedding Thank You Cards. Possibly your final chance to thank your guests, treat the thank you cards with as much care and attention to detail as you have given all other communication elements.
Feeling overwhelmed by all of these stationery elements and unsure how to tie them all together? Don’t be. Contact the experts at RSVP to me today. Our award-winning team will help you plan and customize every tiny detail so you can focus on enjoying your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.