First up: what is wedding stationery? Essentially it’s all of the printed paper elements required for your wedding. You can think of it as your wedding’s branding as it should reflect both the theme and feel of your celebration.
While your stationery will hopefully double up as pretty décor on your wedding day its primary function is to convey important information to your guests. Don’t naively think you can do all of this yourself – it will be a headache, it will probably look amateur and it might not even cost less! Hire one professional to design and produce all of these items for you to ensure a polished cohesive result that will have your guests oohing and ahhing.
- Save the dates
It’s a good idea to notify your guest list of the basics almost as soon as you know them yourself especially if you are inviting people who will need to travel. Just the date and location suffices at this stage. You can totally cheat by sending out free electronic save the dates.
These days lots of couples are opting to email their formal invitations too but nothing beats a beautiful tactile invitation. This sets the tone for your big day and give your guests something tangible to cherish and admire as the anticipation builds.
- Orders of service / programs
This is optional and therefore plenty of couples scrap this particular piece of stationery. If it’s something you’d like to have you can choose to combine the order of service with the program or print them separately. The orders of service are traditionally handed to guests at the ceremony and include the sequence of events such as vows and exchanging of the rings as well as any hymns and the names of your bridal party. Programs announce the running order for the whole day.
- Seating chart
Your seating chart is displayed at the entrance to your reception and instructs each guest which table to sit at. If you’re questioning the need for this read our earlier post. Large format seating arrangements on a canvas or framed board can be placed onto a stand. Alternatively print individual cards for each table which can be stuck onto a gorgeous big mirror (our favourite option) or dangled from a tree branch.
- Table numbers
Having discovered at which table they are placed via the seating chart your guests will need a marker to denote the number or name of each table in order to locate it. You might prefer to hire generic readymade wooden or perspex numbers to save costs and hassle if they fit well with your style.
- Place names
This is one that we actually recommend forgoing due to the complications that can arise (more on this also in our earlier post). However if it’s a must for you to allocate each guest a specific place setting at their table don’t forget to plan little cards printed with names.
- Favour tags
Again, not essential but it’s a nice touch to personalise favours to your wedding by attaching a small tag saying “thank you”. You might like to add a quote or motif that you’ve used elsewhere. These can also act as the place names.
Even though your guests won’t necessarily have options to choose between, everyone likes to know what they’ll be eating. There are various ideas from laying a narrow card on each or alternate napkins to providing just one menu on a small easel per table. Bear in mind that quantity equals cost. You could even chalk your menu onto a big blackboard instead.
Messages such as “welcome to our wedding” and “our forever begins here” as well as quirky directional signs are popular. Positioning is key to ensure these nice-to-haves don’t go unnoticed.
- Thank you cards
It is customary and polite to send guests a thank you after your wedding mentioning the gift they gave you and any role they played in proceedings. Everyone loves a real card! Some photographers offer to print cards with an image from your wedding or you can have them made along the same lines as they rest of your wedding stationery.
A special word to brides and grooms planning from overseas – your stationery is one thing that is easy to have done locally to where you live and then bring with you.
Whatever stationery items you decide upon, ask your printer to gather a collection of samples and keep them to one side. Otherwise you may realise too late that there is nothing left for you as a keepsake afterwards.
Schedule a viewing to find out more about beginning your wedding planning journey with us as Hudson’s venue.