How To Choose Your Wedding Stationery
Choosing your wedding stationery can be a very long and difficult process but it doesn't have to cause arguments or stress. Just like any other part of planning a wedding, the stationery might seem like a long and confusing process but I have broken down each stage here in this post. I've also chosen some beautiful examples to show you. Hopefully, this dose of inspiration and my simple guidelines will clear everything up and make the whole process a lot more fun.
|Image from the Wilde Garden collection by Hello Tenfold|
The Wedding Suite
The above images show a selection of beautiful wedding stationery. The first thing you should do is write down a wedding stationery checklist to find out exactly what you need. Here is the whole list so you can cherry pick what you need:
Before the wedding - engagement party invitations, be my bridesmaid or be my groomsman cards, hen party or stag do invites, save the date cards.
Wedding invitation set- wedding invites, RSVP cards, directions and map, evening party invites, wedding events itinerary.
For the wedding day - order of service, wedding reception programme, table plan, name place cards, table number or names, menu, signs for food and drink (if you're having a casual buffet style wedding breakfast)
After the wedding - thank you notes, change of address cards (if you're moving into a new home after the marriage)
This looks like a lot of paper, and to be honest it is! But don't get overwhelmed and remember, what you send is totally your choice. You could go all out or keep things really simple. I sent out digital save the dates instead of paper ones and my wedding invitations only include the actual invite, an RSVP card and a map. I'm also having casual tables as the food is being served "family style" for everyone to help themselves. This means that I don't need to have menus printed. I'm also not having a separate evening reception, so that saves paper too.
|Image from the Mr Boddington collection for Paperless Post|
Digital or Printed
I think it makes perfect sense for everyone to send out digital save the date cards, it made that whole process so much easier for Simon and I.
|Image from Hello Tenfold|
Think About Your Style
Just like the wedding location, flowers and colour scheme the style of your stationery should suit your personal style and be as cohesive as possible. Your wedding invitations will hint at the formality, style and atmosphere of your wedding - they can be a great sneak peek for your guests. Do you want something elegant, traditional, natural, modern or unconventional? What colours would you like your invites to be? You'll also have to think about the paper stock or if you'll print them on paper at all. The options are endless so make sure you do plenty of research. Maybe you'd like to make a mood board? Collect your favourite colours, designs and inspirations together and before you know it you'll have a really strong scheme.
|Stationery by Emily Rose Ink|
Plan in Advance
Your invites will lay out the whole day so it's important that you really plan things out in advance. Plan out how your day will go, this doesn't need to be set in stone but it will help you make some progress with the actual stationery. Take time finding the right supplier for you, visit a few wedding fairs and hop on over to Pinterest to do some research. If you'd like to make your own invites it will be even more important to plan everything out and make sure your guest list is rock solid. Try talking to any friends who are already married and see if they can recommend a wedding invite designer.
|Image from Rachel Marvin Creative|
Initially I really wanted to design my own wedding invites and dave the dates, as I think most creatives tend to. My mum reminded me that although it can be lovely to make some parts of the wedding yourself DIY-ing a crucial part can actually be quite stressful. So, I emailed a wedding stationer that I met at a trade show to see if she would like to collaborate and custom make a wedding suite for me. Grace from Meylor Paper Goods and I have been working together to design my invitations, RSVP postcards and map for the wedding, I’m sure that working with Grace has been so much easier than if I had designed them completely on my own.
If you don’t consider yourself creative I would suggest looking into custom made invites, (if that idea is within budget) as they will set the personal tone and style for the day. Your invites will no doubt be something that you treasure forever so making them as bespoke as possible is a really lovely way to go. Saying that, there are countless pre-made wedding invites out there to choose from. Some of my favourite invite brands are Papier, Hello Tenfold, Paperless Post, Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, Meylor and Katie Leamon. Off the shelf is the most stress free option but if you’re looking for something a little more personal you should consider a fully bespoke design or customisable stationery.
|Image from By Invitation Only|
The way you write your invites can say a lot about the tone and theme of your wedding. Do you want a traditional day or more of a laid back friendly one? Traditionally it's the bride's family who hosts the wedding so the invites would come from them with wording like "Mr and Mrs Smith request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter...". Simon and I aren't traditional at all, I'm keeping my own name (we're both feminists and proud) and the majority of the guests will be friends. We chose the following wording which feels more friendly to me "Simon Hacking & Nancy Straughan request your presence at the ceremony and celebration of their marriage".
You will need to include the following information in your wedding invites:
Your wedding date, time and place
Wedding reception venue and timings
Name of hosts
Full names of the bride and groom
Don't forget to include your RSVP cards with you invites, unless you're doing an online RSVP system. Whatever language or tone you use on your invites should also be used on the RSVP cards to keep all your stationery cohesive. I think the the RSVP cards can offer a fantastic opportunity to be creative and personal, they're your chance to have some fun.
|Image by Fine Day Press|
Ok, so you've decided on your wedding suite, whether you're going digital or paper, you've chosen the design and you've got the wording down. Now it's time to send those babies off, but wait! Make sure you've carefully checked every detail and text on your stationery before sending them. Have a friend look over them for you just in case you've missed anything.
Give your guests plenty of time to receive and respond to your invites, at least two months before the date of the wedding. Some guests who live further away will probably need even more time than that to organise transport. I'm getting married in Scotland and most of our guests are coming from London so we're giving them around four months to get organised.
Choosing or designing your wedding stationery should be a fun and creative process that enables you to prepare for the big day. Hopefully you've found this post helpful and you're excited to start picking out your invites!