Without invites you have no guests; without an order of service no one knows when to sit, stand, sing or applaud; and with no thank-you cards, you might come across as a little ungrateful.
Not only that, it’s the first opportunity to share your style and give everyone a sneak preview of what the theme of the wedding will be. So, whatever your wedding budget, don’t assume you can cut corners on the stationery.
That keepsake getting tucked away by your sibling, parent, or favorite aunt? It’s nearly always a piece of the wedding stationery.
So, here’s a handy checklist of the stationery you can’t do without.
Save the Date
Sending out save the date cards gives your guests the opportunity to get your wedding day in the diary so they don’t end up double booking and it allows people who live further afield to start making travel plans.
It’s important to remember that, aside from exceptional circumstances, everyone who receives a saves the date, must also receive an invite to the ceremony, so think carefully about your guest list before sending these out. Remember, save the dates do not need to be sent to guests who will only be invited to the reception.
Timeline: Send out 6-12 months in advance.
There’s a lot of information to include in your wedding invite packs. As a very minimum you need to include the invitations, an RSVP card, full location details such as an address, map and directions, and information about guest accommodation.
Timeline: Send out 6-12 weeks before the wedding.
Traditionally known as the order of service and sometimes now referred to as the wedding program, this needs to contain information about what will actually happen at the marriage ceremony.
See it as a timeline of proceedings that might include words to the songs or hymns being sung and any readings.
Timeline: Have these ready and waiting at least 4-8 weeks before the big day.
The basic stationery you are likely to require at the wedding reception will include a seating plan (even at an informal event you will need something to direct guests either to the top table or to sit wherever they like elsewhere), table numbers and names, and place cards if you have decided where people will be seated.
Timeline: Have this all prepared 4-8 weeks out.
To add a personal touch to your thank-yous, be sure to handwrite them and mention whatever it was that was gifted to you and why you like it. Even if you have asked guests for money to go towards a larger purchase, a honeymoon or a deposit for a house, for example, you should mention the amount they gave and explain how that has helped towards your goal.
Timeline: Post out within 8-12 weeks of the wedding.
This list is by no means all the stationery options available, treat it more like the essentials. You might consider invites to the engagement party or bridal shower or even signage and gift bags, tags, and notes for the reception. Once you have the basics covered you can think about any extras you might like to add-in.