Wedding stationery is an umbrella term used to cover all of the printed materials you’ll need for your wedding. While not a significant part of your wedding budget, your wedding stationery is important and should not be forgotten when you are determining how much to spend. Below we’ll talk about some of the basic things you need to know about your wedding stationery before placing an order.
Purpose of Wedding Stationery
The purpose of wedding stationery varies depending on the pieces you choose to purchase. However, the main purpose is to provide useful information for your guests. Whether you’re printing maps to show them how to get to the ceremony location or pew cards to tell them where to sit, all of your wedding stationery is going to assist your guests.
That means you’ll want to keep your guests in mind when you prepare your wedding stationery. For example, while you may want to choose a fancy script for your font, you also need to make decisions based on readability. Your wedding stationery won’t be useful to your guests if they can’t figure out what it says.
Relationship to Wedding Invitations
Your wedding invitations are usually the primary element of your wedding stationery package. As such, your invitation should set the feel for the rest of the materials, including thank you cards and wedding programs.
To create a consistent look with your stationery, you should use the same paper (at least the same paper color), the same ink color, and the same font. If your wedding invitations are flower-shaped, then consider adding flower designs to the other pieces as well even if they aren’t shaped the same way.
Generally, you should try to order your entire wedding stationery package when you order your wedding invitations. This way you ensure consistency and you can get everything in before you need it.
Wedding Stationery & Themes
Just as your wedding invitation should reflect the theme and formality of your wedding, so should the rest of your wedding stationery even if it won’t be used until after the big day is over, such as thank you cards and announcements.
Remember if you’re going to have a formal wedding, then you should stick to more traditional styles for your wedding stationery. Off-white, ecru, and cream-colored paper with blank ink is pretty standard for all of the stationery elements. You could add a ribbon or piece of tissue paper that matches your wedding colors.
However, if you’re having a more informal or casual wedding, then you do have more options. For example, if you’re having a medieval wedding in Las Vegas, you might want your wedding stationery to be printed on paper decorated with pictures of castles or if your theme is love you might want heart-shaped invitations and paper decorated with heart pictures, shapes, and stickers.
Wedding Stationery Elements
The big question is what pieces should be included in a wedding stationery package. Below is a list of some of those elements:
Invitation with envelope(s) – Obviously, the most important part of your stationery package is the invitation. When you order, be sure to order extras and make sure they come with appropriate envelopes.
Response card with envelope – The response card is also a mandatory part of your package and must be ordered along with your invitations since it will be sent at the same time. Remember that the response card should allow them to choose their meal option, if applicable.
Thank you cards – Although thank you cards can be ordered at a later date, it’s just as easy to put in an order for them when you order the rest of your stationery package. It should be similar in style and appearance to the rest of your stationery.
While the three elements above are must-have parts of the wedding stationery, there are some pieces which are optional including the following:
Reception cards – If you are having your reception at a separate location, you really need a separate reception card. Otherwise, it’s optional. The reception card should match the invitation very closely and should be ordered at the same time.
Wedding programs – Programs are distributed at the ceremony and provide important information about the event, including who is in the wedding party. Programs are common, but they are not mandatory.
Wedding announcements – If there were people you simply could not invite to the wedding, perhaps extended family members or co-workers, then they should receive a wedding announcement. The announcements should be very similar to the invitations in terms of style.
Place cards – For your reception, you may choose to order place cards that make it easy for your guests to find their seats.
Wedding favor tags – If you are going to be passing out wedding favors (also known as bonbonnieres) to your guests, then you may want to have special tags printed up that include your names and the date of your wedding.
Maps – Some couples choose to have small maps printed up to show guests how to find the ceremony and/or reception locations. These are mailed with the invitations.
Pew cards – For large wedding ceremonies, you may want to send pew cards to certain guests so that they will have access to specific seating. For example, you may want to ensure that your close friend gets to sit near the front no matter when she arrives.
At Home cards – These small cards simply include the name of the couple (specifically the name the bride will use after the marriage) and the couple’s new address. These are only really necessary if you will be moving after the wedding.