Planning a wedding can get a little overwhelming at times, with all the budgeting and a to-do list that never seems to end - it's no wonder that couples can find wedding planning so stressful!
Once you've booked your venue, one of the first things to tick off the never ending list is your stationery, so I thought I'd write a brief guide to all things paper to help you with your planning.
SAVE THE DATES
Not a necessity but these handy cards are a particularly good idea if you've got guests that will have to travel a long distance for your day. They don't need to have a lot of information on them, just your names, wedding date and possibly location (if it's not going to be in your local area).
When to send them out: You can send them as soon as you've booked your venue, or around 10-12 months before the big day.
When to order: For bespoke designs, get in touch at least 2 months before you want them sent out. For house collection or 'off the peg' designs, order 3 weeks before your deadline.
Your invitations should include the key details of your day, including your names, the location, date & time along with any other helpful information you feel your guests may need.
By the time you order your invitations, you should have more of an idea of the colours and themes that will be shaping up your day. It's always great to include these elements in your invitation design too, as it gives your guests an exclusive glimpse of your wedding.
There are so many options when it comes to stationery suites, but the most common extras are RSVP and details cards. If you choose to send out RSVP cards, make sure you give your guests a deadline and allow plenty of time for them to respond (usually around 1-2 months, depending on how far in advance you send them out).
Details cards can include hotel and travel information, maps, menu details, gift ideas or anything else you feel your guests need to know before the day.
When to send them out: 3-6 months before the day but earlier is fine too, especially if you're having a destination wedding!
When to order: For house collection designs, get in touch at least 4 weeks before you want to send your invitations out. For bespoke designs, you need to book as far in advance as possible, as most stationers only take on a limited number per month, so I'd recommend booking at least 3 months before you want to send them.
Top tip: It may seem like an obvious one but when working out the quantities you'll need, make sure you only account for one invitation per couple or family, rather than one per guest and always order spares!
ON THE DAY STATIONERY
I won't go into too much detail here, because I could talk about this all day but here are some of the stationery items you can have for your wedding.
ORDER OF SERVICE
Whether you're having a religious ceremony or not, an order of service makes a wonderful keepsake for your guests. Couples often like to include hymns and readings, along with a guide to how the ceremony will run.
These come in all shapes and sizes but have a very important part to play. Speaking to my couples, I know that this can be one of the trickiest aspects of planning a wedding, so please don't leave it 'til the last minute! Try not to worry too much about people getting along, they're all there to celebrate you and your marriage so they will put aside their differences for one day.
These are pretty self-explanatory really, but you can take the opportunity to get a little creative and customise your table names, making them a bit more personal to you. Love Game of Thrones? (Who doesn't?) Name them after the houses. Or perhaps you've both travelled a lot together and would love to name your tables after your favourite places. We stationers love it when you personalise your stationery and your guests will love it too!
Whether you want one per guest or just a couple for the table, a nicely designed menu can certainly take your place setting to the next level.
PLACE CARDS (My favourite!)
Place cards to me, are the cherry on top of a stunning place setting, because who doesn't love seeing their name in beautiful calligraphy as they sit down to a delicious meal?
Like table plans, these can also come in all shapes and sizes, from pebbles to acrylic - I've seen it all! You can really get creative if you want to but sometimes you just can't beat a simple, yet elegant piece of calligraphy, handwritten on luxury paper.
When to order: For all 'on the day' items, get in touch at least 8 weeks before your wedding. I usually like to get everything sent out 1-2 weeks before the day.
I hope you've found my ramblings a little bit useful and if you want to know more about budgeting for your invitations, check out my last post for a handy guide.