Wedding stationery guide

Save the date

Many couples like to ask potential guests to keep the date of their wedding free, especially if some people need to make special arrangements, for example to travel long distances. Save the date cards may be quite simple, perhaps just outlining a few pertinent details like date and place. They may be produced in the same design as the other wedding stationery, if that has already been selected, but this is not always possible.

Wedding invitations

The wedding couple formally invites friends and family to take part in one of the most special days of their lives. As such, the design of the wedding invitation needs to reflect the personalities of the couple and show the kind of wedding the guests should expect – whether it will be contemporary or traditional, casual or formal. It is an honour to be invited to a wedding and couples like to express their warm feelings for the chosen guests by sending them beautiful, stylish cards to set the scene.

RSVP cards

Response cards may be enclosed with the wedding invitations. They should match the invitations in style, paper weight and colour, but they do not need to be as lavish. Unless they are the postcard type, matching envelopes should also be enclosed for the convenience of the invited guests.

Wedding announcements

It may not be possible to invite as many people as the couple would really like to their wedding (due to financial constraints, the size of the reception hall or the venue of the wedding), but the marriage can still be announced with style and flair. Wedding announcements may be as casual or as formal as the couple would like.

Order of service booklets and wedding day programmes

The order of service guides wedding guests through the ceremony. For religious services that involve guests' participation at various times (such as standing, kneeling, praying or singing), the order of service provides advance information so that those less familiar with a religious service can still participate appropriately. The words of the hymns and some of the prayers are normally printed in the booklet as well.

Regardless of whether the ceremony is religious, the wedding day programme may also credit those who are involved in the wedding, such as the choir, musicians and the wedding party.

Menus

A menu on each table or one per place setting is a nice touch whether or not there is a choice of dishes. If a selection of dishes is offered, the guests can consider the offerings so that they are ready to order their preference when the waiter arrives. If a set meal is planned, a menu can still be helpful, as it allows the guests a few more minutes to decide whether to request the waiter to leave something off their plate, serve a smaller portion, etc. It is also helpful to include information on any special dishes that may be available, such as diabetic, gluten-free or vegetarian.

Table plan

A table plan at the door of the reception venue provides helpful guidance for guests about where they should sit. With careful organization, there will be a steady flow of people moving to their seats and no crush. The table plan design may be themed along the lines of the other wedding stationery and should be large enough for all guests to be able to read comfortably. It should be placed prominently so that people can see it easily. Many couples like to retain the table plan long after the wedding as it provides a charming keepsake.

Place cards

Some couples like to use a table plan to guide their guests to a particular table, but then let them decide exactly where to sit. Place cards provide slightly more formal guidance and help to ensure that single guests are seated with like-minded convivial people so they do not feel isolated.

Wedding favours

Wedding favours may be presented with gift tags for an extra personal touch. Tags can be themed with the other wedding stationery.

Thank you cards

Couples will obviously want to thank their guests for their gifts and for making their wedding day extra special. Thank you cards can be themed to match the rest of the wedding stationery and should be printed in advance of the event so that they can be sent out within a fortnight or three weeks of the wedding. Even though printed cards will have a common message, the wedding couple should personally hand write a special note of thanks inside.