There are so many things to organise before a wedding ceremony and reception. One of those is your wedding invitations and wedding stationery The cards and papers you'll need to arrange your wedding from beginning to end.
What Wedding Stationery Do You Need?
Save the date cards, invitations/RSVPs, table plans and place cards are all necessary. Guest books aren't strictly needed, but provide you with lifelong memories. Thank you cards aren't needed either but they are a good way of thanking your guests for taking the time out to attend your wedding.
Truth be told, you don't need every piece of stationery that's available. For a smaller, non-traditional wedding you can make savings by only sticking to the essentials. It's these essentials that are covered below.
Save the date cards are an essential tool in the build-up to the wedding. They are an official way of telling people you're getting married but crucially they're sent out long in advance of the actual date of the ceremony. This gives people the time to book time off work. your would only send a save the date card to those who are invited to the wedding ceremony, not the evening reception.
Is it Possible to Skip Save the Date Cards?
You could take the approach of messaging each of the guests directly. However, there are a few reasons why it's better to take a formal approach. Let's say you message your friends online, one by one. Well, the drawbacks to doing things this way are:
• People are less likely to take your request seriously. Right or wrong, they may not think you're serious about your plans!
• People can forget. How many times have you messaged a friend, only for them to forget to respond? And how many times have you put off replying to a message or a text? It happens all the time.
• It's easier to lose track of who you have and haven't told. You could end up forgetting one or more of your guests entirely by accident.
• It's nice to have a proper wedding! While it's good to save money here and there, there's joy to be had in more formal wedding arrangements.
Besides, save the date cards are cheap anyway. You would hardly be saving anything by skimping on them, but at the same time, you would make your wedding that bit harder to organise.
Invitations are formal invites to a wedding. A save the date doesn't count as an actual invitation, only a proper invitation does. But it's what the invitation comes with that's most important.
Wedding invites typically come with RSVPs, which is an acronym for the French term Répondez s'il vous plaît (which means 'please respond'). This is a vital part of wedding planning, because it gives people the opportunity to say it they can attend or not. This avoids embarrassing misunderstandings, where you're down a bridesmaid or there's a half empty table at the reception. Essentially, RSVPs give you time to change your plans if you have to.
The RSVP itself is typically a small card. The idea is that it's sent back to you, the sender, with a response addressing whether the person will be attending.
Invitations can also come with other pieces of stationery. You can send a plan for the day along with the invitation so for example the ceremony starts at 2pm, the reception starts at 4pm at The Manor Arms and so on. This will help your guests plan their days and help then figure out whether they can drive or if they need a taxi, and where to park.
You can't get away with not sending invitations. The functions of the RSVP and the day plan are simply too important to be ignored, both for you and for the guests.
For the day of the wedding itself, you'll need some sort of wedding stationery. Again, it's going to be vital for helping your guests find their seats. Specifically, both table plans and place cards can help with this.
A table plan is a large piece of card that sits on an easel somewhere that it can be displayed for all the guests to see. On it will be a diagram of the tables, showing where everybody's due to sit. You can make a table plan with just the names of the guests on it, although this can be harder to understand.
Place cards are another way of showing people to their places. They're small cards, around the size of business cards, which sit in front of each place on each table. The card features the person's name, and can have a small design on it. The card can also feature text saying 'Mother of the Bride' or similar, depending on the person's role at the wedding.
If you've never worked in a restaurant that takes large bookings, or been to a badly organised wedding reception before you may not know how easily it can go wrong! If two people who don't like each other end up on the same table, then after a few glasses of wine, they can easily make a scene.
Not only that, but it's not uncommon for the restaurant to be given a seating plan in advance along with the guests' orders. Having everybody sat in the right place makes it easier for the staff to find each person, and prevents any irritations like people getting the wrong food.
Guest books aren't an essential piece of kit, but are lovely to have all the same. They're small flip books which each guest is encouraged to write in, leaving a message for the happy couple. They'll usually have the words 'Guest Book', or something similar, on the front to indicate what they are. There are also some great guestbook alternatives available online such as wishing trees, jars and fingerprint frames.
So, you could easily get away with not having one. But bringing one to your wedding and having each of your guests sign it is a way of making memories that last a lifetime. Greeting cards are mislaid or thrown away, because they take up so much space if you keep them all; but a guest book keeps all the well-wishes in one place, in one book that can be easily picked up and looked at any time.
You also have to think about wedding stationery for after the big day. Thank You cards are the last piece of stationery you'll have to consider and they're exactly what they sound like a card like a regular greeting card but specifically for saying 'thank you' to each guest for having attended.
What makes them different to a regular card is that they're normally personalised. They often feature a picture of the smiling couple, the venue, or of something else related to the day. Inside you can write your greeting as you would with a normal greetings card.
Again, these aren't strictly necessary, but they're definitely good form. Guests have taken time out of their busy lives to attend your ceremony, which may have been at the other end of the country to them or in another country entirely! Besides that, weddings can be stressful and difficult even for the calmest among us. So, a 'thank you' card really is the least you could do.
Where Can You Buy Wedding Stationery?
Buying wedding stationery can be difficult. Each piece of stationery has to meet both your theme and colour scheme. Each should be printed on quality card and at a reasonable price, especially if you're going to have lots of guests. There are precious few places on the high street where you can pick up everything you need, in the style and quality you want and at a reasonable price.
Fortunately, that's where online stores like ours come in! We print all of our own products using the best quality inks and cards. But better yet, we let you personalise every piece of stationery you buy from us, from the typeface to the colour, and have dozens upon dozens of designs to choose from.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not check out our online store today?