Your wedding stationery is the channel of communication between you and your guests. Think of it as your "official wedding channel". The wedding stationery will tell everyone about the "when", "where", "how", and "what" about your wedding day.
Your wedding invitations are your first official announcements of your forthcoming wedding and they are the first important communication between you and your guests. As well as letting your guests know where and when the wedding is going to take place, you will also want the invitations to set the scene for what type of wedding you will be having.
For example, if your wedding is a very formal at an elegant venue, then you will want to reflect this in your invitations. It will give your guests an idea of what type of wedding it is and what to wear. Alternatively, if you are having a less formal wedding, then the invitations could reflect that in colour and design.
The wedding invitations, and indeed all of your wedding stationery, will reflect the mood, style, and colour scheme you have planned for your wedding. For example is your wedding colour scheme is pink, then one would expect that colour to be represented in your wedding stationery.
Typical Wedding Stationery includes:
Save The Date Card
These tell your guests that you have set your wedding date and ask them to save that date until you send out your formal wedding invitations six-eight weeks before the wedding. These are a great way of giving guests sufficient time to arrange time off work or holidays, so they can fit in with your wedding date. These are sent out as soon as you decide the date.
Wedding Invitation Card
These can consist of Day and Evening invitations. The Day invitations are for the guests who you invite to the wedding ceremony, reception, and wedding meal. The Evening invitations are for the guests who are invited for the celebrations after the meal. These are sent out six-eight weeks before the wedding.
Order of Service Card
These inform your guests of what will be happening during the wedding ceremony. They are usually handed out on the day.
Place Name Card
If you are having a seating plan at the meal, then these are placed on the tables, so the guests know where to sit.
Thank You Card
These are your personal thank you to each guest for attending your wedding and for the lovely present they gave you.
The three main methods of obtaining your stationery are DIY, off-the-shelf, or bespoke.
DIY means "Do It Yourself". Obviously, this means that your will make the wedding stationery yourself. If you are artistic and creative (or short of money), this could be the method for you. When it comes to design, the key is simplicity. Keep the design simple and it will look better and will take less time. However, you do not have to have to start entirely from scratch. Many shops and on line wedding stationery supplier sell DIY kits, which you can use and adapt to your own needs.
Off-the-shelf means designs bought from shops. Many shops, web sites, and department stores have large selections of existing designs that you can use. The selection is vast and can range from the humorous to the beautiful and elegant. You just select the design you want and they order it for you. Because of the sheer range of designs available, you need not feel you are picking one that everyone else has used. It is a quick and efficient way of choosing and ordering your stationery.
Bespoke means that your design is hand-made especially for you. You can either get the company to adapt a design from their own portfolio or create an exclusive design for you. This is obviously the most expensive option, as it requires more consultations and more work for the designer. If you are ordering from a distance, then it is important that you are able to see draft designs before committing yourself to the final product.
Finally, when buying stationery you should always order five-ten extra cards to cover any last-minute guests or a slip of the pen if you are writing the names by hand.
However, you do it - have a lovely wedding!