A Basic Guide to Wedding Stationery - Part 1
SAVE THE DATE CARDS
This is usually when it all starts. You’ve just got engaged, confirmed the date, and want the world to know that you have decided to Get Married. These cards can be sent out just as soon as the date is actually confirmed. They are a very informal way of letting everyone know that they will be invited and to make a note in their diary. A lot of brides now have their save the date cards made as fridge magnets so that they are on constant display in the family kitchen.
Wedding Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before your wedding day to ensure that your guests have time to plan everything.
If you are inviting guests from overseas it is recommended to allow even more time and also include an enclosure listing flights, directions to your church/reception and places to stay.
You will need to check your guest list prior to confirming your quantities as you do not need an invite for each guest. (ie: allow for couples and families) Before you post out your invitations, check with the Post Office about the availability of limited edition stamps that look a lot better than the standard ones.
A simple and inexpensive way to avoid wasting a lot of time when your wedding is very near. The hotel has just contacted you and needs to know final numbers for the catering, but lots of your potential guests just haven’t bothered to reply yet - of course they assume that you know they’re going - so, you set aside one evening to telephone everybody, but the first call involves a detailed description of all the planning and who else is going and what the food is going to be and after 50 minutes you finally get to hang up, leaving you looking at the list of other phone calls which will be impossible to get through in a night. Think about it.
Evening Invitations are formal invites for the wedding reception and celebration only. Again, you will need to check your guest list prior to confirming your quantities as you do not need an invite for each guest. (ie: allow for couples and families) You do not normally need an RSVP with an Evening Invitation unless food is to be supplied; then you will need them to supply numbers for the caterers.
WEDDING PARTY CARDS
Wedding Party Cards are informal invitations for work colleagues and friends. Envelopes are not supplied with Party Cards as they are designed to be handed out ‘as is’.
ORDER OF SERVICE
Used for the church service and includes details of music, hymns and readings. (3 - 4 printed pages)
Be sure to check with your organist that the entrance music, hymns and recessional music are all in his/her repertoire.
It’s also worth checking that the music you assume you want is the same that the organist is going to play. One bride wanted the theme music to Robin Hood, which she got, but it was the music from the TV version and not the film version.
Brides always ask how many they need and this is the formula that we have always recommended.
Don’t forget the minister, bride and groom, choir and organist as well as the mum/dad of bride/groom.
Based on 100 guests attending and giving one copy each you will need 110. This is to allow for neighbours and friends who haven’t actually been invited just showing up to wish you well.
75 is the figure to allow one between every two guests, but don’t forget that people are short sighted or long sighted and can’t share with anyone else, also you will have some guests full of their own importance who consider it ‘bad form’ to have to share and demand one each because they’re ‘special guests’.
50 is the figure if you have done all your research and determined that you can definitely get away with it, but what you don’t want and what will be talked about forever is for your ushers to have to go into the church and ask the guests if they can share and return some of the orders of service as they’ve run out!
ORDER OF THE DAY
Increasingly used for wedding blessings, however, they can be used as a guide to the standard ceremony along with details about the remainder of the day. Sometimes they incorporate directions to the reception, menu details, a short description of the bride and groom and how they met and a table seating plan. It also gives the congregation something to read when the bride is fashionably late. (7 - 8 printed pages)
WEDDING MASS BOOKS
These are literally small books that have comprehensive details of your wedding Mass including all the readings. (24 pages including cover and usually about 3000 words) The best advice is to get a mock-up first and let your priest see it well before it’s printed as sometimes the Priest will have his own preferred readings which he knows backwards and won’t use anything else in his ceremony.
I couldn't fit everything in to this guide, so check out A Basic Guide to Wedding Stationery Part 2
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