Designer or off the shelf
The question most brides spend most of their time pondering over is what to do about the wedding stationery. This guide will hopefully answer some of those questions.
First question is do you buy statioery 'off the shelf' or do you find someone to design them for you. With so many people selling hand crafted invitations and stationery on ebay the answer should be to get someone to design them, often costing less than the standard ones you can purchase virtually anywhere. It is well worth contacting at least two people, this gives you a comparison on both design and cost.
Start by thinnking about colour schemes, your wedding invitations should give your guests a 'sneak preview' of the colour scheme or theme of your wedding.
Next you need to think about what you would like on your stationery as well as what kind of stationery you will need, look at the list and write down what you think you will need:
- Save the date, these are useful if guests live abroad or need plenty of warning to book holidays, accomodation, travel arrangements etc. They can be sent out up to a year in advance of the wedding. Remember that in the UK you can only book a registrar one year in advance of your wedding so don't confirm any order until you have a confirmed booking! By all means place provisional orders but make it clear to the seller that you have not confirmed the date and time yet, most sellers will know this and will take account of this.
- Wedding invitations, evening invitations. Traditionally sent out 6 weeks before the wedding. Make sure guests know where to respond to, perhaps allowing them to email their confirmation. Think about sending out acceptance/RSVP cards, they make a lovely keepsake for your wedding memories box.
- Order of service/order of the day cards. Religious ceremonies usually have order of service cards or books, these can include the wording for hymns etc as well as readings and other items. Order of the Day cards are usually in a timetable format, letting guests know what to expect and when.
- Table place cards and numbers. Your wedding favours can also be used as place cards, just add a tag with the name of each guest on it
- Thank you cards. Traditionally written by the bride on her honeymoon! Now they can be printed for you while you are away, ready for you to post on your return, again these can be made to match your invitations, a lovely reminder for your special guests, perhaps for your parents for their patience and cash donations.
Other items which can be added to the list include the following
Wedding favour boxes, traditionally given to just the female guests and consisting of 5 sugared almonds. Brides are far more inventive today and tend to give favours to all their guests. Perhaps a small scented soap or a minaiture bottle of whiskey. Chocolate dragees are also a firm favourite and can be given in fives.
Wedding cake boxes, again these can be in the same design as the wedding stationery and are widely available at a reasonable cost
Menu cards, most venues offer these as part of their wedding package but these can be made to match your stationery if you want the 'complete' look, ask for a sample menu from your venue to help you decide
Seating plans, usually displayed outside the room where the wedding breakfast is to be served. Try not to put it too close to the door, this tends to cause a bottle neck. Ask your venue where they normally display this, they are often a good source of information for a wide variety of issues.
I hope this helps in some small way, take a look around ebay, there is a lot of inspiration and many helpful sellers who will be more than happy to discuss your requirements.