Wedding Stationery 101: Which pieces do I need?
Sending invitations is essential when planning any event, but did you know there are more than 10 types of stationery couples can invest in for their wedding? You certainly don't have to include everything on this list, but it's good to know your options and decide which types of stationery are relevant to your event. Wedding stationery are more than pretty paper goods — they are an important part of planning your day and informing key details to your guests, setting the tone of the overall event, and getting everyone excited!
- What is the difference between an invitation and an invitation suite?
Well, they don't call it a suite for nothing! Think of it as a collection of cards to communicate key details to your guests. Aside from the main invitation card, suites can include RSVP cards, Reception cards, Direction cards, Accommodation cards, outer and inner envelopes, as well as all the bells and whistles that go along to beautify the suite and add a personal touch. (think belly bands, seal stickers, hemp ropes, etc.)
Your wedding invitation, on the other hand, is the main card. Typically, these are sent 4-8 weeks before the big day. And although this sounds obvious, don't forget to add all the crucial details like: date, ceremony / reception / dinner venue, and time. It's always best to have another pair of eyes when proofreading the copy to avoid making any mistakes!
- Why do I need an RSVP card? RSVP (or Response) cards are important because they provide you with a headcount of attendees. They can also be used to find out any additional information about your guests: dietary requirements, whether they'll be needing any transportation, if there's a song they'd like to hear on the day, etc. Although there are several websites out there that allow guests to submit their responses online, for the sake of the older guests, it is always best to include a stamped envelope for everyone's convenience.
- What is a Dinner / Reception card? If you're planning a more intimate affair for your reception or dinner, you'd have to be more selective on who to invite. You can also include the details on your main card, but it is more formal and looks more organised if you create a separate card for this portion of the day. That way, you can add other useful information about the reception or dinner: if it'll be held at a different location, or whether its adults-only?
- Do I need an Accommodations card? Will you have a lot of out-of-town guests? These cards are a great way to offer guests insider information on finding accommodation in the area, and any deadlines they should be booking by. If you're covering guests' accommodation, it's etiquette to include that on a separate card.
- What's a Directions card? Your out-of-town guests will be especially grateful to receive a directions card in your suite! If the reception and wedding ceremony will be in different locations, don't forget to add both location venues. Other essential details include, parking information, multiple routes to the destination, and arranged transportation. Illustrated maps are a great way to get creative and give clear directions. All invitation suites at Your Big Day include customisable, hand-drawn direction cards completely free of charge! Click here to view.
- Why do I need an inner AND outer envelope?
In short, you don't. This is a form of etiquette developed years ago when it was easier for outer envelopes to get dirty en route, so the inner envelope was put in place to remain clean and intact. Although this is not so much of a problem today, couples planning a wedding are still likely to follow this method, for both customary and practical purposes.
Outer envelopes are good for addressing the heads of a household (i.e. Mr & Mrs. Smith) while inner envelopes offer a more casual way of assigning them (i.e. David & Anna). If your guests have children, you can then name their kids on the second line on the inner envelopes. (i.e. James, Katherine, and Ben).
At the end of the day, it's your big day. So, you don't have to follow the double envelope tradition if you don't want to. It's still perfectly fine to address your guests (and their family) on the outer envelopes, with something similar to: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith & Family."
- What is a "Save the Date" invitation? Planning a destination wedding? Having many guests from overseas? Sending a Save the Date card gives your guests advanced notice to make any necessary arrangements to be there on the big day. These are typically sent 6-12 months before the wedding. - Do I need a Menu card? That depends on whether you'll be having a sit-down dinner or a buffet. If it's the former, a well-designed menu is a lovely way to inform your guests details of the meal, while giving them a great, lasting souvenir to remember all that yumminess! Tip: get imaginative with the designs, just make sure they are aligned with the rest of the theme. And don't forget to add the event date and the guests' names.
- What's a Rehearsal Dinner Invitation? If you're having a traditional Greek wedding, chances are you won't be needing this. However, in other cultures it is customary to host a pre-wedding rehearsal dinner. In this case, it's important to let specific guests on your list know that they are requested to attend this. Rehearsal dinner invitations are often slightly smaller in size, and can either be sent along with the wedding invitations or separately in their own envelope. - What are Favour cards?
These are small you notes that can be added to decorate your guests' gifts. You can add a printed or handwritten "thank you" or a meaningful quote.
- What are Program cards?
These are a great way to help your guests understand the order of events. They can also inform them about what to expect during a particular religious ceremony, especially if you're having a destination wedding or expect many out-of-town guests.
- Do I really need to send out Thank You cards? Yes! Just as important as the event itself, it's important to express your appreciation to those who attended the wedding and the people who made it possible afterwards (i.e. planners, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.) A proper thank you note shows them you acknowledge their time and generosity. These are usually sent 2 months after the wedding.
Here at Your Big Day, we do more than design single invitation cards - we offer personalised, full fully-coordinating invitations suites, including stationery and all the paper delights you'll be needing to celebrate your special event, whether that be birthdays, christenings, weddings, or thank you cards.