Your Wedding Stationery Checklist
So bogged down in wedding paraphernalia that you can’t tell your rsvp cards from your table plans, your menus from your thank you cards, bridesmaid dresses from tablecloths, and Sydney from Melbourne? We can help (at least with the stationery part!). We’ve put together this handy wedding cards stationery checklist to get things in order. You by no means have to include everything on the list, but it’s good to consider all options as some may be more suitable to the kind of celebration that you’re planning. Wedding stationery really does set the tone for the event, as well as building heaps of excitement in the lead-up, so you want to get it spot on.
Before the Big Day
- Be My Bridesmaid/Groomsman cards
Every bride needs her best girlfriends around for help and support both during and leading up to the wedding. They will witness all the ups and downs of planning a wedding, as well as making sure your inner Bridezilla is kept on a leash. Be My Bridesmaid cards are a lovely optional extra which show your favourite ladies just how much they mean to you. You can also have Be My Groomsman cards if you want a full matching set! With a heartfelt note written within about why this person is so important to you, these cards are something your close friends will be able to treasure for years to come.
- Save the Date cards
Save the date cards are not official invitations but very important in terms of making sure your guests have marked that date in their diary for you. They are especially important if you are planning a destination wedding or a mid-week wedding, or if you have a lot of guests who will be travelling for the occasion. Live in Sydney but getting married in Fiji? Or most of your guests are travelling to Sydney from Melbourne? A save the date card is definitely for you! These cards only contain brief information concerning the location (the area the wedding will be held in), the date, and the bride and groom’s name.
The Wedding Invitation Suite
- Wedding Invitations
It all comes down to this – the invite. This piece of papery joy is what asks your nearest and dearest to attend your wedding ceremony and possibly the reception too. It contains the final times, dates and locations for the event itself. Stuck as to how to subtly hint that you don’t really want children at the reception? Or your sisters-best-friend’s-weird-ex-boyfriend isn’t really welcome? Check out our articles on wedding invitation wording and wedding dos and don’ts.
- RSVP cards
RSVP cards are valuable as they not only provide you with a headcount of attendees but they can also gather up additional information about your guests: dietary requirements, accommodation preferences, whether they’ll need a shuttle to the reception, what song they’d love to hear – anything! If guests are to send the RSVP card back to you, remember to include a stamped envelope for your guests’ convenience. Nowadays, though, it’s also become common to simply supply a link to a website which your guests can visit to submit their attendance intentions and other details. For the benefit of the older generation attending, however, and as a heads up to tradition, the trusty RSVP card should not be overlooked. It really is a chance to squeeze all the information you need out of your guests, so make sure you nail the wording and make it easy for them to return it to you.
Maps and direction information will prove especially useful to guests that are travelling from out of town, or if your wedding is in a lesser-known location. Provide them with the location of the ceremony venue as well the reception venue. And even if your location itself is well known, you’re not off the hook! Guests need specific directions so they know where to go once they get there. If you’re having an elaborate Sydney Opera House wedding directions to the venue may not be necessary, but you want to save your guests from standing awkwardly on the steps staring over Sydney Harbour because they couldn’t find the room you were in. If you are supplying accommodation suggestions, be sure to include the contact details and web references for booking. Hand-drawn wedding maps are a chance to get really creative.
- Evening Invitations/Reception Invites
If you have a small venue for the ceremony, you may have to be pretty selective as to who to invite. To ensure that everyone you care about can still be a part of your big day, send out evening invitations for those that won’t be at the church. These invites are strictly for the reception only.
- Wedding Day Itinerary
Although the word itinerary has connotations of a military boot camp, it can actually be a fun and playful addition to the wedding invitation suite. For example, for a 2 or 3 day wedding a festival-inspired itinerary could be useful – include dinner the night before, a second day barbecue, cocktail hour and lots of time for dancing! You can also offer guests suggestions of what to do in any downtime – list some locations they might want to visit that are nearby or recommend a restaurant for lunch. You don’t want out-of-town guests traipsing to Bondi between the ceremony and the reception because they didn’t realise how long it would take to get across Sydney.
The Wedding Day
- Order of Service/Wedding Programme
Although not a necessity at all weddings, the Wedding Programme or Order of Service provides your guests with a point of reference for any traditions or practices they are unfamiliar with. It will also supply the words to hymns and readings that will be delivered in mass, if you are having a church wedding. The Wedding Programme is also the perfect place to pay tribute to deceased loved ones, and to thank family and friends for their love and support.
- Table Plans
After hours toiling over the dreaded seating plan, you finally have to put it on display and hope (fingers crossed) that World War III won’t break out over who’s sitting at the head table. You should display the Table Plan at the entrance to the reception so that guests can easily find their seats. It can either be printed in the form of a seating chart, or for a more rustic look, written on a chalk board (although this can be more difficult than it sounds, depending on the size of your guest list!)
- Place Cards
These can double up as favours for your guests. Place cards are most likely going to be kept as a keepsake of your special day, so make sure they look memorable! They are placed at the seat of each guest to inform them of their allocated chair.
It is nice to remind guests exactly what they are eating, especially as you and your caterers have put so much time and effort into creating the perfect meal. It can be as formal or informal as you’d like, just make sure it ties in with the rest of the theme. You can either provide every guest with a wedding menu, or provide a few per table to be shared among guests.
After the Wedding
- Thank you Cards
Almost as important as the wedding invitation itself, do not forget to send thank you cards! No matter how crazy the following weeks after your wedding may be, thanking your guests for the time and effort they put in to being part of your wedding is vital. Remember to keep track of people’s contributions to the wedding as you go, so you don’t forget to give special thanks to bridesmaids, flower girls, and the host of your hen’s party.
Check out our post on Ruffles and Belles Blog, a team of amazing wedding planners from Melbourne, for our four wedding invitation rules to break.