Just like how finding the perfect venue, food and dress for the special day can take a good amount of time, getting the right wedding stationary and invitation is not a task that should be shoved to the back seat. It is these little pieces like the invitations cards, thank you cards, response cards, place cards, and menus that set the mood of the ceremony before, during and even after the main event is over.
Below you will find a comprehensive checklist of all the essential wedding stationary and invitations you will need for your ceremony.
Complete Checklist of Wedding Invitations
Pre wedding essentials
- Engagement party invites – These are used to announce and celebrate the engagement of the couple with their loved ones. All the recipients of these invitations are generally invited to the main day as well. This is a great area to let your creative juices flow, and not stress about matching the color or theme with the main event. Maybe couples won’t know much details of their wedding date right after the engagement, so these invites can be a standalone piece with its own theme and design.
- Save the date notes – These notes are essential to officially notify the guests of your wedding ceremony date so they can mark the day (s) on their calendar and make appropriate plans to attend your ceremony. This is especially important for destination weddings where majority of your guests will be travelling to your location from out of town. Sending these about 6 months in advance will be highly appreciated; this way your guests can take advantage of any time sensitive air ticket discounts the airline might offer. Although usually in form of a card, you can add a modern twist to them by using a magnetic display which they can then hang around in their house to remind themselves to save the date. Just notifying them the basic details of your wedding will suffice, because the chances of the couple already knowing every little detail at this point is very slim. If you already have the color scheme and design of the invitation already picked out, it would be best if you coordinate your “save-the-date cards” with them.
- Bridal shower invitations – With bridal shower the bride gets the time to relax and have fun with her closest girlfriends. The maid of honor sends out the invitations for this event, and these invitations are very important and they should always reflect the theme and color scheme of the shower. These invitations should be sent out at least 6 weeks in advance.
- Bachelor/ Bachelorette party invitations – Meant as an ode to your single life, this party is supposed to be wild, fun and an event set to create life-long memories. This celebration of your last day of freedom should begin with you invitation. Use it to give them the glimpse of exactly the kind of fun that’s in store for them. Be as creative, and fun with these as you want. Use bold designs with catchy colors. These cards will remain as a keepsake for your friends for years to come. Include all the necessary information such as time, date, location, and add more details if needed.
Wedding Invitation Set Essentials
- Outer Envelope – This is the mailing envelope containing the recipient’s name and address.
- Inner envelope – This lined or unlined envelope contains the invitations as well as the other components of your wedding invitation. On the cover, the names of the guests are handwritten along with their titles.
- The Invitation – This important piece should contain all the vital details of the wedding including the time, date and location of the event, along with the couples name and the hosts’ name.
- Response Card – This allows your guests to easily notify you whether they will be attending your ceremony or not. You should also try to have this piece of stationary stamped and pre-printed with the return address, so the guests finds it very convenient to mail it back. These reply cards can also be used by your guests to notify you of their meal preference. Knowing their replies in advance will give you an idea of the guest count, along with their food preference which you can let your caterer know about.
- Reception Card – You can use this to notify the guests about the location and time of your reception; this is especially necessary if it is in a separate location than the wedding itself.
- Accessory card – This can be used to notify the guests of any special details like direction to the location, rehearsal dinner information, parking details or any other little details you want to notify your guests about. For your out of town guests, you can even inform them of any special accommodations you might have arranged specifically for their stay.
- Invitation wrappers – These are bands or straps used to keep your invitation and enclosures together. These come in a variety of designs and colors and can be made to match the theme of the wedding.
- Guestbooks – Wedding guestbooks are a fun way for your guests to leave you their congratulations and well wishes. You can keep this simple with just a sign in type guestbook, or make it elaborate with a scrapbook, giving them an area to write you a personal note. This will be one of your most treasured memorabilia from this special day.
Wedding day Essentials
- Wedding ceremony booklet – This describes the order of the ceremony which is especially important for guests of different faith. It lets the guests know what is happening and when. Every ceremony is different and a wedding booklet keeps the guests in the know. This booklet also contains the key details like your time, location of the even, date and stat. Other information that can be added includes name of the officiant, the bridal parties, music, performers, readings, thank you messages for your parents and guests, and short descriptions of the traditions and beliefs. You can keep it simple or go as elaborate as you want. You can also honor those who may have passed on and could not join you on the special day. This is a keepsake of your event for the guests, so make it special. Order these right when you know all the details about your ceremony.
- Place cards and Escort cards – These are little cards that inform and direct the guests to their seats. In events of big weddings with many guests, escorts cards are necessary to guide the guests to their seat fast. In cases of small weddings with just a couple of tables, place cards with be enough to show them their seats. Keep these aligned with the theme of your wedding. Get creative. Having a wedding by the seashore? Tie the cards to a sea shell or a star fish décor.
- Seating plan – This is displayed at the entrance and gives the guests an overview of the seating arrangements. This way they can find their designated place with ease.
- Table numbers and names – Present at each table should be either a number or name identifying the guests. This number should match the one on their place cards or escort cards.
- Menus – This card contains all the available meal options that will be present at your reception. If you have a buffet, then having a label next to each food item is also necessary.
Post Wedding Essentials
- Thank you cards – These are just as important as the wedding invitations themselves. These let your guests know that you appreciated their attendance at your ceremony, and are grateful for their gifts. You can also send special thank you cards to your bridesmaids, flower girls and everybody who put in additional effort to make your ceremony a memorable one. You can get creative here as well. Add a picture of you both as a married couple, to remind them of the special day even after the event.
- Wedding Announcements – These cards help spread the good news to those family and friends that could not attend your wedding. This is very important in case of small and intimate ceremonies with not many invited guests. Let everyone you know you are married with these elegant little notes. Officially declare this important milestone to your relatives who will be proud to hear about this important milestone of your life. Keep these consistent with the design and theme of your wedding.
Each of these elements of stationary and invitations mentioned above checklist gives you the opportunity to be creative, and craft a sense of cohesiveness as far as the theme of the whole program is concerned. By personalizing them with the right design and colors, you can start the celebration of your beautiful day and give your guests a glimpse of what they are in store for months in advance. Also, remember that each of these pieces will stay with your guests forever reminding them of the fun they had at your day. Wedding stationaries are important, so devote enough time to purchase the right pieces.