Your Wedding Stationer: A Helpful Planning resource

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When you plan your wedding, wedding stationery may seem like a minor detail, but it’s not.

It sets the tone of your wedding and lets the guests know what kind of wedding you’re planning—a formal, elegant wedding or a destination beach wedding. So, what are the ten questions you should ask your stationer?

What stationery do I need?
Easy, right? No, not at all. It depends on what kind of wedding you’re planning and your budget. First of all, you need the wedding invitations, the RSVP cards, the table plans, menus and place cards.

What about the engagement party?
The engagement party is where the couple formally announces their engagement. You should issue invitations only to those people you plan to invite to the wedding. If you’re not planning to formally announce your engagement, you may skip these cards, but for a lavish, formal wedding, these cards will set the tone and let your family and friends know of the upcoming event.

How do I ask my girlfriends to be my bridesmaid?
For a formal wedding, Be My Bridesmaid cards are a nice gesture. They tell your prospective bridesmaids that you value their friendship and you’re counting on their support. For less formal weddings, you can ask your bridesmaids personally.

I have relatives who live far away. How can I let them know?
Save the Date cards are perfect for friends and relatives who must travel a long distance. These cards are also perfect for couples who are planning a destination wedding abroad. The card includes basic details such as the name of the bride and groom, the location where the wedding will be held, and a statement that the formal wedding invitation will follow.

What cards are included in the basic wedding invitation set?
The basic set includes the wedding invitations and the wedding acceptance/regret response cards. Maps and lists of nearby hotels help orient your guests if they are from out of town. Your wedding invitation cards are the one piece of wedding stationery that is de rigueur. The font and design are up to you and what you like best.

However, the other pieces are useful for out-of-town guests. When the wedding will be held over two or three days, a wedding events itinerary insert is helpful so that guests know when the welcome party is, if there is a dinner the night before, and other events that have been planned to accommodate those traveling long distances.

I’ve seen booklets for the wedding. What do these entail?
Order of service or ceremony booklets make lovely mementos of the ceremony. These booklets contain the names of the bridal party, the pastor’s name, the outline of the service and songs and music. The order of service or ceremony differs depending on the religion or civil ceremony being used. Many couples like to personalize their ceremony’s booklet by adding poems or quotes. Deceased relatives may be honored with an “in memory of” tribute or a “thank you” tribute to the couples’ parents may be included.

Should I have a seating chart for the reception?
The reception is more informal than the wedding. Nevertheless, it will be easier for your guests if you have a seating plan that seats compatible friends and relatives together. The place cards or escort cards help your guests find their seats with a minimum of fuss. Table names or numbers are placed on each table so when the guests pick up their place card, they can immediately locate their table. The menu card informs the guests of the menu and its order. It can spell out the options for those with dietary restrictions. Cards are not necessary for buffets or a reception that serves only appetizers.

What cards do I need for after the wedding?
After the wedding, thank you cards are imperative. Other cards include the wedding announcement cards for those who were unable to attend, not invited to a small ceremony, or if the couple eloped. Change of address cards should be sent for the bride or groom as appropriate.

What about Thank You Cards?
A formal card should be used to thank your guests for their wedding gift and for attending your wedding ceremony. You will want enough cards to thank your bridesmaids, the flower girls and the hostess of your bridal showers or bridal teas.

Is there anything I should know but haven’t asked?
Always ask. There are many other card suggestions and signage that are useful for the wedding venue that includes a lot of extras such as a sweet bar or dessert table. Most are optional, so decide if there is something important you have overlooked. Hopefully, there isn’t and you came fully prepared to discuss your wedding. ■

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