Our Engagement 101 series has now covered how to choose wedding planners, photographers, and floral designers, but today’s post will feature something tangible: wedding stationery! Custom designed stationery is more attainable than you think, and there are a ton of options. Pocket folds vs. belly bands, letterpress vs. offset ink…it can get confusing, and that’s where it pays to have a creative, knowledgeable stationery designer at your disposal.
Today we’ll discuss the different stationery pieces you might need for your wedding, when to send out Save the Dates and invitations, and the Top 2 stationery trends for 2011.
When should you mail Save the Dates and invitations?
Save the Dates should be mailed about six months in advance, especially if you are having a destination wedding. This allows your guests to make travel arrangements, ask for days off of work, or save money. It’s also a fun way to introduce your theme and get your guests excited about your wedding. Rule of thumb: only send Save the Dates to people you are absolutely sure you’re inviting to your wedding.
Your actual invitations need to be mailed six weeks prior to the wedding. Require RSVPs to be returned 1-2 weeks before your wedding day. This gives you some wiggle room to accept some late returns, get your final guest count to your venue and caterer, and not worry about who’s coming the week before!
To make sure you have your Save the Dates on time to send six months out, make sure you’re ordering your stationery about 8-9 months before the wedding. Ordering the whole suite (save the dates, invites, reply cards, envelopes, escort cards, menus, etc) at the beginning pays off: it can save you money and lend itself to a more streamlined design.
What pieces of reception stationery do you need for casual and formal weddings?
If you have assigned tables, you will need escort cards. This goes for either casual or formal weddings. Escort cards have each guest’s name and their table assignment, and they are usually displayed at the cocktail hour. For casual weddings, you will probably have a buffet, so menu cards are not necessary. If you’re having a formal seated dinner, menu cards are generally tucked into napkins or displayed at each place setting to let guests know what menu items you have in store for them!
Other reception stationery pieces might include tags on your favors, table numbers or names, and cards at different stations (guest book signing, candy buffet, sparkler pick-up for your exit) with instructions for guests. All of these, from the escort cards to instruction cards, are more ways to tie your theme together throughout the day.
What are the Top Trends for stationery in 2011?
Bright colors are back! Honeysuckle pink, bright blues, and mustard yellows are seeing a rise in popularity. Greys will continue to be used often as an accent color.
Additionally, more and more couples are choosing to put photos of themselves on the Save the Dates or invitations. Make sure you’re choosing your photographer and getting your engagement photos done in time so your stationer has time to design the pieces around your photos.