We know it’s the details that end up meaning the most. While wedding stationery is important in letting guests know what to do and where to go, preparing the right signs and invitations is simpler than you might think.
We'll break down what items you need to ensure your wedding runs smoothly and when to order each item. Plus, with the support of wedding stationery and signage designers at Shine Wedding Invitations, we'll take care of the design so you can focus on other parts of your wedding, like finding the perfect dress and making your guest list.
- Start looking at wedding stationery as soon as possible after your engagement.
- Budget 6% for your invitation suite, which you'll send out three months before the wedding.
- Use wedding signage like table numbers and seating charts to direct your guests and caterers.
What Stationery Do You Need for Your Wedding?
Here's a wedding stationery list of what you'll need for an elegant and traditional celebration.
Your pre-wedding stationery is the cards and invites you might need to send to your guests leading up to your big day. Here are a few of the most common pre-wedding stationery items:
- Save the dates: Cards that let your guests know about your wedding well in advance to ensure they mark the date while waiting for the official invite.
- Postponement announcements: If a delay comes up, you'll send out postponement announcements with a new date or information that wasn't on the invitation.
Wedding Invitation Suite
Your wedding invitation is the main event of your stationery order. The invitation suite contains all the essential information your guests need, from the date and location of the event to a list of activities available during the wedding weekend.
Here are the main pieces of traditional wedding stationery sets:
- Invitation card: A card containing the couple's names, wedding location, and time.
- Response card: A card for guests to RSVP to the invitation.
- Small enclosure: A card used to share reception details. Can also share any small details like a change of address or your wedding website.
- Large enclosure: A card with more detailed information like transportation details or accommodation options for out-of-town guests.
- Belly band: A paper band to delicately hold the suite together.
Wedding Day Stationery
The stationery for a wedding complements the décor and helps guests know where to go, sit, and what to do throughout the reception. Here are a few essential items for your wedding day:
- Wedding programs: Let your guests know the service order during the ceremony and reception.
- Wedding menus: Allow your guests to look over the food options to improve the flow of the reception meal.
- Place cards: Maintain order throughout your reception and let the reception servers know where to deliver plates.
- Table numbers: Help guests find their tables to improve the reception's flow.
- Seating charts: Let the guests know at the door where they'll be sitting with an elegant seating chart.
- Welcome signs: Welcome your guests to the ceremony or reception with a stunning welcome sign.
- Custom wedding signage: Mark food, activities, and your guest book with custom wedding signage.
- Favor Tags: Thank guests with favor tags attached to a small gift.
After your wedding, there's one last piece of stationery you'll need to prepare:
- Thank you cards: Thank all your guests and those that helped bring your wedding dreams to life.
How Much Do You Spend on Stationery for Weddings?
Think of your wedding stationery as part of your wedding décor. Even though stationery plays a practical role in your wedding by informing guests where things are and what to do, stationery is also a part of the decorations.
For example, your table numbers are nestled in your table centerpieces, and your food signage will sit next to those flower vases on the dessert table. Investing in elegant signage will ensure that the stationery contributes to your reception's overall look and feel.
On average, wedding stationery costs are 8% of your wedding budget. Most of that budget will go towards designing your perfect invitation. So expect to spend 6% of your total budget on invitations while the remaining 2% goes toward the other wedding stationery like signage and thank you cards.
When to Order Your Wedding Stationery
Did that long list of stationery feel overwhelming? Don't worry. You don’t need to design and order it all at once.
Here's a complete wedding stationery schedule to help you know when to order each piece and what to do before you order the next stationery so you can take your time and relax during wedding planning:
12 Months Before
Happy engagement! Time to find a venue, figure out a budget, and work on a guest list based on your venue and budget.
11 Months Before
Design and order your save the dates to let your guests know of your upcoming wedding.
10 Months Before
Finalize your wedding guest list because it's time to send out your save the dates.
Consider sending out your save the dates even sooner than 10 months, especially if you have many out-of-town guests or a destination wedding requiring more planning from your guests.
9 Months Before
Just as your save the dates go out, you should start looking at invitation suites. Select a vendor and design an invitation that reflects your wedding's timeless theme and fairytale romance.
6 Months Before
You've had three months to research vendors, find the perfect wedding stationery design, and review the look. Now it's time to order your invitations. From ordering to arrival, invitations can take anywhere from two days to two weeks, depending on the printing method and components, so you'll want to avoid delaying this step to minimize the stress of sending out invitations.
Some guests like to send gifts right after receiving the invite. So, you’ll also want to order your thank you cards now. That way you can send them as gifts trickle in, no later than two weeks after you receive a gift.
Then, you’ll send a large batch of thank you cards one to three months after your wedding for the gifts guests bring on the day.
2-3 Months Before
You finalized your wedding details at this point, so you're ready to send your formal invitation. You can send your invitation sooner than three months, especially for destination weddings or weddings that fall around the holidays.
3-5 Weeks Before
Ask for an RSVP by three to five weeks before the wedding. Once you have a total headcount, order your wedding day signage, like table numbers and seating charts.
Start Your Wedding Stationery Orders
Shine Wedding Invitations covers all your stationery needs, from invitation suites to stunning signage that will delight your guests and ensure your event runs smoothly. Talk with an expert designer and make your ideas come to life.
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