You’re engaged – Congratulations! So what’s next…
Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting (and possibly most stressful!) things any woman will do in her lifetime but like most things it costs money, so your first stop is to set a budget. Once you have agreed on this it will make choosing everything else that little bit easier. Once you have set your date and picked your venue one of the first things to do on that very long to-do-list should be to consider your wedding stationery. Do not risk leaving stationery to the last minute as you may just be disappointed when some of your nearest and dearest are unable to attend due to short notice.
Here is a break down of all the stationery items to consider and when to order them!
Save the Dates
Your first stop should be Save the Dates. These are exactly what they say on the tin, they ask your guests to save the date of your wedding in advance of sending out the formal invitations. Whilst not all couples will opt to send out Save the Dates they are particularly a good idea should you be getting married at peak season (when your guests are likely to book summer holidays) or if you are getting married abroad (to give guests time to save for and book flights). You may just like to send them out anyway through shear excitement for the big day!
Save the Dates are usually sent out any time between 6-12 months before your wedding (perhaps further in advance for abroad weddings). I love the magnetic Save the Dates that I do for my clients. They can go on their fridge and are there everyday as a visual reminder of your wedding. If you have already decided on a colour scheme/theme, you may like to tie these in with that but it is not essential.
Wedding invites are essential to any wedding for letting your guests know the details of your day but not only should they be informative they should also reflect your personalities as a couple, and give your guests an indication of what type of wedding they will be attending. As the first snippet of your big day (if Save the Dates haven’t been sent or matched to the wedding theme) your invites should excite your guests and leave them waiting in anticipation for the day. If you are struggling to find the right invite design to suit your ideal wedding then perhaps a bespoke service is the way to go. Heart Invites offer this service, offering free consultations with the bride and/or groom to ensure the design created specifically for your wedding is your dream invite. This design can then follow through onto the rest of your wedding stationery when the time comes.
Your invitations should be sent out about 12 weeks prior to your wedding date, so ordering anywhere between 4-5 months would be recommended but please check with your stationer for turnaround times in case they are particularly busy and need longer to complete you order. Venues can also request definite numbers by a certain date so you should also take this into consideration.
If you know that you would like to upgrade any evening guests to a day guest should you have some day guests unable to attend it is advisable to order your days invites first, send these out and then see if you have any spare spaces prior to ordering and sending out your evening invites, but this is completely optional.
Your invites should include the following details:
• Name of hosts – traditionally the bride’s parents
• First and surname of the bride and groom
• Where the ceremony is taking place – venue name and address
• The full date of the wedding ceremony
• The time of the ceremony
• The location of the wedding reception (if different to the ceremony)
• RSVP date
• An RSVP address
• Map (if required)
• Additional information, i.e. Gift List, Accommodation, etc if required
Should you have a lot of information to include in your invitations Heart Invites offer the perfect solution with the Concertina Fold invite. This includes, a cover design, your formal invite page, 2 pages for additional information such as directions, gift lists and accommodation and a perforated RSVP, which your guests can tear off fill in and pop in the post like a postcard with no need for an envelope. By supplying your guests with an RSVP you are more likely to get your replies without the need to chase guests for answers!
‘On the Day’ Stationery
So your invites are out, your wedding day is getting close and by now hopefully you are nearing having you final guests confirmed. Once you have all of your RSVPs back you will be able to proceed with your on-the-day stationery. Ideally this will be at least 6 weeks before the wedding, remembering that you have to give your wedding stationer enough time to turn your order around. On the flip side do not order your table plan too far in advance just in case you have any unexpected cancelled guests. Anywhere between 6-8 weeks is ideal for Table Plans and Place Cards, you can also order any other matching stationery you may like such as Order of Services, Menus, Table Numbers/Names, at this point, however these can be ordered earlier providing your details have been confirmed by the relevant people.
Orders of Services whilst not essential do make a nice touch. It is your chance to remind your guests of the theme of your wedding, as this is likely to be the first stationery your guests will see on the day. It allows you to advise your guests on the order of proceedings and add any thank you notes, important notices etc.
Menus, Place Cards, Table plans and Table Numbers all serve their purpose as well as helping to beautifully dress your venue and create a strong visual style.
Having matching stationery used throughout the day creates beautiful consistency and styling at a wedding. Heart Invites offers collections for all of the designs available and any other items that aren’t in the collections can be created to match, i.e. signage, advice cards, etc.
Thank You Cards
The final stationery item to consider is a Thank You Card. Whilst the excitement of the big day may start to become a distant memory, keep the wedding alive by sending Thank You Cards that match your wedding stationery reminding your guests of what a lovely day they had with you and to let them know how grateful you both are that they shared it with you. Heart Invites offer a personalised service where photos from the wedding can be added to the design, which is always a lovely touch.
With the excitement of the honeymoon after the wedding getting round to sending out yet more cards can feel like hard work so if you don’t plan to personalise your cards with photos from the wedding it can be good idea to order your Thank You Cards at the same time as your invites. You then have your cards ready to write and send when you are ready. Ideally Thank You Cards should be sent out no later than 3 months after the wedding.
So to sum it up, here is the Heart invites Wedding Stationery Timeline for you to follow when ordering wedding stationery for your big day.
I hope this has helped ease some of those wedding planning jitters and has been of some help to you. Good luck with your journey, try to enjoy it and of course have a fantastic wedding. Look out for my post’Things to Consider when Ordering Wedding Stationery’ for some must do tips coming soon…
If you think Heart Invites can help you please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in a quote form. Heart Invites are also on Facebook here if you would like to keep up to date with any stationery news :-)