For those new to the wedding world, wedding stationery - and the sheer number of things that fit into this broad term - can be a little daunting. Generally, wedding stationery can be broken into two categories: 'Before The Day' or 'Pre-Wedding' and 'On The Day'.
Before The Day or Pre-Wedding stationery includes everything from engagement party invitations to wedding websites. Generally, the purpose of all pre-wedding stationery is to inform and excite your guests about your upcoming celebrations. Regardless of the item, each piece of stationery acts as the first taste(s) they will get of your day so they're a big part of your entire wedding 'experience', but what's the purpose and benefit of each?
Engagement Party Invitations
You may wish to celebrate your wonderful engagement news with your friends and family and an engagement party is a perfect way to really mark the occasion. If you plan to host an event, a formal Invitation (rather than a group email or Whatsapp message) is a great way to kick off proceedings, start to build excitement amongst your guests, and really set the tone for your celebrations.
Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Cards
For both you and your partner, your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are likely to be some of your closest friends and family. When you ask them if they’d like to be by your side when you get married, you may wish to mark this special moment in your friendship by giving them a lovely handwritten card that they can treasure as a memento of your wedding, forever.
Save The Date
Save The Dates ultimately ensure that as many of your loved ones as possible will be able to make your celebrations. They're particularly useful if:
- You’re planning a wedding more than a year in advance as they bridge the gap between your engagement and your big day.
- You’re having a destination wedding, so you can give your guests enough time to prepare and save.
- A specific guest will need to travel a long distance to get to you.
- You’re getting married at a particularly busy time of year i.e. summer or a Bank Holiday weekend wedding.
Most people are in a position to send their Save The Date once they've booked a venue and know the exact date/s of their wedding celebrations. The details, such as timing can be worked out later.
The main part of an Invitation is similar to a Save The Date. However, it may be a little more formal in the language, be more descriptive and it's likely that it will hold more information. Some invitations can become really crowded with address details, timings, formal wording, names and dress codes all squeezed onto one side of A5. However, an Information Card or Details Card (these are two common names for the same thing) can help to reduce the amount of information that needs to sit on the invitation.
Information / Details Card
Information or Details Cards include all the additional information about your wedding day; freeing up some breathing room on the main part of the invitation. This makes for a more beautiful, luxurious and considered finish, without losing any key information your guests will need such as dress codes, taxi numbers or local hotel details.
RSVP Card + Envelope
A common way to encourage a response to your invitation is to send an RSVP card to your guests, along with a self-addressed envelope for safe return. It's also a nice gesture to add a stamp to the return envelope too. The RSVP itself is an important item to receive back in good time before your wedding because it helps to provide as-close-to-final numbers as possible for your caterers and ensure items like your table plan and place cards can be fully considered.
Belly Bands or Clips
Belly Bands are great for holding together your invitation, particularly when multiple cards are sent as part of the invitation. These can be a beautiful and environmentally friendly way to present your stationery items to your guests but, once opened, they sometimes doesn't reseal, leaving you with separate sheets of card.
Another alternative is to use a clip (such as a wire bulldog clip). This can sit neatly in the corner holding all the items together and ensuring all the key information can be kept in one place once your guests have returned the RSVP card to you.
There are other ways to reduce or entirely remove some of these additional elements to your Wedding Invitations. For example, you can create a Wedding Website which holds all the key information and allows your guests to RSVP to you using a simple online form. There are lots of sites out there that you can use to create beautiful wedding websites such as Squarespace, Joy and Getting Married.
You can then add the website address to your invitation and encourage people to find the relevant details and/or RSVP through this method.
Hopefully, this post provides you with the knowledge and understanding to make a more informed decision on the pre-wedding stationery elements you need and what will work best for you.
If you've got any queries about wedding stationery or would like additional clarity on anything above, please don't hesitate to ask. And don't forget to sign up to The Wedding Club for all the latest articles, guides and useful advice for your wedding journey.
Chloe & Tom