The Bride's Ultimate Guide to Wedding Stationery

 Your ultimate guide to choosing invitations - a break down of what you can and can't go without when it comes to stationery - some questions about etiquette - and accessories to consider.

I created this guide to walk you through the process of picking out your invitations, keep you on track with a timeline and give you some tips on etiquette.  The biggest thing I want for you, is to walk away feeling confident when you go to make your choices about your wedding stationery.  Ready to get started?  Let's go!

First things first!  When you first think of wedding stationery, what comes to mind?  Most likely it’s the invitations.  Obviously you know that these are definitely necessary, but what about the save the dates or the programs?  Take a look below to see what is necessary versus what is nice to have...

 Wedding invitation suite

Can’t go without

  • Wedding Invitations
  • Wedding Thank You Notes
  • Bridal Shower Invitations
  • Bridal Shower Thank You Notes
  • Bachelorette/Bachelor Party Invitations
  • Table Numbers
  • Escort Cards or Seating Chart

Nice to have

  • Engagement Party Invitation
  • Save the Dates
  • Ceremony Program
  • Menu Cards
  • Calligraphy
  • Vintage Stamps

What’s your style? 

Think for a minute about what you want in an invitation.  The first step is to decide what style you’d like.  Is your wedding rustic, classic or vintage?  Your invitations are the first impression your guests will get of your wedding, so you want to make sure everything coordinates with the overall look and feel you are going for.

Will you go with semi-custom or custom invitations?  I’d take a look at the semi-custom invitations first to see what is available and to get an idea for what you like.  If you don’t see what you are looking for or if you want something very specific, working with a designer on a custom invitation will probably be your best bet.  Remember, when you are looking at invitations, it’s just as important to take note of what you don’t like.  If you decide to go the custom route, this will help your designer know what styles to stay away from.

Next up, think about if you want simple or fancy.  Invitations can be as simple as the 3 main pieces - the invitation, RSVP card and envelopes.  If you’d like, you can also get all fancy with folders, backings, wax seals and ribbon.  The choice is completely yours.  Charming Tree offers the same suite in three different versions so you can pick and choose which one best fits your needs and budget.  I've carefully picked things that go well together so you don't have to worry about building the suite from scratch.  I do this to eliminate the bride from feeling overwhelmed at making a decision.

Options to Consider

Pocketfolders, Belly Bands, Monogram Squares, Wax Seals, Ribbons, Vintage Stamps, Calligraphy, Envelope Liners

Before you get overwhelmed, remember that just because there are many options, doesn’t mean you have to include them to create a great invitation.  Invitations can be as simple or complex as you’d like them to be.  If you’ve got an eye for design, you can pick everything out yourself or if you don’t want any part in the design process you can let a professional do all the work for you.  

I make this process as simple as possible for the brides I work with.  All you have to do is choose which design and package you want from my shop and then we can add on any extras at the end if you’d like.  You can change colors, fonts, and wording if you’d like, OR you can just keep it exactly the way it is.  For those who want something very specific or original, I offer custom invitations as well.  Here is a sample of what my packages include so you can get an idea of what things go well together.

 Wedding Stationery Suite

//GOLD PACKAGE//
Invitation with matching envelopes
Response card with matching envelopes
Enclosure card (choose one: accommodations, details, reception card, etc.)

//PLATINUM PACKAGE//
Invitation with matching envelopes
Response card with matching envelopes
Enclosure card (choose one: accommodations, details, reception card, etc.)

Additional features included with the Platinum Package: 
Backing layer to go on invitation
Belly band with monogram square
Envelope liner for invitation envelopes

//DIAMOND PACKAGE//
Invitation with matching envelopes
Response card with matching envelopes
Enclosure Card (choose one: accommodations, details, reception card, etc.)
Belly band with monogram square
Envelope liner for invitation envelopes

Additional features included with the Diamond Package: 
Pocketfolder to mount your invitation and hold your inserts


 charming tree welcome packet
 

Charming Tree Design Welcome Packet

I've put together a welcome packet to help guide you though ordering your invitations.  This gives you an overview of the process, my prices, a color chart for paper and ink options and more!  Click on the link to download the packet!


Let’s Talk Etiquette

Here are some common questions I get regarding wedding stationery.

Are save the dates necessary and when do I send them out?

While they are never necessary, they are very helpful for guests especially those who will have to travel for your wedding day.  I’d send out save the dates around 6 months before the wedding.

When do I need to send my invitations out?

Invitations are sent out at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding. 

When should the reply deadline be?  

It’s recommended that the RSVP deadline is 3-4 weeks before your wedding date.  This will allow plenty of time to get ahold of any people who didn’t respond, and also create your seating chart or escort cards.   

Is it ok to include registry information on my invitations or save the dates?  

Wedding invitations should not include the registry info as it will look like you are asking for gifts.  You can however add your wedding website to your save the dates and include your registry info on your website.

What information must I include on my invitation?

You’ll want to include who is getting married, the time and date, and where the wedding will take place.  Keep it short and sweet, as you can add the rest of the information to the insert cards.  You’ll also want to include the names of those hosting.  If your parents or others are paying for a portion of the wedding, it’s important that they are also on the invitation.

Should you put RSVP info on the invitation itself?  

I wouldn’t do it.  The purpose of a RSVP card is to make it convenient for your guests to reply.  When you provide a card for them to mail back, it makes it very easy to fill out and drop in the mail.  

Can I put the reception info on the bottom of the invitation?

If the reception is at the same location as the ceremony, I don’t see anything wrong with having a short sentence at the bottom such as “dinner and dancing to follow immediately”.  I have done many invitations where the reception info is at the bottom.  However, if there is a lot of information, I recommend a separate card for the reception info.

Next steps...

If you are ready to get started on your stationery, I'd love to set up a free consultation with you.  We can discuss all of your wedding stationery needs over the phone or email.  I'd love to be a part of your day!  Click below to set up a consultation today!