If you’re newly engaged, I’ll bet you may have already started thinking about your wedding invitations. But while the main invitation is the center of your wedding stationery, there are many other printed pieces you may want to coordinate—save-the-dates, ceremony programs, menus, escort cards (those are the cards that tell guests at which table they’ll be seated), and of course thank you notes! Here some of my favorite tips to help you create a stunning suite of wedding stationery.
First things first: identify your priorities. Before you can order invitations—or even save-the date cards—you’ll need to choose a venue and a date. Let the time of year and your chosen setting inspire your stationery. If your tastes run more toward classic elegance, choose invitations and printed accessories that match that mood, like these pieces I coordinated from the David’s Bridal invitation site. I am loving the gunmetal silver ribbon with the black and white invitation, and the other pieces play off this theme of timeless sophistication. Shipping is free if you spend $150. That leaves a little for an extra pair of shoes!
Know the rules. Everyone who receives a save-the-date card must receive a wedding invitation, even if they tell you in advance that they won’t be able to make it. Check all your grammar, spelling and addresses very carefully before going to print on any wedding stationery. Ask your caterer and venue to take a look at your final wording for menu cards, and consider letting your officiant take a look at your program before you sign off.
Try to send your wedding invitations at least six to eight weeks in advance of the celebration to give guests plenty of time to respond. When gifts arrive, make sure to send out hand written, personally signed thank you cards as soon as possible—I suggest within one month—and always mention the specific gift so that the giver will know how much you appreciate that fabulous new copper tea kettle or those Egyptian cotton towels! Also remember, if you’ll use your thank you cards before the wedding date, just have them printed with your first names (Ashleigh and Andrew), since you don’t want to use your married name before the Big Day. I do suggest ordering extra thank you cards, as you can always use them after the wedding as your personal couple stationery.
Don’t forget about your satellite celebrations. Showers, engagement parties, even your rehearsal dinner or welcome celebration—each piece can tie together with your invitation or have its own distinct personality to match the party vibe. Rehearsal dinner invites can be sent out closer to the wedding date, but if possible allow at least four to five weeks so you have time to firm up numbers and details with your restaurant or caterer.