A wedding stationery checklist is a list of everything you need to do to ensure that all the printed items you are going to need for your wedding are ready exactly on time. Below you can find our checklist, which covers just about everything that you are going to need, along with suggested timings. Follow our list, and some of your wedding preparation headaches will be eased.
What About Timing?
Timing is going to depend to some extent on how much time there will be between certain events. For example, if you have an engagement party eighteen months before your wedding, the timing for getting invitations printed and dispatched will obviously be different than if, say, your engagement party is six months before your wedding.
As a rule of thumb, allow two months between the day you put in your stationery order and the day you want it delivered. Work closely with your printer, and make sure that you check all the proofs he sends you twice. And then once more for luck!
Style And Design
You are very likely planning a theme or at least a color scheme for your wedding. There are masses of ideas online, but here are some popular choices. The advantage of choosing something popular or very simple is that you will be able to get off-the-peg designs, rather than having something made especially for you.
- Classic – stylish, restrained, colors are usually white and gold
- Fairytale – lots of sparkles, charming, and sweet. Pastel shades
- Bohemian – gypsy colors, a bit wild and out there
- Flowers – spring flowers, roses, tropical flowers – there is a lot to choose from with this theme
- Vintage – draw on a past era – maybe the Wild West, Victorian Times, the Roaring Twenties, or the Old South
- Sophisticated – cool and modern, no-frills and flounces
- Casual – anything goes, come-as-you-are, a very stress-free choice
- Nautical – boating themes are popular, and the color choice here is navy blue, white, and turquoise
- Tropical – especially for exotic destination weddings, think palm trees, parrots, hibiscus
The Ultimate Wedding Stationery List
Before we get started on the list, remember that you will need to compile a list of addresses – both physical addresses and email addresses. It’s a good idea to send a reminder by email as well as the original piece of wedding stationery. A spreadsheet showing who needs to receive which invitation or reminder is a very useful tool if you have a large number of people on your guest list.
Every invitation should, of course, have the date, the time, the place, the dress code, and, if needed, instructions on how to get to the venue.
- Engagement announcement. If it’s a formal party, send this out two months in advance. For a more casual affair, a month should give everyone enough time.
- Save-the-date Card. This is very useful to get a feel for how many people will be able to come. Send it out around six months in advance, and include an RSVP. (For a destination wedding, a year or eighteen months is not too much notice.)
- Bridal Shower Invitation. The bridal shower is usually held two to three months before the wedding. Include your registration information if you have a registry. These days “no gifts” is also an option, and occasionally even “donations to….” In this case, the shower functions simply as a nice party. (The no-gift options are often used when a couple is older and already has everything they need.) Thank-you cards you always be sent out promptly, within a week.
- Bridal Shower Thank-You Cards. Make sure someone keeps a list of the gifts you receive and who sent them. In case of emergency, “Thank you for the delightful gift” works well!
- Bachelor/Bachelorette Party. This invitation is likely to be informal and, in fact, if you are on a budget, can be skipped altogether in favor of e-mail or word-of-mouth. For a large party, send invitations out a couple of months ahead. For a small function, a month should be enough.
- The Wedding Invitation. This is where you should spend most of your budget. The invitation should have: an outer envelope for the address and stamp, an inner envelope to keep the invitation in clean and crisp condition, the invitation itself, an invitation to the reception, if it is to be held at another location, and an RSVP (reply) card for both wedding and reception – this can be covered by one card – a reply paid addressed envelope for the reply, and a wrapper for the complete pack, this is usually known as a belly band and adds to the beautiful look of the whole package. You may also wish to include directions to the venue(s) for the wedding and for the reception, as well as local hotel recommendations for guests who will be traveling from a distance.
- Remember to put the full names of the bride and groom if the invitation is formal. A good printer can guide you on the etiquette of how an invitation should be worded. Times, places, and importantly, dress codes for both events should be included as well as any color themes.
- A Ceremony Program. This is particularly important if you are having a religious ceremony, especially if people who are not of your religion will be attending.
- Seating plans. If you are having a seated meal at your reception, it is helpful to have seating plans pinned up at the entrance to the eating area so that people can easily find their place.
- Table Number Cards make it easy for people to find their table
- Place Name Cards. Another courtesy so that people know not only where they are to sit but can take a peek at the name of the stranger they may end up seated next to!
- Thank You Cards. After the wedding, please do make sure to thank everyone who attended, sent a gift, helped with décor, food, arrangements, music, and all the myriad things that made your day happy.
Remember that your wedding stationery will probably be treasured for many years to come by you and your guests. Make sure to keep a copy of all the significant items for your wedding scrapbook. One day your grandchildren will love to see these old-fashioned things!