Guest Author - Beth Helmstetter
Wedding stationery has recently become an area where couples have begun expressing their style and individuality. Many couples are now coordinating all paper products from the invitations to place cards, ultimately adding a higher level of sophistication to the overall event. Keep reading for an overview of what is easily one of the most inexpensive design elements that will make your event stand apart from the rest.
SAVE THE DATE
Originally created for destination weddings, save the dates are becoming just one more way to prepare your guests for an event all your own. Usually sent out four to six months before the wedding, the save the date includes the wedding date and city and state where the wedding will take place. For out of town guests this is also a great place to provide accommodations information. For a unique touch consider creative ways for this informal detail. Some of my favorites save the date ideas include:
• A save the date designed like an airplane ticket for destination weddings;
• Fortune cookie with a fortune reading: “A wedding invitation is in your future” for an Asian inspired fete;
• Save the date tied to a pail and shovel for a beach affair.
An invitation is a given. This should be the most formal piece of your stationery which outlines all details for the day including date, time, ceremony address and reception details. With your invitation, don’t forget to have your stationer design the following to accompany your invite:
• Response Cards: Providing guests with an RSVP card with a stamped return envelope will make giving your caterer or wedding planner a guest count a breeze.
• Directions: A map or written directions is a must. Instead of typing up the directions yourself, go the extra mile and have your designer create a map that coordinates with your invite. It will cost an additional $.50 to $1 per card, but the end look will be well worth it.
• Accommodations: Again, if sending out save the dates, the accommodations card should be part of that initial delivery. However, if skipping the save the date, the invitation is also the perfect time to provide area hotel information to out of town guests.
Programs add a touch of formality to any wedding or event. The basic program includes a short outline of the ceremony, names of all attendants and people assisting with the day, as well as a brief thank you to both the hosts of the wedding (usually the parents), and the guests attending. To make your program stand apart, consider:
• Creating a program shaped as a fan for an outdoor ceremony;
• Including song lyrics of you and your fiancé’s song;
• Adding a story telling guests how you and the groom met.
For a sophisticated detail, consider tucking a menu in each guest’s dinner napkin. This is a great way to show guests you thought of everything while providing added décor to your dinner table. If budget is of concern, have the card double as a place card by printing each guest’s name at the top of the menu.
PLACE CARDS & TABLE NUMBERS
When ordering your invitations and other stationery, don’t forget to have your stationer create coordinating place cards. Everyone one loves to see their name in print and this is just one more way to add a small touch of elegance to the dinner table.
Table numbers, while a minor detail, can complete the look of your dinner table. However, instead of just numbering the tables, give each table a name representing something of interest to you and your fiancé, such as:
• Famous couples from the big screen if movie buffs;
• Destinations you have visited together; or
• If sports fans, name the tables after your favorite teams.
Do not forget the thanks yous! At this point the wedding is over and unless you want to continue your theme, it is no longer necessary for your stationery to coordinate. Some of the most memorable and gracious ways to show your gratitude include:
• A postcard from your honeymoon thanking each guest for their attendance;
• A card with a picture of you and your fiancée holding up signs that say “thank you” from your wedding day;
• A simple thank you note that includes a picture of the guest with their date or family. For this token, you will need to arrange with your photographer in advance to ensure he or she takes pictures of each group or family in attendance.