The most exciting day of your life is coming up, and you want everything to be just right–down to the last detail. You’ve got your venue sorted, you’ve decided how many people to invite, and maybe you’ve even booked a band or photographer. The next step is to tackle the stationery, which will be needed in order to send out a variety of wedding-related updates and information.
Below we’ll guide you through what you’ll need stationery for, what types and thicknesses of paper are available, how to showcase your style in your wedding stationery, and what you should consider when making a choice. Invest time and thought into selecting the right wedding stationery. From invitations to thank you cards, each piece plays a significant role in creating a cohesive and memorable experience for your guests.
Uses of Wedding Stationery
You’ll need to select stationery for some or all of the following purposes.
Engagement Announcements or Engagement Party Invites
These are optional; if you’d like to send out an engagement announcement or party invitation, use this as the first opportunity to think through the theme and overall style of your stationery.
Wedding invitations serve as the formal announcement of your wedding and provide crucial details to your guests such as the venue, date, time, and RSVP details. There are various styles of wedding invitations to choose from, depending on your preferences and wedding theme.
- Traditional Wedding Invitations: Traditional invites exude elegance and sophistication. They often feature classic designs, formal wording, and classic decorative elements such as embossing or letterpress printing. This style suits your wedding if you’re seeking a timeless and refined aesthetic.
- Modern Wedding Invitations: This style offers a contemporary twist; it incorporates innovative designs, unique typography, and creative formats. Use this if you’d like to infuse your personality as a couple into your wedding stationery and make a bold statement.
- Destination Wedding Invitations: These are specifically for couples planning a wedding away from their hometown. They typically feature elements that reflect the chosen destination, such as beach motifs for a tropical wedding or rustic elements for a countryside celebration. Destination wedding invitations help set the tone for the event.
Otherwise known as ‘enclosure cards’, insert cards include additional information that would clutter the paper used for the invitation. They can be sent to provide directions to the venue, recommend accommodation, or invite a few select guests to a small ceremony prior to the reception.
Save the Date Cards
Save the dates serve as pre-invitations, providing your guests with a heads-up about your wedding date before the formal invitations are sent. They are especially useful for guests who may need to travel or make arrangements in advance.
RSVP cards are essential for gathering responses from your guests. They allow you to accurately estimate the number of attendees, plan seating arrangements, and make necessary arrangements for catering and accommodation. RSVP cards typically include a pre-stamped envelope and a section for guests to indicate their responses. Send these out along with the invitations.
Bridal Shower and Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Invitations
Don’t forget about stationery for the pre-wedding celebrations! Have fun with the design, incorporating elements that represent the theme of each celebration. Alternatively, send these invites out digitally if you want to save money on paper.
Table numbers are an essential part of the reception decor, as they guide guests to their assigned tables. They can be as simple as a number on a card or creatively designed to complement your wedding theme. Incorporate elements such as flowers, photos, or meaningful symbols into your table numbers to add a personal touch.
Menu cards showcase the culinary delights that await your guests. They provide information about the food and drink options available during the event and are placed on each table or provided individually to guests.
Place cards are small cards with guests’ names on them that indicate where each person should be seated during the reception. They help guests easily find their assigned seats.
Wedding programs provide guests with a detailed itinerary of the wedding ceremony. Be sure to include information about the order of events, musical selections and readings, names of the wedding party, and any special rituals or traditions. Programs help guests follow along and feel more connected to the ceremony.
Escort cards are similar to place cards but are used to direct people to their assigned tables rather than specific seats. They are typically displayed near the entrance of the reception venue and help guests navigate the seating arrangement smoothly.
Thank You Cards
Thank you cards are a.) a thoughtful way to express gratitude to your guests for attending your wedding and for any gifts they may have given, and b.) necessary! Don’t skip out on thank you cards, and send them promptly soon after the wedding. Make your guests feel special by writing each of them a heartfelt, personalized message mentioning the gift they got you and/or thanking them for attending even if they didn’t bring a gift.
Wedding announcements are sent to those who were unable to attend the wedding but are still important to you. They serve as a way to share the news of your marriage and can include a photo from your special day. Choose an elegant and celebratory design that conveys the joyous occasion.
There are several options to consider for paper or cardstock for your wedding stationery. The type of paper you select can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your wedding invitations and other stationery items. Here are some popular choices to get you thinking:
Classic Matte Paper
This is a versatile and widely used option for wedding stationery. It has a smooth, non-glossy finish, providing an elegant and sophisticated look. Classic matte paper is suitable for various printing techniques and can be easily written on.
Cotton paper is a popular choice for wedding stationery due to its luxurious and elegant feel. Made from cotton fibers, it offers a soft and textured surface that adds a touch of sophistication. Cotton paper is available in various finishes, such as smooth or embossed, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic for your wedding stationery.
Linen paper features a distinctive woven texture that resembles linen fabric. It adds a subtle and classy look to your wedding invitations and other stationery items. Linen paper is known for its durability and ability to resist creasing, making it an excellent choice for anything you intend to cherish as a keepsake in the future.
If you prefer a more polished and shiny appearance, glossy paper is a great choice. It offers a reflective surface that enhances colors and gives a vibrant, high-quality look to your wedding stationery. However, keep in mind that glossy paper may be more prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Textured paper adds depth and visual interest to your wedding stationery. It can have various finishes like linen, felt, or embossed patterns, creating a tactile and luxurious feel.
For couples looking for an eco-friendly option, recycled paper is an excellent choice. It comes in various textures and finishes, allowing you to maintain sustainability without compromising on style.
Metallic paper has a shimmery, reflective surface that adds a bit of glamor to stationery. It. It is often used for accents, borders, or as a backing layer to create a luxurious look.
Vellum paper is translucent and makes your stationery feel delicate and ethereal. It can be used as overlays, wraps, or belly bands and it works well with various specialty printing techniques, including calligraphy and foiling.
In order to save paper, money, and/or time, some couples nowadays are opting to forgo stationery entirely and do the whole thing digitally. While digital options are not as memorable and special as tangible items, digital stationery certainly is convenient and cost-effective. It can be shared through links or PDFs emailed or messaged to select friends via social media. Digital stationery can also be combined with old-fashioned paper stationery; some couples send out just one simple card with a few embellishments and a QR code on it for guests to scan and access all wedding information.
Thickness of Paper
How thick your stationery is will make a big difference in how it feels, how durable it is, and even the message it conveys about the formality and style of your wedding.
For wedding stationery sold in the United States, paper weight is commonly measured in pounds (lb). The lb measurement refers to the weight of a ream of paper (500 sheets) at a standard size. The higher the lb value, the thicker and heavier the paper.
Outside of the United States, paper weight is commonly measured in grams per square meter (gsm). The gsm measurement refers to the weight of a single sheet of paper measuring one square meter. Like the lb measurement, a higher gsm value indicates a thicker and heavier paper. Below we’ve provided information using both measurements, as some couples opt to order from international sources and many of the suppliers you come across online will use GSM.
Finally, consider that you will likely use different paper thicknesses for different pieces of stationery. Here’s our guidance on paper thicknesses and what they’re appropriate for.
80 lb – 100 lb (120 – 270 gsm)
This is the standard weight for most wedding stationery items. It offers a good balance between thickness and flexibility, allowing for easy handling and printing. This weight is suitable for invitations, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes.
110 lb – 130 lb (300 – 350 gsm)
If you desire a more substantial and luxurious feel for your wedding stationery, opt for a higher-weight paper. This thickness is ideal for pocket-style invitations, layered designs, and any stationery items that require durability and a premium look.
For a truly impressive effect, go for ultra-thick papers, such as 220 lb (600 gsm) or more. These papers provide a substantial and rigid feel, making them great keepsakes. Thicker options are perfect for letterpress or foil-stamped invitations that require deep impressions.
It’s worth noting that different printers and printing techniques may have specific recommendations for paper thicknesses. Consult with your stationery designer or printer to ensure the chosen paper is compatible with your desired printing method.
Showcase Your Style
Aside from the type of paper, consider the following in making stylistic choices in order to make your wedding stationery unique:
Choose colors that go well with your wedding theme and overall aesthetic. Consider using a color scheme that complements your wedding decor and attire.
Select fonts that reflect your personal style and the tone of your wedding. Whether you prefer elegant scripts, modern sans-serif fonts, or a combination of both, typography plays a significant role in setting the mood of your stationery, and by extension, your wedding.
Embellishments like ribbons, wax seals, or foiling add a luxurious and personalized touch to your wedding stationery.
Explore different envelope styles, such as square-flap, pointed-flap, or lined envelopes.
Remember to choose paper and stylistic options that complement each other.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Wedding Stationery
Consider these three factors to ensure your stationery aligns with your wedding vision and requirements.
- Wedding Theme: Select stationery that matches your wedding theme, whether it’s rustic, modern, vintage, or anything else.
- Budget: Determine your budget for wedding stationery and explore options within your price range.
- Timeline: Plan ahead and order your stationery with ample time for printing, addressing, and sending it out to your guests. For example, you should send out your save-the-date cards six to eight months in advance to give your guests enough time to make arrangements, and send your invitations themselves about four to six months before the wedding. That means ordering save-the-date cards seven to nine months in advance, and invitations five to seven months prior to the big day. Take into account that before ordering, you’ll need time to create and finalize the design, too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wedding Stationery
Q: Do I need to include RSVP cards with my wedding invitations?
A: Yes, definitely include RSVP cards. They help you gather accurate responses from guests and plan accordingly.
Q: Can I use electronic invitations instead of printed ones?
A: For sure! Electronic invitations are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and environmental friendliness. Consider using online platforms or specialized wedding websites to create and send digital invitations.
Q: Should I include a separate card for accommodation details?
A: Yes, especially if you have guests traveling from out of town. Provide information about nearby hotels, room blocks, and any special discounts.
Q: Should I handwrite my thank-you cards?
A: Handwritten thank-you cards feel more personal and are highly appreciated. However, it’s not strictly necessary if handwriting isn’t your thing. What’s more important is that you take the time to write (or type) a heartfelt message to each guest, expressing your gratitude for their presence and support.
Q: How soon after the wedding should I send out thank you cards?
A: It is customary to send out thank you cards within three months after the wedding.
Q: Should I include a map or directions with the wedding invitations?
A: Including a clear, easy-to-follow map or directions is helpful, particularly if your venue is challenging to locate on google maps or if you have older guests who might not be used to using map apps.
Choosing the right wedding stationery is an important part of wedding planning. Each type of stationery serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall aesthetic of your special day. From save-the-date cards to thank-you notes, there are numerous options available to suit your style and preferences. Happy planning!
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]