December 16, 2021
A Guide to Wedding Stationery
When planning your wedding, you’ll traditionally need the following pieces of stationery: Save the Dates, Invitations, Ceremony Programs, Welcome Signs, Escort Cards or Seating Chart, Menus, Table Numbers, Place cards, and Bar Menus. And if you have special events happening throughout the night, you may want additional stationery or signage!
It’s always advised to work with a professional stationery designer to create these necessary details for your wedding. There are a plethora of reasons why you should work with a designer, but we’ll highlight the top 3 here.
1. Stationers build out your schedule for you! This is helpful to see when your deadlines are and how it impacts the rest of the schedule (going to production/print, expected ship date, expected mail date). As your planners, we make sure you never miss a deadline and help you work through the to-dos of proofing, editing, and approving the final product.
2. These designers have robust graphic design and art experience, so you are sure to get a product that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye in terms of spacing, composition, and creativity.
If you compare this to a DIY website, such as Minted, or using a printing company where you can only change the font size or type, you’ll find stationers understand a canvas and use their skills to give you a thoughtful piece of art.
3. Speaking of art! Whether semi-custom or truly bespoke, you are receiving a work of art. Their natural and trained talents are a true gift! Finding the right ‘artist’ to work with is one of our favorite parts as we help you navigate finding the right match. You may prefer a more classic/traditional design or want to explore more modern/contemporary styles – you also may not know what you like or don’t like yet! We help match you with the right designer for your wedding style and budget.
Now, while selecting the right partner to collaborate with is the important first step, the next phase of decision-making comes with lots of descriptions, in-person samples, and examples.
If you want to better understand the jargon we use when we get to this phase, see our descriptions below of the main topics we’ll cover with you. No matter who you decide to work with, whether they are local to you or not, we always make sure our clients can touch, feel, and see in person the options they have. Most of our most trusted and favored designers provide great sample bags for you that are mailed to you – wherever you are!
Custom Vs. Pre-Designed
When beginning to design your save the date or invitations you first need to decide if you want a 100% bespoke design or a semi-custom suite. While custom work is more expensive, you receive complete customization from layout to fonts, to accessories. Semi-custom suites are typically templates that the designer has created. When selecting these pre-designed suites, you can make minor changes like font type and color, but the overall layout does not change.
However, with custom invitations the possibilities are endless.
When we consider paper selections, we look at details like paperweight (how thick and stiff your paper is), edging (torn, flat, or tinted), overall type (cotton, linen, vellum), and texture.
The font is one of the most simple, but complex ways to create a feeling and emotion for your wedding.
Hand lettering and cursive script can feel very classic and romantic, while block lettering or san serif print type present more modern and minimalist. I personally love mixing the two in unexpected ways. I like the elegance that the script brings to the design paired with the crisp style of clean block text.
Layering details in your invitation suite are a beautiful way to entertain guests and another area to translate your design into a tangible product. Some ideas we love to incorporate are: an overlay of a custom illustration or pattern, velvet or silk wrappings tied in a beautiful bow or secured with a wax seal, a Finer Details card, or a detailed map of the area! The ideas are endless and we, along with your stationery designer, help you craft unique ideas that represent your wedding style & feel.
There are so many choices for how you can print your stationery. Engraving, letterpress, thermography, embossing, flat printing, and foil stamping are the most popular formats.
Stamps are a great way to add design details to your finished product. You will need to take a fully assembled suite to the post office to confirm how much postage is needed. Typically larger or square envelopes and multi-layered suites with more weight require a butterfly stamp or greater. You can typically always use 1 forever stamp on the RSVP card. We love to mix vintage stamps on the envelopes for a personal touch.
There are so many fun accessories you can add to your suite. We love dried florals, wax seals, unique envelope or paper materials, belly bands, wrapped jackets, envelope liners – there are endless possibilities and we love the chance to get super personal and/or on ‘theme’ here for a special touch.