Your Wedding Invitation


Invitation Process

The style of your wedding invitation should reflect the tone and the formality of the day. To begin with look at different types of wedding stationery and think about which style suits your needs and budget best.

Some options for you to think about are:

  • Handmade wedding stationery – this can be an ‘off the shelf’ design or even especially designed (bespoke) stationery designed just for you, often by specialist wedding stationers like ourselves

  • Printed stationery (High street shops and online websites offer many of the catalogues available), some are heavily discounted

  • Printers – often offer catalogues of designs but can also offer a specialist design service

  • Making your own wedding stationery – if this appeals please allow enough time and think realistically about whether you have the patience!
  • Usually traditional weddings require a more formal style of invitation with civil weddings having a more modern style. The current trend is for the couple to have a themed wedding and this theme is carried through to all the finer details. The theme may be a particular flower, era or colour, for example a wedding with a Celtic theme may choose to have 'Celtic Style' wedding invitations and stationery,
    for example our Lustre Celtic range.

    While considering the options, in terms of style, have in mind your budget and where your priorities lie (or your 'essentials'), as there are many coordinating items that you may wish to consider
    • Save the Date Cards
    • Invitations (day and evening)
    • Response cards
    • Order of service sheets
    • Menus
    • Table or Seating Plans
    • Table Name Cards

    • Place Cards
    • Guest scrolls
    • Thank you cards
    • Envelope seals
    • Cake boxes
    • Matchbooks
    • Napkins

    • Napkin rings
    • Coasters
    • Bridal favour boxes
    • Personalised ribbon
    • Mints or chocolates with personalised wrappers
    Once you decide which items you really need then you are well armed when considering the type of wedding stationery for your wedding and your all-important budget!

    Once you're engaged you begin the journey that is 'planning your wedding'. Plan well ahead and you can enjoy every minute!

    One of the more tricky jobs is compiling your guest list but once you have a list of names you can begin to think about your wedding invitations.

    We have categorised the items of stationery below giving information and tips, where relevant to help you decide which items you need and when to send them out.
    Save the Date Cards

    These are a relatively new idea that has developed as weddings abroad have become more popular. They are also really useful if you are planning a summer wedding and you want to make sure that your guests aren't away on their annual holiday.

    Save the date cards come in many guises and simply to let your guests know the date of the wedding so that they can keep it free. Usually they are sent out about 6 months before the wedding but many couples send them out as soon as the date is set.

    If you are super organised and have decided on your wedding invitation design then you can have them made to match your wedding stationery. But rest assured most couples haven't got that far and they just choose just a simple postcard with the relevant information.

    Just remember that once you have asked someone to keep the date free then they would expect to receive an invitation!
    Wedding Invitations

    These are split into two groups (day invitations and evening invitations) your family and friends will eagerly await their arrival and they should include all the relevant information your guests need.

    Traditionally your wedding invitations are sent out 6 weeks before the wedding but current trends are to send them out much earlier than this so that your guests can plan well ahead. This has a 'knock' on effect with whom you commission to make your wedding stationery. Generally large printers have shorter lead times but your choice of design can be restricted while handmade publishers usually have longer lead times (sometimes up to a year!) Most companies will accommodate 'late' orders but it usually involves a surcharge.
    Think carefully about the number of invitations you require – allow one per family along with the minister and their guest. Also include family or friends who you know can't attend but would really welcome an invitation. Finally, allow a few spares to allow for errors when writing them out and for any last minute changes to your guest list.

    When ordering read the small print very carefully and check whether your stationer charges for a proof of the insert. Whichever the case always proof read your wedding invitation insert very carefully as once it has been signed off you will be responsible for any errors or subsequent changes.
    Allow plenty of time for writing out your wedding invitations and addressing the envelopes. It can be useful to include some additional information with your wedding invitation such as travel information (rail, air etc), maps and accommodation (hotels guesthouses including telephone numbers and a contact name). Think carefully before including any details about your gift list as some people may find this offensive.

    If you want to follow tradition there is a procedure to follow for assembling your wedding invitations for posting. It has developed over time but stems from when wedding invitations were hand delivered. Wedding invitations were posted in two envelopes the outer envelope would be opened by the footman and the inner envelope would be opened by the guest. Today it's purpose is so that the invitee can open and read all the information easily and in the correct order.

    The guests names and addresses should appear on the outer envelope with just their titles names ans surnames written on the inner envelope. This tradition is still followed today but it is more suited to the more formal occasion.
    • Place the invitation face-up in front of you, then place a sheet of tissue over the front just to protect the front of your invitation

    • Assemble any enclosures and place these in order of size (the largest being nearest the invitation) with the writing facing you

    • For a folded invitation place the enclosures inside the invitation

    • Place all the items into an inner envelope placing any folded invitations with the fold at the bottom of the envelope

    • Place the inner envelope into the outer envelope with the writing facing the invitee as the outer envelope is opened

    • If the invitation has been folded then the fold must be at the bottom of the envelope, unfolded invitations should have the writing facing the back of the envelope
    When posting your wedding invitations take care to attach the correct postage in terms of size and weight.

    Keep a careful record of the responses you receive. Response cards (sometimes called RSVP cards) can be included with your wedding invitation and will make this task much easier. As you receive responses it is possible to move guests up your 'priority list' say from the evening invitation list to the day invitation list but be careful not to offend anyone!
    Your Order Of Service

    This usually coordinates with your wedding invitation; traditionally the cover sheet will include the names of the bride and groom along with the date and the venue. The purpose of your order of service is to allow your guests to follow the service easily without fumbling between hymnbooks and service books. For a civil service this is usually called the order of the day but it still serves the same purpose.

    The layout of your order of service will depend on the service and you should always seek the advice of your minister before arranging them to be printed. Remember to organise this early for the printing lead times, often your stationer will guide you through this process when you order them with your wedding invitations.

    When ordering allow a few spares and enough for the minister, attendants and the choir. If budget is an issue then consider allocating one per couple and this will reduce the number required considerably.

    Finally consider whether you wish your ushers to hand them out as your guests arrive at the venue or whether you prefer to have them waiting for them on the seats.
    Your Wedding Menus

    If you want to carry your wedding theme right through then personalised menus really add a finishing touch. They can also contain information about the order of events such as toasts and speeches, which take place at the reception. You will need 2 or 3 per table depending on the number of guests seated at each table (your venue will advise you on this). You may opt for 'mini menus', which double up as a place card, these act as extra little mementos for your guests. Coordinating menus are a luxury but they do add to the occasion and your guests will really appreciate knowing the details of the fabulous fayre about to be served!
    Your Place Cards

    Your place cards help your guests find the correct seat at their table. Again they can coordinate with your main wedding stationery (most invitation designs will have a matching option). Sometimes they can double up as little favours, tags attached to napkin rings, or tied around serviettes – the possibilities are endless!

    Allow plenty of time for writing them or find a friend with a steady hand! Some stationers will offer a calligraphy service for a small charge.

    Place cards can also be printed, if you're doing this yourself order some spares for allowing errors when 'setting up' your printer.

    Consider how you address your guests on the place setting (to some extent this is dictated by the formality of your wedding) for example a formal place card would address Mr. John Adams and his wife's' would be Mrs. John Adams. For a more informal occasion Christian names or even nicknames are perfectly acceptable
    Your Favour Boxes

    Favours are a long established wedding tradition, which began in Italy or Greece. The traditional variety (bomboniere) contain 5 sugared almonds representing health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life, 5 being a prime number, which cannot be divided, just like the newly married couple.

    Wedding favours have developed in recent times and many find the traditional meaning a little too 'old-fashioned' for their taste. Many couples just like to give a small memento of the day – these come in many forms tiny ribboned boxes of chocolates, lottery tickets and scrolls, sweets, biscuits iced with the couples names, candles and even luxury items. The list is endless and is only limited by perhaps your budget!
    Your Thank You Cards

    Don't forget to say thank you! Many couples opt for a coordinating thank you card as a final flourish to the wedding, however the sentiment is more important than the card itself. Thank your guests for attending and for any gifts received. Remember too that the personal touch always means more; while it may seem tedious handwritten thank yous go a long way!
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