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The Definitive Guide to Wedding Stationery

Do you want it to make a statement about the style of your wedding? Or would you prefer it to be more functional and just state the details without too much fuss? There are hundreds of different wedding stationery designs available, from traditional to modern, handmade to ready printed, bespoke to off the shelf.  


Wedding Stationery Editor, Deborah Smith 

Try to obtain as many brochures as possible and look at as many different designs as you can - the internet is a great resource for finding stationery companies and seeing what they produce. Albany_Range_Menu_Placecard.jpg

By seeing what’s available to you, you should get a strong idea of what you’d like. With any luck you’ll come across a design that you think is perfect but if not then you can always choose the bespoke route and commission something unique.

 Most importantly your stationery should compliment the chosen style of your wedding - it will be the first ‘taster’ that your guests will receive about the kind of wedding you are having and should set the tone and applicable formality of the day. 

Where do I start?

  • A good way to begin is to set your budget and then make your guest list.
  • Decide exactly which items of wedding stationery you feel that you definitely need and the amounts you require and then you can consider extras if your budget allows.
  • When making your guest list also make a ‘standby’ list of people you might like to invite should any of your original guests be unable to come. 

How many invitations will I need? 

Allow one invitation per family/couple and also order a few extra for any mistakes you may make when writing them out or for later when you may be able to invite those from your ‘standby’ list.

It is also good etiquette to send the groom’s parents an invitation and, traditionally, if you are having a relegious ceremony, your minister too.

You may also want to think about ordering matching pre printed RSVP cards which go in with the invitations and can help to speed up the process of receiving replies from your guests.

Another consideration is the inclusion of any other information that may be useful to your guests such as directions and maps to the church or reception venue, accommodation for those coming from further afield, travel information and menu choices if applicable. 

Many stationers now produce invitations that include RSVPs and information cards integrated within the design and these can be a stylish solution to keeping everything contained and together whilst also maintaining the look and style of your invitation. 

The Relevant Details

Once you’ve decided upon your invitation design then you need to sort out all the relevant details for the inserts.

Details  you need to include...

  • The Host Names
  • The Bride & Groom’s Names
  • The Date of the Wedding
  • The Venue of the Ceremony
  • The Time of the Ceremony
  • The Venue of the Reception
  • Dress Code (if applicable)
  • RSVP details

Insert wording and layout can vary depending on whether you go down a traditional route or a more informal one. You can find some examples of insert wording here: www.beehappydesigns.co.uk/fonts.html but if you are unsure as to how to word your insert then do ask your stationery supplier for their advice.  

Other Stationery

There are many other items of stationery that you can consider for your wedding.

Again, decide on what you need based upon your budget. You may feel that some items are essential for the smooth running of your day whilst others wouldn’t be missed.

Save the Dates

Usually sent out up to one year in advance Save the Dates are a great way announce your wedding and ensure your guest can plan ahead. They are particularly useful if you are getting married at an exceptionally busy time of year such as a bank holiday or over the Christmas season.

Evening Invitations

If you are having an evening reception then you may want to invite extra guests to that part of the day only. Evening invitations can be the same as your day invitations (with different wording obviously!) but many stationers can offer simpler alternatives that match your day invitations but are more cost effective.           

Order of Sevice / Order of the Day

Order of Service are traditionally given out to your guests as they arrive at the church by your Ushers. It gives details of the ceremony, hymns, readings and music and is a great way to make sure your guests feel involved in, and can follow, the service.

Your Minister can advise you as to what details need to be included and you should order enough for one copy per guest plus additional copies for the Minister and choir if applicable.

If you aren’t having a relegious ceremony then Order of the Days work in a similar way as Order of Service but detail a breakdown of the days events instead. 

Table Plans, Table Markers, Place Cards and Menus

If you are having a formal sit down wedding breakfast at your venue then table plans, table markers and place cards are a great way to ensure your guests can find their seats easily.

Display your table plan at the entrance to your dining room and use matching table markers on each of your tables to indicate to your guests where they should be. If you would like your guests to sit in specific seats at each table then add place cards to each place setting showing their names.

Table plans are traditionally quite formal but themed table plans that move away from the general wedding design are also very popular and can quite often invovle other aspects of the Bride and Grooms personalities such as hobbies, favourite football teams or perhaps photographs of significant places.

Tempt your guests with the delights to come by providing menus on your tables. If you have enough in your budget then one menu per person can be quite a luxury to your guests, however, two - four menus per table should suffice.

Menus can be a great talking point and a useful way to help your guests break the ice and get chatting if they don’t already know each other.

Thank You Cards

Thank you cards are an absolute must on your stationery list so make sure you budget accordingly. It is good ettiquette to thank each of your guests for sharing the day with you and, of course, for any gifts they may have given.

Allow one thank you card per couple/family (as invitations). 

Checking and Double Checking

Once you’ve found the perefect stationery design you need to place your order, pay your deposit and send your details to your stationer who will then provide you with proofs of how your stationery will look.

Check over the spelling, the dates, the times and then get at least two other people to check it over too. Once printed it can be very costly to rectify any mistakes or omissions so double check all timings with your church and venue and only once you are completely happy then confirm to your stationer that the proof is ok (or obviously tell them any alterations you wish to make). 


Stationers need, on average, about two months to complete your order (depending on it’s size) but it’s always best to check with your supplier before you order.  

You should send your invitations out approximately two - three months before your wedding and so you need to be ordering your stationery at least five months before your wedding date.

Stationery Countdown 

Up to one year before wedding date

  • start obtaining brochures and order samples of designs you like.

 Six months before

  • decide on some designs, get quotes from the printers
  • make final decision on design

 Five months before

  • sort out all details for inserts (and information sheets if applicable)
  • order stationery

Four months before

  • proof read insert, double check church and venue details, confirm all ok or any alterations to printer

 Two months before

  • collate all information sheet details and print (if supplier isn’t providing them)
  • receive invitations from printers
  • write invitations, add information sheet and send!

 Once you’ve sent all your invitations out don’t forget to make a list of all the replies that you receive and any relevant information (dietary requirements etc.)


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