When most people think of wedding stationery, the first item that comes to mind is the invitation. And that makes sense – usually, the invitation suite is the star of the stationery show! But, the invitation isn’t the full picture. In fact, it’s only one piece of a much bigger puzzle. Working with a stationer allows you to have cohesion from your save the dates all the way through to thank you notes. Plus, having one vendor for all of these items saves the headache of cobbling it together (and hoping it sort of matches) from multiple sources. Let’s dive into this wedding stationery checklist from start to finish!
During your engagement
Before your wedding, there are two key pieces of stationery to send out to your loved ones. First is your save the date card, and next is your invitation suite! Both of these are must-haves. Ideally, you’ll also set up a wedding website with added information for your guests to access, leading up to the big day.
As a stationery designer, I like to think about these items as the foundation of everything else. All the items as part of your wedding stationery checklist fit together and coordinate, so you have cohesion from start to finish. Since the invitation is typically the biggest budget item in terms of your paper goods, I like to think of this as containing multiple elements. Each of these elements can be repurposed or patterned in the other items to help unify your event branding.
Kicking off your wedding weekend
When guests arrive, it’s nice to give them a taste of what’s to come throughout the weekend. This is easily accomplished with a hotel welcome note, outlining the itinerary and all logistics they’ll need. As a bonus, I encourage my couples to include a few of their favorite things to see/eat/do in the area, so guests have some go-to spots during any downtime.
Likewise, if you’re hosting a welcome event or rehearsal dinner, it’s always fun to have stationery as part of that party! This should feel different from your wedding items, since it’s its own event.
Day of wedding stationery checklist
The big day is finally here! Over the course of the day, you’ll have a few separate “sections” of your event, each of which has different stationery options. Consider each chunk of time as its own mini category, so you can think about how the guest will experience each aspect of your day.
During your ceremony, you want to ensure two things: 1. Your wedding party is recognized and 2. Your guests know what the heck is going on. You can accomplish both of these things with a ceremony program, which can take on many forms.
After your ceremony and during cocktail hour, your goal is to have a lively, jovial experience for guests as they have drinks and appetizers – so make it fun! This is a great opportunity to infuse your wedding with a bit of your personality and flair, from signature cocktail signage to custom napkins. Likewise, you want your guests ready to be seated for dinner service. This means they need a seating assignment of some sort. This can be done with individual escort cards or a large format sign.
As guests are ushered into your reception space, you’ll need table numbers to get them to the correct table. That’s a must! Once people get to their designated table, you may also opt to assign individual seats. If that’s the case, you’ll also want place cards for each guest. Another nice stationery touch is a menu of what you’re serving – it adds a lovely element to the place setting.
Once you’ve opened your dance floor and the party gets going, it’s nice to have some added items as part of your wedding stationery checklist. None of this is crucial in terms of information (like your invitation), but it all adds a thoughtfulness and oomph to your overall event.
At the bar, it’s fun to have koozies, matchboxes, or coasters with something about you two. This could be anything from a monogram to a venue illustration, from a saying you have to a pet portrait! Something special to both of you is key – it’s your bar after all, so it doesn’t need to be serious.
At the end of the night, if you’re providing a favor, it’s always nice to have it branded for your event. This could be done with a sticker or gift tag, but it’s a lovely final touch to cap off the evening.
Send thank-you notes! If someone was generous enough to get you a gift (or even if they didn’t, but came to your wedding), you should show your gratitude. The old school rule is to send within the first year, but meh… send them as quickly as possible. These can have a wedding portrait or feature your event branding elements, but it’s always a bonus to have them coordinate with your other wedding stationery checklist items. Cohesion from start to finish is the name of the game!
So that’s an overview of the items you’ll need as part of your wedding stationery! This was brief and doesn’t give a full picture of other printed ideas you could incorporate. If you’re looking to have this information all in one place, I’ve got you covered! I’ve developed a FREE wedding stationery checklist, just for you. It walks you through each item with suggested quantities and other tips – it’s such a helpful desk reference during your planning process.
Get my free checklist