Stationery is your best way of giving your quests the first impression of your wedding, therefore you want to make sure it makes a statement.
You can look at your stationery in three parts: the save-the-date, the wedding invitation and enclosures, and the day-of pieces. Whether you wish to get your stationery professionally designed or design and print them yourself you’re going to need to visit a stationery shop to get your hands on some paper and check out design styles. Usually you should expect to spend no more than five percent of your budget on your stationery, including postage, but adjust as necessary.
The moment your wedding date is set and the venue is booked - you should send out a save-the-date. It's not really important if it's a year out from the wedding or nine months out or seven - the point is you want your guests to get your wedding on their schedules as soon as it's possible.
You don't need to go overboard on details; just your names and the date to keep open. If you have a wedding website already set up with details about the ceremony, reception and accommodations, include the URL. And, of course, you can mention that a formal invitation will follow.
Let's make it clear right away: Do not include registry information on the invitation - anywhere - it is simply rude! You're inviting your friends and family to join in your wedding celebration; you're not inviting them to bring you gifts!
The actual wedding invite is where you officially invite your guests. Plan to put these in the mail around two months prior to your wedding.
The invitation might be the main attraction, but there are still some paper pieces you need for the big day:
- Programs: If you're having a ceremony in a house of worship, this will list info for the officiant, readings, the wedding party, etc.
- Table numbers/names.
- Escort cards and Place cards: Escort cards tell the guest which table they are at. Place cards show them where at the table they are sitting.
- Menus: An outline of dinner, set with their place card, is a nice touch.
- Thank-yous: If you want to get a jump on showing your gratitude, it can be worthwhile to invest in stationery with your newly married name.