wedding stationery: which items do you really need?
When planning out your wedding stationery, it can be really hard to know what you need to be a part of it. Often, we’ve never done this before and we aren’t really sure about what the “right” way to do it is!
I’m going to give you some unconventional advice from someone who makes stationery for a living - there’s no right way to do it.
Want to send out an e-invite? Do it. Want to send out a postcard? Do it. Want to send out a full suite? Do it. The most important thing is finding out what’s right for you and your wedding style and what fits into your budget.
Today, I’m chatting about all the items “traditionally” placed into an invitation suite, and whether or not you need them.
Warning: I’m going to err on the side of “you probably don’t need this” but that doesn’t mean that if you want it or feel it’s necessary for your wedding, that you shouldn’t get it!
BUT FIRST, What’s your wedding style?
This is super cliche to say, but it’s true. Your invitations are your guest’s first “introduction” to your wedding. Through your invitations, you convey to them what the style, formality, and colours of your wedding will be. Some invitations convey a casual affair, while others can indicate a black-tie event. We want to let people know what to expect for your wedding through your invitation!
If you’re wedding is casual, don’t be scared to keep the invitation casual! It should match your wedding. If you’re wedding is on the formal side, go a more traditional route with your invitations (but this doesn’t mean it’ll break the bank!).
Alright, onto the items.
Save the Date
Save the Date’s are only really necessary if your guests are going to need to travel for the wedding. These are usually sent out 6-9 months before the wedding, just to let people know when and where the wedding will be so they can decide if they need to book time off or book flights out to join you.
Are you having a local wedding but have a bunch of family/friends who will need to travel for it?
Consider sending a Save the Date to only these people, or simply communicate the wedding date to them verbally on the phone or via email. They’ll still get the official invitation later on, but they’ll have warning ahead of time when the wedding will be and they can start thinking about whether or not they’ll travel out to join you.
Are you having a destination wedding that everyone will need to travel to?
Definitely consider sending out a Save the Date with your wedding date, location, and travel info. OR better yet, skip the “Save the Date” and send out a full invitation 4-6 months before the wedding day. Why mail out two sets if you don't need to?!
Yes, if there's any piece you absolutely need, it's this one! But, it's completely up to you on how it's delivered. E-vite? Postcard? Invitation suite? Totally up to you!
Traditionally, the main invite is sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding when used in conjunction with a Save the Date, but I’d suggest mailing it out 3-4 months before the wedding if you aren’t sending out a Save the Date ahead of time.
Depending on the amount of details you need to communicate to your guests, this might be the only piece you need!
What's traditionally on your invitation?
Your names, who is hosting the wedding, the date and time, and the location(s).
Traditionally, you include a card for guests to write their names, say whether or not they are coming, and include an envelope for it to be mailed back.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but in this day and age we have email and wedding websites, and I think they can eliminate the need for an RSVP card. At least they eliminate the need for an RSVP card that needs to be mailed back. Rather, consider including your RSVP info on the main invite, or have a small card with RSVP instructions (like to email or visit your website) that don't need to be mailed back to you!
Another place to include RSVP information could be a larger details card. These are useful if you also want to include any accommodations information for out of town guests, travel information, or other wedding weekend events. Basically, if you have more info needed to give your guests that you can't include on the main invite - put it on a details card.
Alternative option: Have a wedding website with these details, and include the website on your main invitation.
If you'll be mailing your invitations, definitely some form of addressing will be needed. These can be handwritten by you, calligraphed by me, printed onto labels, or printed directly onto the envelopes!
Wax seals, vellum, ribbons, envelope liners, and other embellishments are all really fun and beautiful things to add to a suite! Are they "needs"? Definitely not. Are they fun and should be put them on if you want them. Definitely!
Hopefully if this is a decision you're in the middle of sorting out, it gave you some insights and some help! Check my "quick reference guide" below!