Wedding Stationery Timeline planning

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So… He asked and you said `Yes!’

Congratulations on your engagement!

We are often asked at the studio about when to order Wedding Stationery as it really is a step by step process.

This is a special time and you really should take a moment to enjoy it!  There is really no need to rush out and buy every Wedding Magazine on the market, inspiration is all around you so start collecting images that you love and create an inspiration or mood board.  Pinterest is a fantastic on-line tool for this, but be warned, it is highly addictive!

There is no need to plan your stationery until you have chosen your venue and set a date!  This will play a huge role in determining your choice of flowers, colour scheme and the overall feel of your wedding.

I like to think ahead to the reception and wedding breakfast itself, when possible and work back from that.  This way couples are more likely to achieve continuity throughout the different elements, from the initial Save the Date, if you are having them, to the Invitations right through to the Order of Service, Table plan and Place Cards.

A Year to Go!

If you have decided to send out Save the Dates, then make sure that you know how much you want to tell your guests about your Wedding Day.  If your colours haven’t been decided then go for a one-off design.  Something very personal to you, a timeline of how you met or a simple design showing only the basic information, for example you names and the date! If you have already decided on your colours etc, make sure that your Save the Dates work with this!  After all this is the first glimpse of your wedding and a hint to your guests about your special day.

Choose the style of your Save the Date and look at how best you can personalise it.  Make it fit you as a couple!  There are so many different options for your wording. Once you have received your proofs then please take a moment to proof them carefully.  Check and double-check the details before ordering the print run itself.

As a rule of thumb, aim to get your save the dates posted no less than 6 to 8 months before your Wedding.

Six Months to Go!

Now it’s time to begin to think about your Invitations.  Another important point to consider is Quantities!  Usually you only need one invitation per couple, family or household so the quantities you require for your stationery won’t be as high as the total of your guest list.  Our rule of thumb is halve your numbers, plus a couple of spares.

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For evening invitations, you may need a few more than half as you may be inviting more single friends from work etc.

Once you and your parents have finalised the wedding guest list, then it’s time to start thinking about sending the invitations out.  We believe that your choice of stationery is important as the invitations really do provide guests with the first indication about the style and feel of the wedding day the moment the letterbox rattles and they land on the doormat.  Whilst the wording and styling of guest names is normally dictated by traditional wedding etiquette.

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Wedding Invitations can be used to introduce the wedding theme, whether it traditional or vintage, modern or contemporary.  Traditionally wedding invitations are printed in black copperplate script onto cream or white card.  They should be elegant, combining beautiful boards with the simplicity of style.  Quality is important so please go for the best that your budget allows.

Now it’s time to look at the invitations themselves!  By this time many of the details will have been finalised such as the Church, time of ceremony, and any additional information about transport, directions and accommodation.

Traditionally the invitations are sent out by the Bride’s mother, however nowadays they can be from the couple themselves or even together with their parents.

Once the proofs have been digitally approved and that any special boards or plates have been ordered then the print run can go ahead.  This can take up to 3 weeks from the date that the design is signed off to the date when they are finished boxed and ready to collect.

Three months to Go!

If you have chosen to have your guest names printed on your invitations then this next step is easy!  Either print your envelopes or collect them in advance and get someone with lovely handwriting to start addressing them.

Source: etsy.com via Emma on Pinterest

If budget allows it is possible to book a calligrapher to undertake this task for you.

Return envelopes can be pre printed or address wraps can be added to your invitations to add an extra wow factor!

Source: en.paperblog.com via Emma on Pinterest

Before you rush out to buy stamps, take one to your local post office to check the cost of postage.  Ribbons, and brooches look gorgeous but can bump up the price of your stamps!

So now is the perfect time to post your invitations!

Eight Weeks To Go!

Now start to focus on your Order of Service.

Source: Uploaded by user via Emma on Pinterest

Visit your priest or vicar and ask their advice.  Decide on reading, hymns and how much of the service you would like to include in yours.

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Let us then draft a first proof for you.  Depending on how much detail from the service you would like to include, then we generally work on an 8 printed page insert.  For more detail you may decide to opt for 12 or even 16 printed pages.

Once this is finished we email it back to you for a final proof and for it to be given a final once over by your vicar or priest.  Another question regarding Order of Service is how many to have printed.  Some budgets will stretch to one per guest, others, one per couple or one per family.  Whatever you choose is fine by us but please leave distribution orders for your ushers as it is part of their role on the day to give them out.  Whatever you choose, please add on a few extras as very often friends, family or neighbours will come to the church to see the ceremony.  Once all of this is confirmed, only then do we press the print button.

RSVP Date is perfect 7-8 weeks before the wedding.

Your hotel or caterers will need to know how many guests six weeks before.

One Month to go!

Begin work on your seating or table plan!

Once this is organised you can order table numbers, names, place cards, personalised menus for guest to include special dietary requirements.  Your caterers will need to know your numbers and any special dietary requests.

With regards to your table stationery, please contact your venue and find out what they are able to do for you.  At some venues, all you need to do is deliver everything to them a day or two before, and they will take over and set everything out.  Remember to leave clear instructions if you have pictured things in a specific way, email them a photograph to avoid any last-minute misunderstanding.

If you have decided to have specialist napkin place settings then it may be necessary to collect the napkins a week or so before to allow time for specialist folding or dressing.  Sometimes it is necessary to employ a venue dresser to undertake this on your behalf or to work with the hotel or caterers.

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