Having guests requires sending invitations, while save-the-dates help them plan attending even before the invite. Signs point to bathrooms, escort cards point to tables, and programs give an itinerary to help everything go smoothly. Out-of-towners will need accommodation recommendations, reception-goers will need a place to select their entrée choice, and place cards make sure no one's stealing seats. If you haven't realized, weddings require a lot of paper, from menus to thank-you notes and everything in between. Ahead, the full list, because stationery is vital.
Send these out if your wedding date needs special attention—you're having a destination wedding, marrying on a holiday or long weekend, or if another major event is happening at the same time and place as yours. These shouldn't be formal like the wedding invitation—lots of couples include photos (of themselves, their dog!) to give these informal cards some personality.
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The basic stationery suite includes the main card, the reply (or RSVP) card, and envelopes (if you want guests to RSVP to your wedding website rather than mail responses, give the URL on the reply card). For the invitation, include the bride's and groom's names, the names of the hosts (traditionally the bride's parents), the wedding date, time, and place. If you're trying to be economical, list the reception details at the bottom of the invitation.
Alongside the invites come some important envelope additions, including:
Reception Cards: This is where you give the party details. Along with the accommodations and directions cards, the reception card is considered an add-on and typically costs extra.
Accommodations Cards: List hotel options for out-of-town guests at three different price points, from high to low. If you've reserved a block of rooms, give details here (price, dates, any bookings code, website).
Directions Cards: Map apps have made sending ceremony and reception directions cards nearly obsolete, but think about sending them if the wedding location is remote or doesn't show up on GPS (test it). Instead of sending out cards, some brides include a map and directions on their wedding website and hang signage close to the wedding site to guide guests to the right locale.
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This can be informal and doesn't have to match the wedding invite. It could even be playful—if the dinner is being held at a Mexican restaurant, the hosts could send a card with a south-of-the-border theme. Or, you can include a card about the rehearsal dinner along with the wedding invitations, for those guests attending rehearsal.
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This should really be called a table card because it tells guests at which table to sit. All you need to write is the guest's name on the envelope with a card inside that indicates the table number.
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Once you've assigned guests to their tables, they'll look for these small cards to find where they're heading. This is where they'll sit for the reception.
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List every course and wines, to build guest excitement of what's to come.
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One of the most important pieces of stationery! Plan to hand-write something personal. Guests took the time to be with you on your important day and deserve something more original than "Thanks for the generous gift and sharing our special day with us."