A Bit Of History(by Sally Lloyd, SC Lloyd Designs)
Before the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg, weddings were announced by a town crier who would walk through the streets announcing the daily news. Thankfully, things are a little more refined today.
Save the Date Cards are a great way of announcing that you are getting married and can be sent out once you have set the date. Giving your guests plenty of notice is important, especially if your guests will be traveling to the wedding or the big day takes place during peak holiday times.
Invitations should be sent to your guests a minimum of eight to twelve weeks before your wedding to allow them enough time to respond and plan accordingly. Invitations are usually sent by the hosts, traditionally the bride’s parents. Evening Invitations should be sent out at the same time as your day invitations. Addressing the envelopes can be done in the traditional formal way or, they can be addressed to people as you know them. The preferred and most acceptable method of addressing the envelopes is to hand-write them.
Traditionally, guests replied to their invitations with a hand written letter or a purchased, reply notice. Nowadays, a matching Reply Cards and return envelope inserted into the wedding invitation has become a much more efficient way of ensuring that your guests reply promptly. It is always a good idea to enclose written directions and a map with your invitations.
Choosing Your Wedding Stationery(by Sally Lloyd, SC Lloyd Designs)
Your wedding invitations set the tone and style for your wedding, and they are the first glimpse your guests will have of your special day. Before you begin looking at wedding stationery choices, decide what type of wedding you want, will it be formal, semi-formal, or more informal or casual. It is also advisable to know the location, will the wedding be held in a church, hotel, garden, or other venue, and consider your colour scheme, guest list numbers, budget, and whether you will want just invitations or other matching stationery as well such as reply cards, order of service, place cards, menus, table numbers/names, table plan etc. as some stationers may not provide all the pieces that you require. All of these factors will influence your choice of invitations and other stationery.
There are many different styles of wedding invitations to choose from, single fold, pockets, wallets, and scrolls just to mention a few. Here are some of the popular choices:
Single Card Single card, not folded, usually A6, but also available in other sizes.
Single Fold Folded card usually A6 size, but also available in other sizes.
Short Fold Folded card slightly off centre creating a short front panel and longer back panel.
Pocket Fold Folded card with a pocket to insert your reply card and other inserts.
Gatefold Card Folded with ends either meeting in the middle or overlapping.
Petal FoldFlaps fold like a lily pad and open to display the invitation and inserts inside.
Chequebook Looks like a chequebook with pages for the invitation and other inserts.
Pocket Single card invitation tied at top with ribbon and inserted into a decorative pocket.
Wallet Opens like a wallet with invitation on inside flap and other inserts in the pocket.
Scroll Rolled scroll tied with ribbon with postal tube, optional decorative box with postal box.
Once you are ready to choose your invitations and stationery, start looking for a professional stationer that can provide everything that you require. Some stationers also provide a bespoke design service enabling you to have them design something really unique.
Preparing Your Guest List(by Sally Lloyd, SC Lloyd Designs)
Preparing your Guest List can be a complex task and should really be done as soon as possible. he list is traditionally drawn up by the bride's parents, but today it is very common that the bride and groom together with both sets of parents compile the guest list.
Consider the following before you begin, whether it’s a small intimate affair or large family and friends gathering, the size of ceremony, the amount that will be attending the reception venue, and the quantity of guests is important and will have a bearing on your budget.
When planning your list, start with family first, then close friends and colleagues. Invitations should be sent to the best man, the bride's attendants, and the church minister. It is also thoughtful to send an invitation to some people, even though you know they won't be able to attend, perhaps they live too far away, maybe they’re too elderly to travel, even too ill to attend, it’s still a nice thought to consider them.
If you are inviting children, they should be included on the invitation. You could consider hiring a crèche facility to keep them amused at the reception, and increase the quantities of soft drinks available. Decide if you are going to invite unmarried guests' partners whom you do not know. In the case of short-term or new relationships, you may feel that it does not really merit a place for the partner at your wedding, especially if you want to keep the numbers down.
If you are not inviting children or certain partners, always make this clear on your invitations by listing only the names of the people whom you are inviting. It’ll save a lot of confusion later on.
Inviting Ideas(by Sally Lloyd, SC Lloyd Designs)
Your Invitations should be sent out 8-12 weeks before the wedding and remember to allow ample time to have them printed and delivered, and also allow enough time for you to address them and prepare them for posting. Ordering all your stationery from the same supplier will not only ensure consistency of design, but will also save time and money. You may want to order other wedding stationery to match your invitations and below is a guide to help you when ordering.
Save the Date Cards – 1 per household + a few extras
Invitations – 1 per household + a few extras
Reply Cards & Other Inserts – same as Invitations
Thanks You Cards – 1 per household + a few extras
Order of Service – 1 per guest + the Vicar
Order of Ceremony – 1 per guest + the Registrar
Place Cards – 1 per guest + the Bride, Groom and Head Table guests
Menus – 1 per guest or 3-4 per table
Table Numbers/Names – 1 per table
Table Plan – 1 at entrance of reception room
When ordering your Invitations, keep in mind that one Invitation is sent per household. Couples all too often make the mistake of thinking that if they are for example inviting 100 guests, that 100 Invitations are needed, however in actual fact only about half that amount is required. It is also advisable to order additional Invitations to allow for mistakes and any last minute additions to the guest list, and you will want to keep at least one as a memento of your special day.
An invitation should also be sent to each member of the wedding party, and if the Bride and Groom are sending out the invitations, remember to include both sets of parents. Also, decide if you want additional inserts providing information such as directions, travel information, and guest list details.
The key is being organised and a professional stationer will always be on hand to help you with the process right from choosing your design through to organising the final table plan.
Grand Designs(by Sally Lloyd, SC Lloyd Designs)
One of the most exciting and creative areas of design is Wedding Stationery. Whether you love traditional, modern, vintage, or something quirky, the design possibilities are endless and many professional stationers provide a bespoke design service.
The invitation sets the tone for your wedding and gives your guests their first hint of the fabulous day that you are planning. With such a plethora of design possibilities available, it’s best to start with a theme and colour scheme in mind that is in keeping with the style of your wedding. It’s also a great idea to keep a scrapbook of information and pictures that you like from wedding magazines and a Pinterest board, which will help you to plan your design.
Wedding Stationery has become more gorgeous than ever before and a professional wedding stationery designer can turn a design into a work of art. Here are some of the top wedding stationery trends:
STYLES: Vintage is a classic and romantic style encompassing many beautiful elements such as lace, pearls, letterpress, and vintage typography (the use of old style fonts, shapes, and ornate graphics). Letterpress is a relief printing technique creating a beautiful imprint effect with a classic, high quality feel that works well with traditional and modern designs. Letterpress is currently one of the most popular trends but is not a budget option as it requires creating a custom plate of the text and patterns that is hand set and pressed into the paper with each colour requiring a separate print run.
ELEMENTS: Metallic Accents like gold, silver, and copper, are joined this year by rose gold to give that wow factor. Botanical Patterns of wild flowers and foliage add a delicate design element. Photo images can be used in the design and also looks beautiful using a faded effect behind the wording.
WORDS:Calligraphy and Ornate Fonts give the wording a beautiful artistic look. Angling or arching text or enlarging names or first letters can create a stunning look, yet still befitting a formal invitation. Monograms add a custom touch to your design that can be achieved in print, and also by using a wax seal to add a classic look to envelopes or to join a ribbon on invitations.
COLOURS: Neutral Background Shades such as tan, putty, ivory and grey are the new alternative to white, yet still giving a sense of formality through wording and other design elements. Jewel Tone Shades such as deep, rich purple, green, red, orange, and blue are trending this year, especially for autumn and winter weddings.
Your Wedding Stationery plays such an important part in creating the perfect first impression and setting the tone for your special day, so it’s very important to make the right choices. Co-ordinating your invitations with other stationery pieces is just the way to achieve this. Wedding stationery nowadays encompasses much more than just Wedding Invitations and below is a guide to the different elements so that you can make an informed choice as to what you might need.
Before The Wedding: Save The Date Cards can be sent to advise your guests of your date in advance and is helpful if guests need to make travel arrangements, or if your wedding will be during any of the main holidays.
Other than wedding invitations, you may require invitations to your engagement party and hen/stag parties. Your Wedding Invitations and Evening Invitations should be sent out 8-12 weeks before the wedding and inserts can include a Reply Card; a Direction Card with directions to the ceremony and reception venues and can also include a map; an Accommodation Card with details of local hotels/B&B’s; and an Information Card showing any other details about your wedding that guests need to know.
For The Ceremony: An Order of Service is provided to guests at a church wedding and an Order of Ceremony for a non-religious ceremony. A Wedding Program informing guests of the events of the day can also be incorporated into the Order of Service/Ceremony or it can be a separate item that can be provided to guests as they arrive at the reception venue.
For The Reception: You may require items such as Place Cards or Escort Cards, Table Numbers or Names, Menus, and a Table Plan. Other items that you may have for the reception are a Guest Book, Tags for items such as Favours and Wedding Wish Trees, and Signage with instructions for items such as a Signature Frame.
After The Wedding: You will want to send out Thank You Cards to all your guests. Separate Change of Address cards can be sent if you have changed your residence, however this information can be included in the Thank You Cards.
A professional stationer will be able to co-ordinate all your Wedding Stationery pieces according to your chosen design, colours, and theme, and will always be available to advise you from the design stage right through to your wedding day.