invitation is your guests' first impression of your wedding,
so it's important that you're happy with the way it looks.
Of course, as with everything else you organise for your wedding,
the choices are endless. The key is to set your budget and
then find something you like that fits the bill!
Choosing your style
Stationery can be bought by mail order, from department stores,
printers or stationery designers. Many designs will be pre-printed,
giving you thne opportunity to leaf through a catalogue and
simply choose your favourite design, colour and type style.
Alternatively, you might prefer to have your stationery designed
just for your wedding. Bear in mind that anything bespoke
will be more expensive so if you're looking to keep your costs
down, you should probably choose a pre-printed option. You
can always add your own personal touch by learning calligraphy
and writing the names yourself, or adding some ribbon or a
For some fabulous pre-printed stationery, try designs by Confetti
( 0870-840 6060), Debenhams ( 0870-2424 555) and Marks &
Spencer ( 0845-302 1234), Or, do something a little more personalised
or bespoke, check out the new collections from Papyrus ( 020-7584
8022), Rice Wedding Designers ( 01332-205022) and Little Cherub
Design ( 016420783027). Good quality invitations on a stiff
card featuring calligraphy, photography and pretty floral
designs are all popular styles at the moment.
What to Buy
Of course, stationery isn't all about invitations, There are
also placecards, thank you cards, order of service sheets,
table plans and favour boxes to think about. You might even
consider having monogrammed coasters, napkin rings and individual
menus. As with anything, too much can be overkill and it's
never good to get carried away with one design. Think about
what you actually need and then add an extra item or two from
the range which you particularly like. For example, a specially
designed table plane can make a real impact.
Sticking to the Budget
If you want to splash out on your stationery, you certainly
can. Prices vary considerably, from about £120 for 100
pre-printed invitations to between £600 and £1000
for 100 bespoke invitations. Prices will add up if you choose
to have everything in the range but there are ways of keeping
costs down without scrimping on style:
· Write your own placecards or use a table plan provided
by your venue
· Print your own orders of service on your home computer
· Instead of using thank-you cards from your range
of stationery, write to each of your guests on pretty notelets
or writing paper.
· Generally, stationery becomes cheaper the more you
buy. Order a few additional invitations at the outset instead
of wishing you'd bought more later on.
Time to Post
Your guests should receive their invitations about three months
before your big day. Any more and the event falls too far
in advance to expect people to respond; any less and you run
the risk of people being busy or unable to book their accommodation
or organise travel arrangements.
If you're getting married during a popular holiday period,
or guests are travelling from abroad, it's wise to send invitations
out earlier still. 'Save the date' cards are widely available
and a great idea if you want to make sure people put your
wedding in their diaroies well in advance.
Of all the things you can create yourself, stationery is one
of the most popular and there are even various kits available
to help you make your own. With plenty of time, some helpful
bridesmaids and a little creative flair, this can be a rewarding
task. However, if you're not particularly artisitic and haven't
attempted anything like this before, have a lot of guests
or not much time, think carefully before you take on the challenge.
This is a speciial day and it's important to get everything
Order of Service
This booklet or sheet of paper allows your guests to follow
what's happening. You can simply list the the order of events
or you can include more details, from the titles and composers
of all your music to each and every word that will be spoken
during the service (this is more usual for a church wedding)
If you're having readings and hymns it's a good idea to include
the words on the service sheet so your guests can follow.
It can also be a nice idea to include the names of people
participating, such as those giving the readings, the officiant,
the musicians and the wedding party.
If you're using a professional stationery designer you probably
need to place your order at least a month before the day.
Before you place your order you must ensure that all your
selections have been cleared by your officiant - it will be
awkward and embarrassing to have a song or poem mentioned
but not included in the ceremony.
An alternative is to order the order of service covers only
and to produce your own inserts. This gives you a bit of breathing
space but you should still finalise everything well in advance
so you're not panicking or assembling the booklets at the
Print at least one order of service for every two guests and
include about 20 spare copies for safety and to ensure you
have at least one as a keepsake.
Traditional (Bride's parents as hosts)
Mr & Mrs John Smith request the pleasure of.............................
at the marriage if their daughter Jane to Mr Jack Jones.
Bridal Couple as Hosts
Miss Jane Smith and Mr Jack Jones request the pleasure
of................................ at their marriage
Divorced parents as hosts
Mr John Smith and Mrs Liz Smith request the pleasure
'You and Your Wedding' Jul/Aug 04