Afternoon, lovely stationery lovers!
I'm back on the blog today with the next instalment in Caterham Co.'s stationery glossary series. Last month, we covered the different paper types you might want to choose for your wedding stationery and how the paper you choose goes hand-in-hand with the printing methods you might want. This month we're going to take a step back and discuss the different components in an invitation suite, when and how to use them, and whether you need them in the first place. Starting off with:
Wedding Stationery Glossary: Save-the-Dates
The first stationery item you probably think of when planning your big day is a save-the-date.
A save-the-date is just a simple card (or magnet or some sort of token), with the couple's name and the selected date and the general location (for local weddings) or a more specific location such as hotel or resort/venue (for destination weddings). The purpose of the save-the-date card is to inform your intended guest of the date, so that that they can begin preparing for it or save for travel costs etc., or, you know, set the date aside in their calendar!
I'm going to go against what a lot of designers say here and tell you that not every wedding needs a save-the-date! Save-the-dates are primarily for destination weddings (to give your guests enough time to prepare and save for the event.), or if a specific guest will need to travel far to get to your location. Not every guest needs a save-the-date either — a basic rule of thumb is that if you know a certain guest needs extra time to prepare, save, or travel to your wedding then it is a courtesy to send that person a save-the-date.
Wedding Stationery Glossary: Invitation Suite
A wedding invitation suite is usually made up of (at the very least) an invitation, a reply card, and an envelope in which the reply card to be posted back to you.
The most important of these is the invitation! (and, honestly, while you can nix some of the other pieces, you can't really have an invitation suite without the invitation!)
The main purpose of the invitation is to convey all of the important details to your guests. Who is getting married, what date, which time, attire, and location. Your invitation is also the first opportunity you get to impart a sense of excitement for your event to your guests.
Wedding Stationery Glossary: Reply Card
Fun fact: RSVP is a French acronym that stands for répondez s'il vous plaît that translates to mean, 'Please respond' It's actually no longer used in France, where it is considered formal and old-fashioned, but the rest of us haven't caught up with this trend yet! You'll often find the words 'Reply' or 'Kindly Reply' instead, though.
Reply cards serve one purpose — to tell you who is coming, and who is not coming to your wedding/event. Sometimes, you can also ask your guest's dietary choices or similar questions too.
Traditionally, reply cards are sent with a reply envelope that already has a stamp attached.
Wedding Stationery Glossary: Modern Pieces
There are also more modern pieces that you can add to your event stationery — They provide pretty and interesting touches to your big day but are by no means absolutely necessary.
These modern stationery pieces are:
Details Card: This little card lets your guests know where the ceremony and reception will take place, what hotel you might have set aside a block of rooms at, transportation details, and possible directions.
Reception Card: If your reception will be held at a different location from your ceremony, or if you have more than 30 minutes or 1 hour between your ceremony and reception, it might be a good idea to include information about location, parking, and travel details of this next stop in the wedding celebration.
Map Card: Map cards are stylized drawings, illustrations or sketches of points of interest around your wedding. Some couples include a map of the world, highlighting some of their favourite places to visit, but most opt for a more focused map. Try to choose 3 or 4 locations that either means something to you as a couple or if they have something to do with your wedding event like museum guests can visit or the hotel most of your guests will be staying at.
Alrighty! I think that that about covers to basics of wedding stationery pieces for this month's episode. If you'd like to keep up with the series please subscribe to our newsletter and, in the meantime, you can read more about your wedding stationery timeline and when you should send each of these pieces out.