Updated: Apr 11, 2020
Did you know there was so much stationary surrounding weddings?? Good thing I'm here to tell you all about them
BEFORE THE WEDDING
The news of your engagement may be heralded by engagement announcements sent to friends and family, and many parents want to share the excitement by hosting engagement parties.
Once a date, time and location have been set, you may need to consider sending save-the-date cards, which are especially helpful for your out-of-town guests. Save-the-Dates may be sent anywhere between 6 months to one year before your wedding date.
This gives your loved ones a chance to help you prepare your home for your new life as a married couple. Some bridesmaids may even throw a lingerie shower for the bride - so she'll have a little something to wear on her honeymoon.
The final event before the wedding - invitations also may be issued to the members of your bridal party, their spouses or dates, and out-of-town guests.
Informals (or Thank You Notes)
Referred to as Informals, these notes are typically consist of folded card stock with the Brides maiden name or monogram centered on the front. Informals are used most commonly for thank you cards, but may also be used as invitations for small events, calling cards, or for general correspondance. Many brides do not already own personalized stationary, so this is a must-have item.
The traditional wedding invitation has changed little over the years. It's essential purpose is to invite your guests and to tell them where and when your wedding is being held. Other information that may be included, such as the reception location or an RSVP, is not mentioned on the invitation.
Wedding invitations are typically mailed with other enclosure cards to help custom-tailor your wedding. Each enclosure card serves a distinct purpose as an aid for your guests. Must-have enclosure cards include reply cards and return envelopes (the RSVP set) and reception cards. Other enclosures that may be helpful include directions and map cards, accommodation cards, transportation cards, pew cards, within-the-ribbon cards, ceremony cards, admission cards, and at-home cards.
Here is an overview of the function of a couple of these components!
- Reception Cards: used to invite your guests to your wedding reception, since it is a separate event and generally speaking should not be combined with the wedding ceremony. Whenever the wedding ceremony and reception are held in different places, it is necessary to include the address of the reception venue to ensure your guests arrive at the right time and place
- Ceremony Cards: For large receptions with small, private ceremonies, invitations are sent to the reception. Guests invited to the ceremony are sent smaller ceremony cards enclosed with their reception invitations. The same size as reception cards, ceremony cards serve as invitations to the ceremony.
ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
Many times, it's the little things that make a reception special. While the meal, the dancing and the company are the biggest factors in determining your reception's success, menu cards, place cards, table cards and escort cards can also add elegance to your affair.
There is a wide range of program formats. Programs serve as mementos or keepsakes for guests and are the only place to list the wedding party, thank parents and other important people, outline the ceremony listing readings, vows, musical selections, and to explain any ceremony traditions guests may not be familiar with
These small cards tell a gentleman which lady he is expected to escort into the reception. The gentleman's name is written on the envelope, and the lady's name is written on the enclosed card.
Table cards and envelopes are efficient tools for directing your guests to their appointed seats. Placed in the entryway to the reception hall, the envelopes have your guests' names written on them. Inside each envelope, the card has the appropriate table number written on it. When it's time to be seated, your guests open the envelope with their names on it and head to the table indicated on the card.
When they arrive at their tables, your guests will notice place cards at each place setting. The place cards have your guests' title and last name written on them.
Your guests may also find menu cards at their place settings. As the name suggests, menu cars list menu items being served. It is helpful to include a menu card for the convenience of your guests who may have food allergies or sensitivities.
Favours serve as small keepsakes for your guests and can be anything, from candied almonds, a take home cake box, silver picture frames, a charitable donation in the guests' honour, a tree sapling, and everything in between. Favours typically have a personalized element, whether it's the object itself or a tag or ribbon with the Bride and Groom's names and date.
AFTER THE WEDDING
Gift Acknowledgment Cards
Gift-acknowledgment cards are sent to friends and family who have sent gifts to the happy couple. They buy the bride and groom additional time to send their thank-you notes. Gift-acknowledgment cards don't take the place of thank-you notes. They merely acknowledge that a gift has been received and mention that a personal thank-you note is forthcoming.
Thank You Cards
Self explanatory! You send these to your guests to thank them for coming and to your wedding. Pretty simple.
Calling cards can be considered social business cards. They may be used as gift enclosures or at social gatherings, and are very useful in the process of planning a wedding! The etiquette for formal calling cards is the same as etiquette used for weddings. For formal social cards, names and social titles are used. Men and women under the age of 18, don't use titles. Some older women, especially those who are divorced, choose not to use their titles either. Calling cards shoul be ordered with envelopes if they will be used as gift enclosures.
Weddings are traditionally announced by the bride's parents, who may send announcements to relatives and friends not invited to the wedding. They are sent after the wedding has taken place, never before. When possible, announcements are sent the day after the wedding. If the newlyweds eloped or the decision to send announcements was made late, the announcements may still be sent; any time up to one year afterwards is acceptable.
Let family and friends know where to reach you after the wedding by sending at-home cards after your wedding has taken place. At-home cards let people know your new address and (if sent while you're on your honeymoon) the date after which you'll be there.
I hope this giant list is helpful to someone out there.
Let me know if you learned something!