Wedding Stationery Tips for Newly Engaged

The new year is upon us, and that means all of the engaged couples are entering into full force wedding planning mode for their 2012 weddings! Being in the wedding industry, we know there are so many considerations when planning a wedding from booking the perfect venue, to picking the tastiest cupcake flavor! Having to learn the ropes of each vendor specialty can be a daunting task so we thought it would be a great time to share some basics of working with a wedding stationer.

Stationery Items to Consider
Save-the-date
A save-the-date should be used if you need to give your guests ample notice to attend your wedding. A save-the-date should always be used if you are planning a destination or out-of-town wedding to allow guests to plan for time off from work and to budget for travel expenses. See the time line below to find out when to start the order process and mail save-the-dates to guests.


Invitations
The wedding invitation notifies guests of the date, time and place of your wedding. The invitation should convey the tone and formality of the event. Included in the invitation package, is an rsvp which is a request for reply so you are able to plan appropriately for the number of guests who will attend. The RSVP can be in a variety of forms: a postcard, a phone number or email on the invitation, or a separate card and addressed envelope. See the time line below to find out when to start the order process and mail invitations to guests.

Reception Stationery
Reception stationery are small details that create big impact for your guests by continuing the tone of your invitations into your reception. These products also help direct and clearly guide your guests through the events of the day such as finding the venue location with banners and signage and identifying their seat for dinner with a seating chart, table numbers, and place cards. See the time line below to find out when to start the order process for reception stationery. Items to consider when planning your reception stationery include:
Program
- Programs give guests an itinerary to the day’s events. It is also a place where you can provide information about the ceremony, your bridal party, and where you can thank special people who have contributed to your wedding.
Menu - List of all the items included in the meal during the wedding reception.
Place Cards - Indicates at which place setting each guest should sit at their assigned table.
Seating Chart - A diagram or list of tables that indicates where guests will be seated.
Table Numbers - Label each table with a number or name (be creative!) to direct guests to the correct table.
Favor Tag or Sticker - Complete a favor with a personalized message using a sticker or a tag tied with ribbon. 
Guest Book or Guest Cards - Used for guests to leave the bride and groom best wishes and words of advice.
Display Banners - Create the perfect ambiance at your reception with custom display banners. A great way to show off those engagement photos!
Wedding Decal - Use these removable vinyl decals on your wedding day transportation, a wall or the dance floor! Wedding decals can be designed in any pattern, shape, or word that you desire!
Signage - Give directions or instructions to your guests so they can find their way around your wedding venues. 

Thank-you Cards
Proper etiquette says you should always send a prompt thank-you card to your guests for attending the wedding, and for any gifts they have given you. What better way to thank them than with a customized thank-you card matching your wedding stationary? Pinkpolka Design can also incorporate photos from your wedding day into the design of your card.   


Stationery Time Line
Local Wedding 
8 Months - Start thinking about what pieces of stationery you need and inspiration for design
5 Months - Start collecting names and addresses for your guest list to confirm quantity
5 Months - Meet with us for your save-the-date consultation
6-5 Months - Mail save-the-dates at 6 months
6-5 Months - Meet with us for your invitations consultation (if you did not order save-the-dates)
5-4 Months - Finalize wording, dates, times and location for all stationery items
4 Months - Review the proof of your invitation and give final approval to go to print  

3 Months - Receive your invitations 
3 Months - Address your invitation envelopes or send to calligrapher
3 Months - Take assembled invitation to the post office to weigh for postage amount   
9 Weeks - Assemble and seal invitations with proper postage
8-6 Weeks - Mail invitations
6-4 Weeks - Place reception stationery order
6-4 Weeks - Follow-up with guest who have not RSVP'd
2-1 Weeks - Pick-up reception stationery for the big day!


Destination Wedding
14-13 Months - If you plan to send save-the-dates book a consultation with us as soon as a venue and date is confirmed. If not planning on sending save-the-dates skip to 8-7 month step
1 Year           - Mail save-the-dates
10-9 Months - Start thinking about what pieces of stationery you need and inspiration for design
10-9 Months - Start collecting names and addresses for your guest list to confirm quantity
8-7 Months - Meet with us for your invitations consultation
6-5 Months - Finalize wording, dates, times and location for all stationery items
6-5 Months - Review the proof of your invitation and give final approval to go to print  

4-3 Months - Receive your invitations 
4-3 Months - Address your invitation envelopes or send to calligrapher
4-3 Months - Take assembled invitation to the post office to weigh for postage amount   
4-3 Months - Assemble and seal invitations with proper postage
14-12 Weeks - Mail invitations
6-4 Weeks - Place reception stationery order
6-4 Weeks - Follow-up with guest who have not RSVP'd
2-1 Weeks - Pick-up reception stationery for the big day!