Wedding stationary isn’t just the invitation, it includes many pieces that make your wedding complete and more expensive of course. But all these items are not absolutely necessary and many can be eliminated altogether.
Save the dates – A short notice sent about 6-8 months before the wedding so potential guests can have plenty of time to plan to attend. To avoid confusion you may also want to write “Formal invitation to follow”. This lets your guests know that this is not the actual invitation.
Invitations and liner - The invitations are sent closer to the wedding date (about 1-2 months before). The liner is just basically a translucent piece of paper that protects the face of the invitation.
Outer and inner envelopes - The outer envelope is the one that is actually mailed. The inner envelope is the one that the invitation and other stationary go in and it is all placed in the outer envelope.
Response card (RSVP) and envelope – This card is sent along with the invitation. Then people send them back to you letting you know if they can attend or not.
Event map – This is actual map that can be printed out and sent along with the invitation. This will have directions to the ceremony and reception. It is especially helpful for out of town guests.
Bridal shower invitations – These let your guests know the date, time and other details for your shower.
Wedding fan – Wedding fans are more of a novelty. But they can be useful for a hot outdoor ceremony and reception.
Wedding programs – These are a play by-play of your wedding, lets guests know the timeline for the ceremony and reception and introduce your wedding party.
Menu – Lets guests know what you will be serving, this is generally done for sit down diners.
Table card – Each table gets one of these, they either name or number the tables. So guests know which table to sit at.
Place cards or Escort card – These are placed at the entrance of the reception, they let each guest know which table to sit at.
Favor tags – Each favor gets one of these little tags thanking your guests for joining you.
Thank You card – Sent after the wedding, you have up to a year to send them, but the sooner they go out the better. They generally include a quick not thanking your guests for attending and for any gifts they may have given you.
A few tips to save you money:
Save money on your RSVP’s by providing a small postcard instead of card and envelope. You’ll save money on materials and postage. If you want to save even more, skip it altogether. Have guests RSVP by email, phone or with a quick note on your wedding website.
Skip the registry card. Although sending registry cards along with the invitations is common practice it is not considered good etiquette. You should expect a gift in return for an invite. Check out these registry tips for ways to spread the word about your registry.