One of the very first questions we get asked when we meet a new client to discuss their wedding stationery is ‘How does this all work?’
Choosing wedding stationery often involves more thought, timing and planning than you initially anticipate, so we thought it would be good to put together a step-by-step guide of things to consider when ordering wedding stationery and some useful tips to prepare you and make this element of your wedding planning as smooth as possible!
1 Create a mood board and think about budget
Before you even begin to start meeting with your wedding stationers or ordering your stationery online, we think it’s really useful for you to have a browse through different styles, to see what you both do and don’t like.
Create a wedding stationery board on sites such as pinterest, have a browse through instagram and keep a folder with any screenshots or if you have even received anything from friends or see items at weddings you have attended, hold onto them for reference. Most of our brides use instagram and pinterest for inspiration and it acts as a great starting point to discuss and look at designs when meeting or ordering with your stationery supplier.
When budgeting for wedding stationery, we often say to our couples that are tying the knot that you can go as small or as big as you want. If you are already worrying about money on design and print, let your stationer know what your budget is and you will find that people can create tailored packages to suit various ranges of budgets.
Many of our clients when they first meet us are looking for preliminary items for before the wedding day such as save the dates and invites and haven’t really given much thought to wedding day items. We encourage everyone to look at items for before, during and after the wedding and to get a quotation for all items, that way you know what your overall spend will be and if you pay your deposit for all items at the start then it makes it that bit sweeter paying at the end! Here at Kaizen Weddings we would take a 30% wedding stationery deposit which you will find more than often than not is the average deposit amount, if not less.
2. Choose the design of your stationery
Once you have created a mood board and have a rough idea of what you are looking for, next step is to actually take the plunge and go with a particular style and theme for your wedding stationery.
Things you should and will consider, alongside your designer, when choosing these will include:
– Theme – rustic, floral, classic, glitizy – the list is endless!
– Colour scheme – do you want something simple and plain or a strong hint of the colour scheme or your wedding?
– Set design or something unique to you – Do you want something bespoke or do you want something recreated that you have seen before?
Before you start panicking, don’t worry! You don’t have to choose all these items on your own, your designer will assist you with all of this too and suggest even things you hadn’t thought of yourself.
3. Pick your print specification
You’ve decided on your design – now you have to choose how you want it all laid out. Before you go to meet your stationer, it’s a great idea to have had a quick think about the following print options – this will help both you and your stationer to whittle down exactly what you are looking for.
Print options to think about for before, during after the wedding day:
– Full set or save the dates and invites only? Items which your wedding stationer will be able to provide will include; Save the dates, wedding day invites, wedding evening invites, rsvp cards, gift cards, order of services, table plans, table numbers, menus and place cards to name a few. Have a think about what you all need and ask your venue when viewing what they do and don’t provide and if you are happy with the styles that they can provide.
– Sizes – In particular this will apply to your wedding invites – have a think about what you want and require. With invites, the most popular size amongst our clients is a single A6 card printed both sides or else a folded A6 card. On the rise is also a square folded card, usually size 210 x 210mm.
– Card Type – All wedding invites are printed on thicker card, usually 300gsm and upwards. There are two options in terms of the texture of card for wedding stationery – silk which has more of a modern sheen to it and uncoated which is matt and textured. Textured cards can also come with different effects on them, such as a dappled finish and in different colours, such as kraft, cream and frosted white. The type of card you end up going for usually depends on the design and your wedding stationer will advise on what will work best on different types of cards.
– Quantity – Last but not least, start having a think about the number of guests and how many day and evening invites you need to order. Remember not every guest will require an invite, as you will have couples and families also attending.
4. Work out a timeline for design and print of stationery set
If you are having a destination wedding and want to get save the dates out early, we would recommend sending out details a year ahead to allow your guests to book flights and accommodation. If your wedding is local, let your guests know 6 months before the big day to put the date in their diaries and then send out your invites around 6 – 8 weeks before the actual wedding. People can be slow to reply and more often than not you have to chase to confirm numbers, so better to be ahead than behind on this one, as you will have your venue or caterers barking at you to confirm also.
Confirm with your wedding stationer how long your items will take to design and print and remember to allow plenty of time for proofing and changes to be made – that way you won’t leave yourself tight for time and stressed.
5. Placing your order – items to have ready
The hard work is over, you’ve decided what design and print you want and are now ready to place your order! Things to have ready when placing your order, which will make the process even easier, should include:
– Quotation from your stationer with a reference number and confirm prior what your deposit is.
– Wording for your invite – there are so many different options and ways and terms to invite people to a wedding, this can sometimes end up taking a bit of time.
– Excel sheet with list of your attendee’s names and addresses. Even if you are hand writing your stationery and not getting it personalised, this is a great idea for when you receive rsvps to mark off who is and isn’t attending.
6. View design and printed proofs
Once your wedding stationer knows exactly what you are looking for, they will then get to work on creating and setting up the artwork for your items.
Most stationers will provide you with both an electronic proof and then a final printed proof. It’s always really useful to see a printed proof, as things on screen and off screen can look different, particularly when you are printing onto different types and colours of card.
7. Get the first elements of your stationery produced – save the dates and invites
Once you have approved your printed proofs and signed off any final changes and confirmed your final print quantities for your save the dates and invites, your stationery then goes to print.
Here at Kaizen Weddings, depending on what finish you are going for, the majority of our wedding prints can take around 3-4 working days maximum to print. Special finishes such as foil blocking can take a bit longer, normally around 7-10 working days.
8. Confirm numbers for the wedding day with your stationer
Once you have all your invites away and have received your rsvps back all the details of who can and can’t attend your wedding, it’s time to go back to your spreadsheet and delete and add names to your attendee list. This will make things easier for you for a number of reasons, firstly for working out your table plan and for place card settings and you will easily be able to tally up your final head count for your venue and wedding stationer.
9. Wedding Day Items Print
Hopefully by this stage you have already confirmed what printed items you require for the big day, if not, not a sweat, it’s really easy to add onto an order or begin a new order with a stationer for your wedding day items.
Products you should consider getting design and printed for your wedding day should include:
– Wedding signage – welcome signs, quote signs, direction signs for your guests
– Order of services – start preparing any information such as hymns and the order of the day as soon as you can, this can often take longer putting the information together than you would imagine.
– Table Plan – Poster for frame and mounted board for easel
– Place Cards (Good tip – print the names on both sides of the place card so as your guests don’t have to keep asking someone’s name and can subtly see the name across the table)
– Table numbers and names for tables
10. Enjoy your wedding day!
With enough stress and goings on before your big day, don’t let last minute wedding stationery be one of these! Aim to have all your wedding day items picked up or delivered a few days before the wedding and have another thing checked off the list!