The Complete Wedding Invitation Checklist

Are you clueless how to start planning for your wedding stationery and invitations? No need to stress over yet another wedding detail. We have you covered! There are endless options regarding the style and price range of stationery for your wedding day. In order to select the perfect stationery you must be cautious of your personal wedding style, color scheme, and overarching theme—this will allow your wedding to flow in consistency all around. In order to prevent going over budget or missing an order, be sure to order all of your stationary requests from one shop or vendor and preferably all at once. Below you will find all you must know about stationery before placing your order:   Invitations. This piece of paper sets the tone for your wedding, whether formal, beachy, or anything in between. There are many possible components to a wedding invitation: (1) the outer envelope, (2) an unsealed inner envelope, (3) the official invitation, (4) a reception card (if the reception is not held at the same venue as the wedding), and (5) a response card with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. A definite plus is to include a list of hotels and a defined map for ultimate direction. a.  Traditional: This type of invitation is most commonly made of card stock, pure cotton, or linen paper in a white/ light beige shade. Furthermore, the font is in black or charcoal ink and the invitation is protected by a squared tissue paper to prevent smudging. b.  Modern Twist: Most recently, couples have made more unconventional choices for their wedding invitations, ranging from irregular shapes to unique textures. Additionally, some tend to get rid of the inner envelope to save an extra step, paper, and costs. c.  Order: Wedding invitation orders should be placed 3-4 months before the announced wedding date. The earlier they arrive, the more time you have to proofread and make any necessary corrections. d.  Send: It is considerate to mail out invitations as soon as possible. It is customary to send the invites 6 weeks in advance, 8 weeks if possible. For guests who must travel outside of the country, it is better to notify 10 weeks before the date. (Tip: it is helpful to send save-the-date announcement cards to notify your guests with plenty of time to spare). Reply Cards. These are included with your invitation and come with a self-addressed stamped envelope for convenience—this way your guests do not have to worry about finding an envelope around the house and paying out of pocket for a stamp to send the RSVP card. a.  Traditional: A general reply card simply has a check box to let the bride and groom know if and how many will be attending. All reply cards include a date by which the RSVP must be received for optimal efficiency. b.  Modern Twist: Considering how many guests may have dietary restrictions, reply cards now tend to include a list of the menu options (vegetarian included). This method allows the caterer to be entirely set for the amount of food that must be prepared. Now, if the wedding is an entire weekend event, there is usually a checklist of activities guests must additionally RSVP for in advance. c.  Order: It is always best to order the reply cards along with your invitations.       Reception Cards. These are included with the invitation to allow guests to be informed of the location of the party. a.  Traditional: The reception card usually includes a small and formal invite to join the bride and groom for a commemorative dinner. It also states the date, location, and time of event. b.  Modern Twist: Couples today like to be more liberal in the fonts and designs of this card and will often include a family crest or monogram of some form. c.  Order: It is always best to order the reply cards along with your invitations.   Wedding Programs. These are additional mementos that can be included. Typically, they inform guests of who and what to expect at the wedding ceremony—from the bridal party to the order of events. Furthermore, couples may choose to add special notes in the programs (i.e. remembering a loved one). a.  Traditional: Commonly, the cover has the names/ initials of the bride and groom engraved on the front. The booklet tends to be bound and presented with a satin ribbon. b.  Modern Twist: It has become increasingly more common for the programs to be printed on card stock and tied together by the bridesmaids with a ribbon that fits the decided theme. Couples play with the format, layout, and design of the programs making them as creative as they wish (i.e. fans fit for a hot, summer wedding). c.  Order: If the programs are to be bound by the stationer, it is always best to order them with your invitations. However, if you will be throwing a ribbon tying party with your bridesmaids, then by all means order them 8-10 weeks in advance.   Menu Cards. These are placed at the table and allow guests to have a subtle reminder of what the options for food/beverages will be the night of the wedding. a.  Traditional: The most common choice is a single, rectangular shaped card including all options for food, beverages, and alcohol (if served). b.  Modern Twist: Couples may include reasons for choosing a particular dish if it is of cultural or personal significance. (Tip: drink cards are a plus and allow guests to know if there is a limit on how many drinks they are able to order). c.  Order: These can be ordered 6 weeks in advance and no later.   Place Cards. In addition to escorting guests to their designated tables, it is most beneficial to have place cards at the table to clearly inform guests of where to sit. a.  Traditional: Usually, small cards are placed with the guest’s name and on every table setting. b.  Modern Twist: Couples are now more creative with their