One of the most crucial elements to telling the story of your wedding celebration begins with your stationery suite that can include the following elements - save the date announcements, invitations, reception cards, response cards, wedding programs, escort cards, menu cards and thank you cards. As you can see, these elements are woven from beginning to end of the celebration and if not properly coordinated can create an unwelcome juxtaposition.
As important as choosing the date, dress, church and reception location and guest list is the overall look and feel of the wedding day. It is best to indulge your wedding planner in the feeling you want at your wedding and ultimately, the feeling you hope your guests to receive. This transforms stationery decisions, not only in the number of elements necessary but the look and feel of each one. An uber traditional wedding will incorporate each of the elements listed above, hand lettered with a custom printed, hand cancelled postmark; while, a more progressive wedding may include less of the elements, be an unusual size and include electronic information sharing practices. Neither approach is wrong, but they do present two completely different expectations for the invited guests.
Traditional wedding stationery can be used when the celebrants choose to use their full, given birth names, will marry within their current religions guidelines, host a cocktail reception, seated dinner and participate in customary wedding reception packages. The chosen font, print color, envelope liners and calligraphy will set the tone for the entire event. **Note - print and envelope-liner colors are a suggestion of what colors guests should not wear, so as not to appear to be a part of the wedding. It is my recommendation to take a sample of a completed invitation to your local U.S. Postal Service office to determine the exact postage necessary. This will avoid your guests getting any "postage due" messages stamped across the beautiful envelope or the invitation being returned to sender.
Less traditional wedding stationery is a sure-fire indication that you are planning a progressive event that will include less-sterile elements often times very reminiscent of the celebrants personality. Although melding 'quirks' into a wedding celebration can often seem challenging, you can certainly put the challenge out to each of your chosen event professionals. Whether or not you choose an invitation that is poster-sized or prefer to handle your invitation and response process electronically, be sure to weave the elements of each throughout your entire day. A few recent trends I have seen are the use of Bluetooth technology and a messaging app will allow you to push out notifications to your guests. Additionally, a personalized hashtag will allow your event memories to be searchable in the future. Most recently, the photographer has been capturing the photos taken by attendees via Apple's "air drop" and providing an instantaneous, amateur wedding album for the couple's immediate use.
Just as important as the look and feel choices of invitation stationery, is the correct verbiage and etiquette for writing dates, times, names, titles and dates each element should be sent. There certainly are rules for invitations as written by Emily Post and they are the ultimate guideline; however, your wedding day should be reminiscent of you. When asked about invitation etiquette, I will always give the "rule" but, encourage the guests to decide whether or not following that particular rule will impede their thematic goal. In all cases, correct spelling, written vs. numeric dates/times and proper address sequencing is always a must. Choosing a stationery team with a multi-step and systematic approach to approving final drafts is best.
For years, I have been asked to proofread invitations for weddings, social galas, birthday anddinner parties and most of the time will find a few points for discussion with the planners and celebrants. In all cases, you should employ a non-partisan, third-party event professional as a final proof read for each element of your stationery suite to save sending a faux pas or bearing the expense of reprinting.