Your stationery suite is a collection of all the fine materials, such as sheets of paper, cards, and envelopes, that you will need for all your wedding paperwork – from save-the-date cards to the reception program, to your thank you notes. Having a set design for all your paper needs creates a cohesive look for your wedding as these pieces of stationery are representations of what your wedding style is like.
Open your mind to the possibilities of stationery and set aside your impulse to do “e-vites” or electronic invites for your wedding. Here are tips on how to create a unified collection of your stationery from design to function.
1. Know what you need. A wedding often requires a lot of print materials, but these days, you don’t have to have all kinds of wedding stationery. For example, save-the-date cards are no longer really necessary unless you’re having a destination wedding, which would require your guests more time to plan their schedule if they wish to attend. You may also do away with a menu and fancy table cards if you are having a casual or informal wedding celebration. Only the invitation card is truly necessary.
2. Interpret your wedding style on paper. By the time you plan your stationery suite you should already have a wedding theme or motif in mind. With your vision for your wedding, explore the trends on wedding stationery and see how you can combine them to represent your wedding style. Remember that your save-the-date cards and/or your invitations are the first things your guests will see and where they will get an idea about what to expect from your wedding in terms of motif, setting and formality.
3. Choose a versatile shape and size. Today’s couples have more freedom on how to craft their stationery, so you have a wider selection to choose from. Think carefully when choosing your choice of shape and size and make them flexible for all your paper needs. Avoid varying your stationery as this will only cost you more. Choose a shape that can be used in many ways, such as one that can serve as both an invitation and thank you card, so that you can order them in bulk and save more.
4. Have enough for every need. Know exactly how much you need for every function and add a 10% buffer to that number. It is important to have extras to cover for any unforeseen printing error or in the layout. Avoid ordering just a few additional paper or envelopes later as it will be more expensive, as you will have to buy them per piece, compared to if you ordered them only once in bulk. Remember you don’t need to have one invitation per guest, but if you are using place cards then it should be equivalent to your headcount.
5. Finalize the details. The sooner you finalize your details, the sooner you can move forward to printing. Proofread one sample printout and see that the layout is followed accordingly and that all information, grammar and spelling (especially of names) are correct. You need to double check on these details and having another pair of eyes to help you is a good idea. Once everything is set then you can produce to having the entire batch printed. You don’t want to deal with any erratum after an entire batch has been printed.
6. Consider your budget. As in all wedding details, always consider your budget as you go through the planning of your stationery. While it is advisable to have extras, work to be cost-efficient and avoid ordering more than what is needed. Keep in mind that a more elaborate design and more frills mean higher cost. If you can DIY some extras in the design then you can save a fraction of your budget. Have only one supplier to minimize negotiation hassle while availing some savings though package promos. If you are on a tight budget, be more practical and limit your choice of paper needs. Prioritize function above design and rely on your own creativity and workmanship as much as possible.
7. Don’t forget the stamp. It may seem obvious, but with all the other details that you have to attend to for your wedding, you may overlook this. Make sure to secure your stamps as they are very important to your RSVP. You wouldn’t want to cause any inconvenience on your guests by letting them pay for the stamp in mailing back to you their RSVP cards. If you are considering using electronic invites as what most couples do nowadays through social networking sites, you’ll be able to save a fraction of your wedding budget. However, putting your wedding details on fine paper is still generally accepted as the more formal and sentimental way of providing the important information about your wedding to the people you want to be with on your most special day.
If you have the budget, it is worth to put things on paper. Practice creativity and practicality so you can achieve a stationery suite that is not only stylish and appealing to your taste, but also functional. Organizing it can also be an enjoyable activity between you and your husband-to-be.
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