To help make wedding stationery seem less daunting, we've created this helpful checklist. Here, we'll outline everything you need for the wedding of your dreams, from crucial items like invitations to sentimental extras. We've also included a helpful timeline, which indicates exactly when to order each item on the list.
It's easy to get overwhelmed when dealing with all the aspects of wedding planning. With bridal dresses, catering services, and reception locations to consider, who has time to think about stationery? However, stationery and other print items are the "glue" that can hold a wedding together, create a memorable event, and give you and your guests items to cherish for years to come.
The purpose of this page is to provide you with the ultimate wedding stationery checklist and guide you along the way to creating the perfect event. Of course, if you need more help, you can download our free "Wedding Timeline" and "Wedding Planning Checklist" by clicking the link graphic below. That will open the PDF file on your computer.
Here, you'll find everything you need to stay on track from engagement to "I do".
Plus, did I mention it's FREE!
Engagement Party Invitations
There's no better way to announce or commemorate a new engagement than with a celebratory party. While engagement parties are certainly options, they can provide an excellent opportunity for the people who will be participating in the wedding to meet. Of course, as with any party, you're going to need invitations.
Though some people choose to coordinate their wedding and engagement party invitations, this is by no means a must. You'll most likely be in the early stages of planning at this point. Still, if your goal is to create a unified concept or feel for the entire event, there are endless ways to tie in your engagement party invitations to the broader theme of your wedding.
Card Size: Typically A5 with a coordinating envelope.
Bridesmaid Proposal Cards
Weddings have always been about the bride and the bridesmaids, and Bridesmaid Proposal Events are quickly becoming a popular trend. At these events, the bride formally asks her friends and family members to be part of her wedding party. Of course, personalised, professionally-designed cards are a great way to add some real class to the event. In many cases, brides prefer to write their own messages, but getting them professionally-printed is also an option.
Card Size: Usually folded A6 cards with a coordinating envelope.
Save the Date Cards
The instant you set a date for your wedding and reception, you'll want to send out Save the Date cards. You don't have to have any locations in place just yet - you're merely providing the names of the bride and groom and the day and city in which the wedding will be taking place. This allows friends and family time to request off work or move around any conflicting plans.
If you've created a website for your wedding, you can direct your guests to it so they can be aware of new information as it comes out. Alternatively, you can simply put "more information to follow" at the bottom of your Save the Date, just to let them know that the details will be forthcoming.
Though Save the Dates are not a requirement, they are a great way to ensure busy friends and family members can attend. If you'd like, you can match the design of your Save the Date cards with your invitations, creating a cohesive design that everyone will appreciate and that will look great in your wedding scrapbook.
Card Size: Usually A7 or A6 with a coordinating sized envelope.
Note: They can also be sent out as postcards.
Bridal Shower Invitations
Typically, whoever is hosting the bridal shower will select the design and format of these cards. As this is a party for the bride, she doesn't typically have any input, but she can if she wishes. Invitations like these are usually much less formal than other wedding-related print products, as the event is meant to be a fun celebration. Feel free to mix it up!
Card Size: Typically either A7 or A6 with a coordinating envelope.
Bridal Shower Thank You Cards
Traditionally, any gift-giving event that you ask your guests to attend should be followed up with a series of thank you cards. The first example comes right after the bridal shower. Be sure to collect your guest's addresses ahead of time from the bridal shower host. If you'd like, you can assign someone to write down which gifts came from which guests, so you can express your gratitude in a more personal way.
Card Size: Usually card sizes range from A7 or A6 with a coordinating envelope.
The official wedding invitations are considered by most couples to be the most important wedding stationery item of all. They can be fun, formal, elegant, or simple, but they typically contain some standard information. This includes the date of the wedding, the names of the bride and groom, and the names of the of the hosts, which can be the bride's family or both families.
You'll also want to put the venue name, the time of the ceremony and reception, and the city and state where each event will take place. Any other information should be listed on a separate card. Below, we'll outline a number of other cards you'll want to consider mailing along with your invitation.
Card Size: Traditionally A5 with a coordinating envelope. Formal invitations may also wish to include an outer envelope to enclose the entire suite.
Response Card (or RSVP)
It's crucial that you include a separate response card (also known as an RSVP) with your invitation, even if you want your guests to reply online. Trying to include all of this info on the invitation itself can clutter up the design, and will prevent your guests from keeping the invitation as a keepsake.
The response card should include a reply by date, a line for the guest's name, and an option to accept or decline. Some couples also prefer to include information about how many guests they'll be bringing and what meal they'd prefer. You could also include a line for dietary restrictions or other special needs.
To save on costs, opt for a postcard RSVP. If you want to give off the air of a formal event, ensure the cards are self-addressed and pre-stamped.
Card Size: Customarily A7 or A6 with a coordinating envelope.
Enclosure Card (or Insert Card)
This card is designated for any additional information that you might want your guests to know. This can include details about room blocks, reception information, or even maps to hard-to-find venues. As with any instructions, you'll want to keep the information in this card brief and to the point. If you want, you can choose to include a separate card for each detail (i.e. one for accommodation, one for driving directions, etc.)
Card Size: Typically A6 but also larger (up to A5)
In any event, enclosure cards should never be larger than your wedding invitation.
This is where you can list information about room blocks or other accommodation details. You can also provide any special numbers guests need to call, or codes they need to use for discount pricing on rooms.
Card Size: Usually A5.
In most cases, very formal wedding invitations will include the reception information on a separate card. It's a nice gesture to include all the details they might need about the reception venue, including a map if it's particularly hard to find. However, if the ceremony and reception are at the same venue, this often isn't needed (just the phrase, "reception to follow").
Card Size: Commonly A6.
While it's perfectly fine to put your wedding website address on the enclosure card, some couples prefer to list it on a separate card. This makes it easy to direct guests to a place where they can find all the information they need. It can also be an excellent way to cut costs on invitations, allowing you to omit nearly everything but the RSVP card. The only downside is that older, less tech-savvy guests might not appreciate being directed to a website.
Card Size: No bigger than business card size.
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
Though not a requirement, rehearsal dinner invitations can be a lovely addition to your wedding paper suite. They are also an effective way to spread the word about your rehearsal and give your guests an idea of what to expect.
Card Size: Typically A6 with a coordinating envelope.
They can also be sent as a smaller enclosure card along with your wedding invitations.
Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Invitations
Though it's common that you, as the bride and groom, won't be planning these events, they are still representative of your overall wedding event. Since only members of the wedding party are typically invited, word-of-mouth is usually sufficient to inform everyone of these events. However, invitations can help allay confusion and will provide a touch of ceremony to the request. This is also recommended for larger bridal parties to help keep everyone on the same page.
Card Size: Typically A5 or A6 with a coordinating envelope.
Ceremony programs are a lovely way to include your guests in the festivities of the day. They also provide them with a basic schedule of events that they can follow as the ceremony progresses. In many cases, these programs are a great way to recognize the bridal party members, speakers, and other notable people. Though not required by any means, they also make great keepsakes. It's common to coordinate these programs with the invitation suite.
Card Size: Varies but typically A4 DLE fold or A4 folded to A5..
Guest books are beautiful keepsakes that you can use to commemorate your big day for decades afterward. Many couples like to think of these items as a "high school yearbook" for their wedding, They can be as fun or as formal looking as they couple would like, with guests signing their name or writing all manner of messages to the bride and groom.
Book Size: Varies, but typically an A4 punched and wire bind quality book.
Escort Cards/Escort Board
If your wedding or reception has seating assignments, an escort board or escort cards is an absolute must. These will list each table number and the corresponding guest's seat. They are commonly displayed on a large poster board so that guests can easily direct themselves (or be directed) to where they're sitting. Escort cards, on the other hand, are placed on the table where all the guests can see the seating arrangements.
Card Size: Escort boards vary in size,
Escort cards are usually no bigger than business card size.
Though commonly confused with Escort Cards, Place Cards are situated in front of each seat, designating the guest's place at the table. They generally only include the guest's first name, but larger weddings will often include at least the last initial to prevent any confusion.
Card Size: Place cards are traditionally A6 and fold down to business card size.
If you opt for assigned seating, table numbers will be required to designate where each guest should go. You can be as creative as you'd like with these displays, but it's recommended that you coordinate them with your overall wedding concept.
Card Size: Varies, but usually A6..
Professionally-printed menus are a great way to pull your tablescape together. Like programs, they also give your guests an idea of what they can expect in terms of both food and events. Whether you're having a buffet-style or sit-down dinner, most guests find it very helpful to know what's on the menu. You can also indicate any allergy warnings or other notable information.
Card Size: Varies, but usually A4..
Wedding Table Thank You Notes
I absolutely adore this sentimental wedding trend. In lieu of a menu (or in addition too), many couples have started placing a thank you note to their guests at each setting. They are typically printed with the same message and will include the couple's married name. If you want, you can add a personal touch by having a calligrapher write each guest's name at the top. This would allow it to also double as a place card.
Card Size: Varies, but usually A6.
Wedding Welcome Bag Notes
It's considered a lovely gesture to include a welcome bag or gift bag for guests that have traveled in for your wedding. These can be left at the front desk of the hotel or offered at your wedding rehearsal. They commonly include a thank you note to guests for traveling to celebrate with you, a timeline of wedding events, and a list of things to do in the area.
Card Size: Welcome notes are business card size.
Wedding Welcome Bag Tags or Labels
As the name implies, these are tags or labels that you can put on your welcome bags. They don't need to be particularly ornamental or wordy, but they should include a short welcome, list the bride and groom's names, and include the date of the wedding.
Card Size: Varies, gift tags are generally A7.
Labels for gable boxes may be larger.
Remember to measure your welcome gift to make sure you have an appropriate size for each bag!
Wedding signs are a fun and informative accent that you can place in and around your wedding and reception venue. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles, but they should fit the wedding theme whenever possible.
Card Size: Varies, small signs are typically A4 and large signs can be A3.
Thank You Cards
Thank You Cards are the final piece of the "wedding stationery puzzle." Unlike some of the items on this list, they are an absolute must. Though typically a job reserved for the bride, it's becoming more and more common for grooms to get involved as well. You can choose to thank all guests who attended (whether they bring a gift or not), but it is definitely required to thank guests who brought a gift. To make everything easier, designate a member of your bridal party to write down what each guest gave you so that you can personalise each note.
Card Size: Typically folded cards, sizes range either A5 or A6.
They can also be sent out as postcards.
A Few Wedding Stationery Recommendations
Remember that wedding stationery serves a very important purpose: outlining what guests can expect from the event. They are also a polite and elegant way to provide guidance to your guests as the day progresses. While not every single item on this list is necessary, the more you can keep your guests informed and included, the better.