You're Getting Married!
First you start with booking the venue and date.
After that, you start booking vendors.
In the middle you finally find the perfect dress and continue booking vendors.
Then you think about the SAVE THE DATE cards or magnets and then the INVITATIONS.
Here's a helpful guide to help you through the the printed materials.
SAVE THE DATE'S:
Should be send out about 6 months
before the wedding.
The purpose of the Save the Date's is so your guests can take off of work, book the travel to get to your wedding and make arrangements prior to your wedding. It's nice to have the save the dates sent out AFTER your engagement party and BEFORE the bridal shower.
A Save the Date can be a card or magnet, something simple. It must include THE DATE of your wedding. Some prefer a photo of themselves, some prefer just a design. It doesn't necessarily have to match the wedding theme, but it certainly can.
Formal or Fun Save the Dates?
Save the dates are not in any way your formal invitation. They can be playful and express the couple's personalities. However, if you are a traditional bride and love the idea of formal designs - then go for it. But, it does not set the tone for the wedding.
You're invitations set the tone for your wedding.
It's the first thing your guests will see and the introduction to your wedding.
If your invites are formal your guests will know your wedding setting is formal.
If you make your own invites at home, your guest will know that too!
You can do a fancy, formal invite on a budget. There is no need to cut and paste or hand write your guest addresses on the envelopes. By the time everything is set and done, you can send out gorgeous invites at a reasonable price.
Invitation designs >>
1. RSVP card and RSVP envelope
You must include an RSVP card so your guests can respond if they are going, how many and who they are taking as a date.
You should always include the envelope with your return address printed on the front and stamped for your guests to send it back in ample time of the RSVP date.
2. Directions card
Although these days you think people just use the GPS or google maps to find your wedding site, but really as a formal event and with older guests you should always include the directions to the church or ceremony venue location.
Direction cards should include a few options to how to get to your location, if people are coming from EAST or coming from WEST or there are a few way to reach your wedding, always include those options on the directions.
3. Reception card
You want to include a card that invites the guests to the reception after your wedding ceremony. This should include cocktail hour time, venue location and directions on how to get there. *no need for a Reception card if ceremony takes place at the reception location
4. Lodging / info card
In some cases traveling guests will want to stay in a near by hotel. It's good to block rooms at hotels if you have a number of traveling guests or guests that like to get their party on. Some couples like to stay in the hotel and enjoy an 'after party' with their traveling guests. You should include the hotel information on a separate card, not on the formal invite. NEVER EVER.
You may have a shuttle or other lodging information you want to add as well.
If you have additional information you want to add to the information card, certainly do. If you have a wedding website or maybe a next day brunch - this should be added to the information card. *you can combine lodging info and other info on one card if there is room*
Some venues provide a menu printed for your guests, some do not.
In some cases, the bride may want to match the rest of her wedding theme and print the menu's themselves.
Everyone loves to read while they are waiting for the beautiful bride to walk down the aisle. A program let's the guests know who is who in your wedding and what is going on as they sit through your gorgeous ceremony.
Your guests need to know where they will be seated. Some venues provide table cards for you. Sometimes the table cards are not quite what you are looking for in your perfect wedding theme. You can have them custom made and printed..BUT remember there needs to be a space for the actual number of the table and the guest(s) names. Some brides prefer to write in the names and some put them through the printer. Either way is ok, if hand written - it is always nice to find a calligraphy pen to write with.
Photo is an example of what I did for my wedding, I painted each mini canvas and embellished with rhinestones, then stained the easels - I used sticky dots on the backs of the cards to stick the cards onto the wood easels. It was not the favor, but a little something extra that I wanted to do for my artisy themed wedding. With the help of my Mom, it was a fun project and time spent with Mom while discussing the other parts of the wedding planning.
FAVOR CARDS / STICKERS:
When you are giving a favor you probably want to add a touch of personalization to the gift you are giving. Favor cards can be tied, glued or added anyway you wish. Stickers are great to add to a favor that is wrapped or in a favor box, easy to add - you print, peel and stick! Favor labels are great for food item gifts or something given in a jar.
This is a photo of my wedding favors. I bought the ivory boxes, that already had a light embossed print on them. Then printed the favor tags and glued. Hand made the bows in my wedding color ribbon and embellished with a rhinestone in the center. Gluing the bow to the box as well.
NAPKINS / MATCHES:
You may want to add a touch of personalization to your wedding. For cocktail hour, you can have paper napkins and match books printed with you and your fiance's name and date of your wedding on them.
THANK YOU CARDS:
When it is all finally over, you want to thank your guests for being a part of your big day and for the gift they have given you to start your life with your new spouse. Some photographers will include Thank You cards in the package, some do not. You want to wait for your professional photos to come in, pick the perfect one (or two) of you both and have them professionally printed.
Your guests traveled, spend the entire day (well year really, when you want to include the bridal shower, engagement party and all the other events leading up to your wedding).
So...you want to truly thank them for all they have done. A cheap thank you card will look tacky and impersonal. It's nice to write out each individual card or type it up on your computer and print it the message on your home printer.
In the sample picture of the Thank you card (which was my personal wedding thank you), the card was printed professionally and an empty space was left for a personal message. I then typed up each individual message in the blank white area on the back, and ran it through my home printer. Each Thank you card was personalized torward each guest. No general messege here! My guests loved it!
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