When it comes to wedding planning, choosing your stationery might seem like one of the easier tasks to check off your list. It can be a surprisingly complicated bridal to-do with so many moving parts — from the engagement-party invites and RSVP cards to ceremony programs and thank-you cards. You may be wondering about place cards? Do you really need them? To help you sort through all the different types of wedding papers and the proper etiquette behind them, we crafted a comprehensive list of all the paper pieces you might hear about before the big day, what you actually need, and why.
1. Engagement Party Invitations
While you’re not required to host an engagement party, if you do, you’ll certainly need to send printed invitations. Choose something that’s representative of your wedding style, but don’t feel obligated to select something that matches your wedding invitations.
2. Bridal Shower/Hen Party Invitations
Unless you’re hosting your own shower, or Hen Party this particular piece of stationery isn’t up to you to send, but you should keep it on your list.
3. Bridal Shower Thank-You Notes
Following your shower or hen party, you’ll need to send every attendee a thank-you note. Pre-purchase cards that you can write and address after your shower to graciously thank guests for their generous gifts.
4. Wedding Invitations
Wedding invitations can be simple, single cards or comprised of several smaller pieces. If you can’t include all of the pertinent information on one card, you’ll need to include inserts like a reception card, a direction or map card, and a hotel accommodations card. You should always plan to include a response card and self-addressed and stamped envelope to ensure you get all of your RSVPs in on time.
5. Bachelorette/Bachelor Party Invitations
Since you’re likely not planning this party for yourself, it won’t be your responsibility to shell out for invitations to this pre-wedding bash. They’re generally more informal, so an electronic invitation is acceptable, but remember to thank everyone for attending with a card via snail mail.
6. Ceremony Programs
A program informs guests about the order of events during your ceremony and fills them in on any cultural or religious traditions that aren’t widely known. They’re not required, but are a nice touch if you want guests to feel included in the proceedings.
7. Table Cards
For larger weddings with assigned seating, you want to order table cards that will include each guests name and their table assignment. To cut costs, you can group couples on an individual card.
8. Place Cards
For more intimate weddings, you can designate each guest’s seat with a place card. These cards typically contain just a guest’s first name, but if you have friends and family with the same name, and an initial is a wise addition.
9.Table Numbers
If you’re going the table card route, you’ll need to clearly mark each table with a table number. Your options are endless — some couples like a card that matches their stationery while others go for something more inventive.
10. Menu Cards
Whether you’re serving a sit-down dinner where guests choose a meal or serving your fare buffet style, always create a card that clearly denotes what each dish contains. With food allergies on the rise, it’s especially important to make note of anything that might be difficult for guests to consume.
11.Thank-You Cards
Following the big day you should send a thoughtful, hand-written thank-you note to every guest who attended or sent a gift. Match your stationery for a cohesive look or choose something bright and fun — after all, what matters most here is that you express your sincere gratitude.