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As you plan your wedding and begin to consider the finer details, you may be wondering which wedding day stationery paper is truly necessary. Every wedding is unique, so your needs will be unique. However, there are still a few essentials that all soon-to-be-weds should consider. This list will help you get started.
While they sound similar, place cards serve a different purpose than escort cards. Escort cards are displayed near the entrance to your venue and literally “escort” your guests to their seats. Conversely, place cards are already located at each person’s seat to indicate their meal selection. That way, your servers can place the correct meal in front of every guest.
Place cards are usually tented cards sitting on or near guests’ plates. However, they can also be a part of your menu design. Or, for those who enjoy a more organic touch, they can take the form of pieces of agate or capiz shells with your guests’ names on them in calligraphy. Your place cards can also be a fun way to tie your wedding theme into your stationery. For example, for a travel-themed wedding, you could place a labeled luggage tag at each place setting.
A welcome sign is a great way to greet your guests as they enter your event. Visually, it can also tie into your wedding stationery. Another sign worth having is a bar sign since it’s a fun way to incorporate your personality as a couple into your wedding decor. You can consider naming your signature cocktails after your pets, or featuring favorite drinks from places you’ve traveled together!
These have become a wedding staple and for good reason. Well-designed menus can add so much to a tablescape with the addition of a pop of color or soft neutrals, depending on your palette.
Sakshi Karambelker (left) & Odessa James (right)
Most venues will require a seating chart or escort cards for plated dinner service. Otherwise, your guests are liable to spend quite a while figuring out where to sit! A seating chart is a list that lets guests know where they are sitting. It often consists of a large sign, a mirror, or a collection of cards adhered to a board or mirror. So, you can get creative with it! I am able to provide signage, cards, and tags to my clients, and while I do not provide the calligraphy for mirrors, I can connect you with a vendor who does, and we can collaborate on your vision.
Seating charts can be arranged alphabetically by last name or by table number. Many of my clients opt to arrange by table number. However, it is important to consider that most guests will locate their table more quickly if they are searching by last name.
An alternative to a seating chart is escort cards. A table or shelf can display these traditional folded cards. Or you can skip the cards altogether in favor of a unique object such as champagne glasses or mini succulents! Each guest will remove the card or object with their name on it and take it to their place setting. In addition to the guest’s name, the card should include their table number and meal selection.
TIP: Whether you choose a seating chart or escort cards, don’t forget that these also require a table number on each table!
While the above items are essential to your wedding day, the ones listed below have fallen out of fashion. But this doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t have them at your wedding. It just means that you should carefully consider if they are worth a line on your budget sheet!
As menus have become a staple at weddings, programs have slowly become the opposite. I recently spoke with a bride who was pretty sure that all 200 of the programs she ordered were still arranged neatly in their stack after her ceremony. Most guests simply don’t care to have an extra piece of paper to carry around, so these have become a waste of money for most couples.
Wedding favors are also on the way out since guests don’t tend to take them. However, I understand that many couples still want a way to express their gratitude to their guests. Thankfully, there are alternative ways of doing so. One is to make a donation to a charity you and your partner care about in your guests’ names. Then, place a small card at each place setting letting your guests know that they helped contribute to a good cause. Or if you have lots of out-of-town guests, take time to assemble goodie bags to leave in their hotel rooms. These could include a reusable bottle of water, a snack or two, and something personal to your wedding. You can even choose to have a professional like Lavender and Pine Gifting take care of this for you!
As a final tip, your wedding day stationery is a great place to tie in special design elements from your stationer, such as a wax seal or custom monogram! Your welcome sign is the perfect place to feature a monogram, while wax seals can add visual interest to your place cards or menus. They are also useful for attaching your seating chart cards to a mirror! Another great way to feature your monogram is with cocktail napkins—and believe me, they’ve come a long way from the napkins your mom and dad had at their wedding in the 80s.
I hope that this list of essential (and not-so-essential) wedding day stationery is helpful to you! Here at Kindly Delivered, I offer wedding day stationery and signage that pulls the stationery details of your wedding together into one cohesive story. Interested? Get in touch with me here!