Ever been to a wedding and not been able to figure out where to go? Not been able to read the menu? Waited a liiiittle too long on the bride to get down the aisle? These are all problems that your wedding day stationery can actually help solve - if you know how to use it the right way. I’m obviously a little biased, but there are some practical ways to use the stationery so that it’s not only beautiful, but also functional. And with everything - there are some definite no-nos you’ll want to avoid.
For your wedding, DO:
Have Directional Signage
This is super helpful to anyone who hasn’t been at the venue before. A welcome sign is pretty and all, but adding an arrow, starting time, or directional information can help a great deal! This also applies to moving from Ceremony to Cocktail Hour, and from Cocktail Hour to Reception. Even if they’re in the same place, it’s helpful to have some information (a sign, on the programs, etc.) directing guests. As a former wedding planner, you won’t believe the number of times we get asked where the restroom is, or how to find the ceremony! Even a small 8x10 sign explaining your Guest Book is helpful to your friends and family!
Give Stationery to the Right People the Night Before
Or earlier, if possible! Anything you think you’ll do on the wedding day - you won’t. Trust me. You’ll end up making cousin Sarah do it, or it will cause more stress than it’s worth in the end. So anyone who’s responsible for setting up menus, guest book, etc. should have all those supplies well in advance, with clear instructions on what to do. It helps extra to divide things into a box for each area of the wedding - Cocktail Hour, Ceremony, Photo Booth, etc.
Fold your Tent Cards!
Tent cards are super common for escort cards or place cards, but they typically ship or print flat. If you fold and rubber band them in alphabetical order a few days before the wedding, they’ll get used to being folded and stay upright. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bunch of flattened out cards of various heights (not as pretty for photos!).
Bring extra Tape. You won’t regret it.
Wind is the number one issue with paper at weddings! Whether you need to lightly tape programs to ceremony seats or escort cards to a table - you will find a use for it, I promise! Scissors are another great idea!
Have a Seating Chart
People expect it these days, so it can cause more confusion when you don’t. You don’t have to assign people to exact seats, but giving them a table to sit at will solve a lot of awkwardness - saying this from a guest’s perspective as well as a planner’s. There are about 563 million ways you can create a fun, creative, or simple DIY seating chart, so there’s no need to skimp on this part of the wedding day! We’ve got a whole post on why you need one!
At your wedding, DO NOT:
Attempt to DIY the Morning of the Wedding.
You may be shaking your head - but I’ve seen it all. I was once paid a large rush fee to do a seating chart day-of, because the Bride apparently thought she’d have time to write out 150+ names in between her hair and makeup. Like I mentioned earlier, anything you think you can do the day of - you can’t. Or you won’t. Give up on that pipedream now ;)
Stress about a Few Changed RSVPs
This happens at EVERY wedding. Someone shows up that RSVP’d no, or someone doesn’t show up who RSVP’d extra. Hopefully you’ve ordered a couple extra plates just in case, and maybe these two types of people will even themselves out. Either way, it doesn’t matter. It’s a wedding, and people are going to pull up a chair, enjoy some drinks, and dance their booties off - including you. No use stressing about adding that last name onto an escort card - he will figure it out!
Print Things too Tiny
Remember there are…erm…older eyes that need to be reading the menus, place cards, etc. as well. Especially if your event is indoors, you’ll need to make sure text is legible. We prefer larger text and design space over listing out every single detail, especially on a menu. You can get rid of the “herb-marinated fresh-caught Atlantic Salmon” in favor of “Salmon”. It’s not like Uncle Joe is going to send it back if it’s not Atlantic, but he may be stressed if he can’t read the menu at all.
Make Everything the Same Color
In the same vein, contrasting colors will help your designs and text be able to pop. We also like to incorporate the entire tablescape into our plans - a white menu on a white plate on a white linen may be pretty, but it’s not necessarily dynamic. So talk to your planner, venue, and designer together in order to come up with a cohesive, but not matchy-matchy or monotone look!
Wait til the Last Minute
Most importantly, give yourself or your designers enough time to work with. We require seating charts 3 weeks before the wedding for escort/place cards, so your RSVP deadline should ideally be 1-2 weeks before that. Any printed items like menus or programs, text is due 4-5 weeks out so there’s time for proofs and revisions. Even if you’re DIY-ing, you may underestimate the amount of work involved in planning all the details, so don’t leave the stationery to the last minute!
No matter what style or colors your wedding décor has, if you pay attention to the details and give yourself enough time, your day-of stationery will help bring everything together in a cohesive, beautiful and most importantly, functional, way. We have customizable escort cards, small signage, table numbers, and menus to match all of our Collection Suites if you want to take a look!