By Sarah Buckmaster
You’re wearing that beautiful sparkly ring, and you’ve found your perfect venue and set the date, now it’s time to start thinking about your invitations. We asked industry experts ER Stationery to share with us their top tips for brides-to-be.
Save The Dates
From the moment you became engaged, no doubt you have wanted to share your news, but now the venue is booked it’s time to make it official and send those Save The Dates.
Tip No 1 – Consider your colour scheme in the design, think about the style of wedding you are hoping to have and indulge in some window shopping for inspiration. We find our couples love to look through wedding magazines, blogs and Pinterest in search of ideas. Be realistic about your budget. Save The Dates are typically sent out so that guests can pop the date in their diaries, book the time off from work and share with you in your excitement. They normally include the name of the couple, the date and the location of the wedding. You may also like to include any accommodation or travel information that guests may need. Let your guests know that they can expect an invitation in due course.
When it comes to the formal invitation you not only want it to look beautiful and reflect the tone of your day but you also need it to include all the correct information. So let’s talk about what they should include, the names of the special couple, the date of the wedding, the location/venue, ceremony & reception timings, menu choices, transport information, accommodation information, an RSVP card and gift preferences. You can choose to include a stamped addressed envelope to encourage your guests to RSVP by post.
Tip No 2 – Wedding Etiquette – Traditionally invitations were sent from the Bride’s parents inviting guests to attend their daughter’s wedding, to reflect modern-day living invitations now are often sent from the couple themselves.
Order of Service
The order of service often gets overlooked, but plays an important role in your day, letting guests know the where’s and when’s of the day’s events.
Tip No 3 – If budget is a concern you can look to have your order of service written on blackboards or on framed mirrors. If you would like an order of service printed, make sure you leave enough time for the design, layout and printing, typically 6 weeks prior.
If you have chosen a formal set-up or even perhaps a relaxed family feast it is very likely you will want a table plan. It avoids awkward family moments where perhaps guests feel unable to make small talk and it allows you to plan ahead in terms of guest favours and also allows you to let the caterers know where each dish should go, in terms of tables. So where do you start? Start with talking to the venue and asking them to send through a table plan for you to fill in, this will give you an idea of the layout. We recommend to our couples that they start with the top table and work outwards allocating each guest a table number.
Tip No 4 – Be creative with your table plan, it is something all of your guests will see on the day and as much as it might be a logistical nightmare initially getting all the info together, it can be a talking point as guests go through to your wedding breakfast.
Place cards & Table Numbers
Place cards and table names are very often an afterthought but are key to the table plan’s success. Without these people often end up sitting in the wrong place. Tie your place cards and table numbers into your theme and colour scheme, keep them simple if that’s what suits or mix them up and have some fun with bright pops of colour or bold fonts. If you are using a stationer make sure you use your guest’s full name and not a nickname as they won’t know who is who.
Tip No 5 – Don’t be scared to have fun with these, you can use all sorts of things for place cards and table number holders from corks to plant pots or apples & pumpkins with gift tags.