This month on the blog, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of paper products for your wedding and hear from some of our favorite vendors on how they make all that paper look… so… PRETTY! To start out, let’s look at the necessities – what are the paper products that pretty much everyone needs to consider?
Photo credit: Flashbox Photography
1. Save the Dates
Save the dates are a chance to get a little creative with your paper. Use your engagement photos to do a postcard, create a magnet, or send an electronic save the date. Or, tap into a part of your wedding design that’s just not going to fit into the broader wedding theme. Save the dates should be sent 6-8 months before the wedding, ideally. Be sure to have a firm guest list before you send save the dates – it’s definitely not fun to call someone later in the process and say, “Yeah, about that… You’re not actually invited to the wedding.”
Photo credit: Katie Cassidy Photography
When sending out paper wedding invitations, you’re actually putting together an “invitation suite” – generally, this includes your invitation card, the RSVP card and envelope, the outer envelope, and any additional enclosure cards (accommodations, directions, or even a single card sending guests to your wedding website for more details). It is becoming less common to use an inner envelope, which would contain all the pieces of your suite and be addressed more informally than the outer envelope. Don’t forget to budget for postage!
Photo credit: Joseph Mark Photography
3. Wedding Day Paper
There are a number of paper products that you’ll need just for your wedding day. Of course, these are optional items for the most part – consider if these items fit the feel and style of your wedding before diving in headfirst!
a) Programs: Programs are used at ceremonies to either guide guests through the religious aspects of the ceremony or highlight important people (bridal party, parents, etc.). Programs can also be a good place to put in memoriam statements for relatives who have passed away, reminders to put away cell phones for the ceremony, and/or a note of appreciation from the bride and groom.
b) Seating Chart, Escort Cards, Place Cards: Yep, we really do think you should assign tables for your guests. A seating chart can be as simple as a big list of guests by last name with their table number next to their name. If you’re having a served meal with a choice of entrees, we suggest using escort cards (cards your guests pick up from a central table and take with them to their seats) or a seating chart and place cards (cards that are sitting above the charger or place setting at each chair around every table). That way, you can color code your guests’ cards to match their entree selection, and you a) end up ordering the correct number of each entree, and b) your servers know who gets what without asking!
c) Table Numbers: If you’re assigning tables, you’re going to need table numbers! These can be as simple or elaborate as you like. This is also a good thing to get crafty with – there’s not going to be a million to do, so it’s an easy-to-complete item for your checklist!
d) Menus: Menus can come in all shapes and sizes, so feel free to get creative! You can slide them in napkins at each place, create framed menus for each table, or even print them as chargers.
Photo credit: Katie Cassidy Photography
So, where do you find all these amazing paper products? There are many online resources, like Minted and Wedding Paper Divas. Etsy also has a TON of vendors working on paper. You can also order from large suppliers like Carlson Craft, which are carried in stores like Michaels, as well as smaller stationery chains. Paper Source and Papyrus also do custom paper orders. If you’re concerned about maintaining a specific style or theme throughout, it’s usually best to visit a stationer – here in Dallas, we love Chips and Salsa, 5 by 7 Designs and CW Designs. Also, check out our post on our Peaches on Par photo shoot and the costs associated with producing the paper products!