The first chapters of a soon-to-be great book introduces the characters, location, and time, plus they set the stage for every moment that will follow. Stationery does the same thing! At their cores, save-the-dates and invitations introduce your wedding day or event to the guests you invite to share it with you. Just like a great book, you want your stationery to look stunning and inform guests about all of the most important details in order to make a great first impression. Before you can pop your pieces into the mail, you’ll want to keep these five things about wedding and event stationery in mind.

You will need to know key details first.

Before you can send save-the-dates to your guests, you will want to know the date when you plan to celebrate and where you will celebrate. You will also want to have your registry and wedding website ready to go! It’s helpful to list both links on this initial piece.

Before sending your invitations, you will want to have decided how everyone’s names will appear (this includes your names and your parents’ names), your ceremony and reception locations, start times, meal options, room blocks, and transportation. Of course, you can always add specifics, like room blocks and transportation details, to a website, but guests will likely search through the inserts in your invitation to find answers. It’s helpful to have everything available for them at their fingertips to allow guests to be able to say yes quickly and easily.

You can order online or (better yet!) work with a stationery designer.

There are plenty of sites online where you can order special event stationery (Minted is a favorite), but there’s also something to be said for working with a stationery designer. Designers tend to be local creatives who know your venue, and they’re also typically happy to meet in person at their studio to review options. Additionally, stationery designers can also create semi-custom pieces that are inspired by a design for a previous couple and event or they can create entirely custom save-the-dates and invitations that are unique to you and your event. I love working with stationery designers!

There are different printing styles.

Just like there are different styles of weddings, there are also different ways to print wedding stationery. Three of the most popular are letterpress where the print is set into the paper, embossed where the text or design is raised off of the paper, and digital, where the details are printed onto the paper much like they would be if you printed something off of your printer (though much fancier!). The first two tend to be the most expensive, especially when gold foil is introduced, while digital printing keeps budgets in check really well.

You will want to keep a timeline in mind.

Whether you’re ordering your stationery online or working with a designer, you will want to start considering stationery well in advance of when you would like to mail the pieces to your guests. Save-the-dates should be sent 6-8 months prior to your wedding day, and invitations are best sent 8 weeks in advance. You will want to add time if you’re planning a destination event in order for guests to have plenty of time to make travel arrangements. Also, don’t forget your guests will need to RSVP to your event before your caterer requests the final numbers.

Don’t forget to budget for postage.

Save-the-dates and special event invitations are often more expensive to mail than a traditional letter. This is because they include more pieces inside the envelope, which causes them to weigh more. Plus, invitations sometimes are shaped differently than a letter or card, which can add to the cost. Don’t forget, a nice touch is to add a stamp to the envelope your guests will use to return their RSVP! Make sure to leave room in your budget for postage. You’ve designed and ordered your stationery, but the most important step is to mail it!

Is stationery one of your favorite details? What additional questions do you have? I always love talking about paper.

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