A wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire event. It is the opening scene of a play! The moment when you open your box and see your wedding invitation in print is one moment you’ll never forget. It’s the real thing. Now the excitement really starts! Whether you are planning a traditional or modern wedding, the style of the invitation should give the recipient a little taste of what to expect on the big day. Choosing the right stationery can be a daunting task and therefore I have laid out a guide to make it a little less stressful! Choose a stationer to create your suite. They vary in price and style. In my experience, you will get two different types of stationer: one who is a printer of traditional work; and one who specialises in a more handmade approach. Once you’ve made your selection, their designer will guide you through examples, and create something you’ll love. If you are able to meet them in person, all the better. That way you can feel the textures and see the actual colours of items. But it is not essential. I have created many orders via email and phone conversations. It is no problem if you live far away. Here are the main points to consider: (1) Formal or Informal The very first thing to consider is whether you’d like to go for a formal, traditional invitation, or whether you’d prefer it to be more modern and fun. A formal invitation is a portrait, folded invitation that would stand on a mantlepiece with black, raised text on the front. The wording usually consists of the bride’s parents hosting and therefore inviting guests to the wedding. Informal cards offer scope for imagination and they may well be landscape orientated, rather than portrait. They can be as elaborate as you wish. I have created many folders with pockets to keep the bits and pieces in. Also beautiful boxes are an elegant touch. (2) Wedding Stationery items to consider: Save the Date cards (to be sent out up to one year before the wedding) Engagement Invitations Invitation Sets (to be printed and sent out up to 3 months before the wedding) Invitation cards Reception Invitation cards Information cards RSVP cards Stationery for the Day (to be printed one month before the wedding) Service Booklets Menus Place cards Name Settings Table Cards Table Plan Thank you cards Embossed, Flat Printed or Debossed (indented) There are many different printing processes. The first thing to consider is whether you’d like the text to be embossed, flat or debossed. Here is an explanation of each: Letterpress: Debossed lettering,popular and high quality printing Digital: Flat printing and the least expensive option Litho: Flat printing and high quality printing Thermo: Raised, glossy ink, less expensive than engraving Engraving: Raised, matt ink and high quality printing Foiled: Debossed using foils (these come in most colours) and not ink. Invitation Wording Depending on whether you’re going down the traditional route or not, here are a few examples: Traditional wording. Mother and Father of the bride is hosting: [names of those hosting] request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter [bride’s first and middle names] to [groom’s full name] at [location of wedding ceremony] on [day of the week], the [day] of [month of wedding] at [time] o’clock followed by a reception at [location] RSVP by 2022 [how to RSVP: post, email,telephone] Dress: [code] Carriages at [time] Modern wording. Together with their families, [Bride’s full name] and [Groom’s full name] are delighted to invite [guest’s name] to celebrate their marriage at [location of wedding ceremony] on [day of the week], the [day] of [month of wedding] at [time] o’clock followed by a reception at [location] RSVP by 2022 [how to RSVP: post, email,telephone] Dress: [code] Carriages at [time] Thinking of going paperless? E-invites as getting increasingly popular and most stationers should offer this as a services so do ask. But if you’re wanting to go paperless and save trees, read on to discover the facts. We are given the impression that electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than traditional, paper-based communication. But it is very difficult to make such a statement without considering the full lifetime of those different mediums. Paper is a uniquely renewable and sustainable product. The main raw material, wood, is grown and harvested in a carefully controlled and sustainable way – so sustainable, in fact, that European forests, where most of the raw material comes from, have grown by an area the size of Switzerland in just 10 years. The environmental impacts of our ever-increasing digital world cannot be ignored. The ICT industry accounts for around 2.5-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and this is predicted to rise to 14% by 2040. Businesses and individuals are increasingly using ‘cloud’ services. These mega data-centres store almost everything we do online; including our web searches, our social media posts and our online statements. Whatever decisions you make, they should be right for you. If budget is a concern, there are always ways to bring the price down. Talk to your stationer and ask how this might be possible. It really is such fun creating the perfect suite. I wish you the very best for the big day and your future lives together!