Everything you need to know about wedding stationery thanks to our friends at Paperlust.
When you’re busy planning all your wedding stationery in the leadup to your big day, it’s easy to get lost in the save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards and other details and overlook the stationery you will need on the actual day. What sort of stationery is that? From your programs at the ceremony to your place cards at the reception, let’s take a look.
Orders of service
During the ceremony, it’s a good idea to give guests a wedding program or order of service so they know what’s coming. This helps people who are participating to prepare for their part, and helps those who aren’t to follow along. This is an especially good idea if your ceremony is going to be longer or have a lot of different elements.
Pew cards/seating cards
This is one of the most commonly overlooked pieces of stationery on your wedding day. Pew cards or seating cards are those little ‘reserved for family’ placards you see on the front few rows of chairs at a wedding ceremony. Forget these, and you’ll probably end up with a ragged, hand-scrawled ‘reserved’ sign torn out of someone’s notebook and stuck to the end of the row with sticky tape.
Signs are important for both the ceremony and the reception. The most popular signs simply say the name of the couple, to help guests know they are in the right place and to provide a little instagram fodder for guests. Other signs can give information like ‘choose a seat, not a side’ or ‘gifts’ to designate the gift table.
Place cards or escort cards
Place cards are small cards with a guest’s name on it, used at the reception to indicate where each person is supposed to sit. An escort card is similar, but lists the name and a table number, and is placed at the door. People find their name, and the card tells them which table to go to. Guests can then choose their own seat on that table and use the escort card as their place card.
Seating charts or seating lists are usually used in conjunction with place cards to give guests an idea of where to look for their place card. These are signs that list table numbers and the names of all guests seated at that table. It’s the first place people look when they enter the reception, so it’s a good idea to have more than one to avoid a bottleneck.
Table numbers can work in tandem with place cards and seating charts or escort cards to help people find the right place to sit. They can also be useful for waiters and other staff when delivering drinks to tables, so always check with your venue to see if they require table numbers.
Menus list the food being served at the reception so people can see what’s coming up (and know to leave room for dessert!). You may choose to give every person a menu, or you may provide a couple on each table for people to look at.
Tags or cards are often included with wedding favours and bomboniere to thank guests or to add a personal touch. The card might be personalised with each person’s name, or it may just be a general ‘thank you’ note or even just the word ‘thank you’.
On-the-day stationery trends
So with all of these kinds of on-the-day stationery, what particular colours and styles are popular and trending?
Nature is always a source of inspiration for weddings, but it’s more popular than ever right now. The colour ‘Greenery’ is Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017, and all things green and plant-related are showing up everywhere. People are increasingly choosing botanical prints instead of florals or other patterns for all their wedding stationery. Of course, this is also easy to match to your decor, whether you’re planning an outdoor garden wedding or plan to bring the outdoors in with plants and sprigs of greenery. You don’t have to take this trend literally, though. Consider just using dark green colours in your on-the-day wedding stationery and as part of the overall colour story of your day.
Foil is a print option that can be incorporated into many different styles of wedding stationery, but people are beginning to harness it in new ways. Foiling has become more affordable over time (even as the quality of foiling has gone up!) so people increasingly choose foil as the overarching theme tying their wedding stationery together, rather than using it as a one-off feature on one or two cards. In addition, the general movement towards minimalism has people choosing fewer elements but making sure those elements are perfect. Foil is one of the best ways of doing this. Nothing beats a luxe foil on premium cardstock.
Pastels are back in vogue, and they’re perfect for weddings thanks to their softness and romantic feel. This is another trend influenced by Pantone, after a pastel blue (‘Serenity’) and a pastel pink (‘Rose Quartz’) were named the joint Colour of the Year 2016. Pantone explains that this soft colour palette “reflect[s] connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” Sounds like a pretty great environment to start your married life! Pastels can also be used to create a vintage feel for your day. Whether you want to throw back to the Roaring 20s in the United States or bring just a touch of the 80s and 90s, pastel will get you there, especially with other vintage design elements and decor.
Sticking to a black and white colour palette is a great way to achieve a chic, sophisticated look that is easy to work into your wedding as a whole. Monochrome is effective for your on-the-day stationery regardless of how you choose to decorate. If you’re keeping everything simple, monochrome stands alone as a strong feature. If you’ve got a lot of decor planned, the simplicity of black and white helps prevent clashing colours or too much busy-ness. White ink on black paper is a particularly popular way of achieving this look, but simple dark ink on white paper or the more involved process of white foil on black paper can also be used for a similar effect.
Your on-the-day wedding stationery plays a huge part in the decor of your wedding, whether at the ceremony or the reception. These wedding stationery details are also the most commonly overlooked during planning. A little extra work thinking ahead and choosing the right theme and style will go a long way to ensuring your big day is perfect, from beginning to end, and that both you and your guests have great mementos to remember it by.
This was a guest post by Maddison Wallace from Paperlust. Maddison is head of content at Paperlust. She is a communications professional who loves words and drinking cups of tea.