Lewis R. Stevenson of fine stationery designers and printers Leeming Brothers gives his pointers on wedding stationery etiquette that makes its mark on your guests and matches your personal style
Lewis R. Stevenson of fine stationery designers and printers Leeming Brothers often advises couples on wedding stationery. He says that, while many brides and grooms worry about using the ‘correct’ wording, being imaginative and personal has become the order of the day at most modern weddings. This is, after all, your day.
There is just one golden rule with invitations. Lewis says: “Putting your own personal touch on the text is a great way of making your wedding suite truly yours, but you still have to ensure that all of the details your guests need to know are included”. While there are many extra elements you can add to your stationery suite, here are Lewis’ tips for the key elements of your wedding-day correspondence.
This is the cornerstone of your wedding-day stationery. Leeming Brothers finds that the traditional engraved (or engraved and folded) card is still a hugely popular among couples. Conventional wording works best with this style of invitation, but if you want tradition with a twist Lewis suggests you consider changing the ink or board colour from traditional black and white to more unusual options – an approach that can be continued onto your envelopes.
For a more informal approach, there are endless options – from unusual shapes and colours of invitation to stationery designed with a personal motif or monogram.
Useful for giving guests a heads up of your wedding date – and especially important if you are marrying during the busy summer months – the save-the-date card is actually a relatively recent introduction. While this means there are no long-established rules or traditions, Lewis advises that you keep to a simple date announcement since the invitation will follow. The exception is if the wedding is in a far-flung location where many guests are likely to want or need to stay for one or more night. If so, it is a good idea to give a few more details so that guests can start making their travel plans in good time.
By no means essential, RSVP cards are a practical way for guests to respond and are sent out with invitations. Lewis says it’s considered good form to include a stamp if you have an RSVP card, along with a website or app option for those who don’t do conventional mail.
The more complex your wedding arrangements, the more information you need to supply on locations, start times, and so on. Usually a separate card or cards can be enclosed with your invitation to create a ‘wedding pack’ for guests. The information you supply depends on your itinerary, but certainly consider adding parking information, maps and on-the-day contact numbers for both ceremony and party location.
You might also choose to add in to the pack hotel recommendations, wedding gift list information and anything else that will prove useful for your guests. Packaging and presenting this information in an easily digestible format shows thought on your part that will be appreciated by guests and save them time. And that, of course, is the fundamental principle behind good wedding etiquette – every guest is made to feel wanted, looked after and a key part of your celebration.