The purpose of wedding stationery on the day it two-fold: firstly to communicate with guests about what is happening and where they are going; and secondly to provide mementoes of the day.
You will probably have ordered them well in advance to match your invitations, but as your big day approaches you will no doubt be finalising the wording. Here are some of the basic rules of wedding day stationery.
1. Provide at least one Order of Service per couple at the ceremony. The Order of Service is particularly important if the couple are of different faiths or having a humanist wedding. It allows the congregation to feel at ease if they are attending an unfamiliar service. Whether the ceremony be religious or not, there will be a mixture of readings and music and it is always nice to list these as a memento of the ceremony. The Order of Service should be given out by the ushers as the guests arrive.
2. Assign tables at the reception – particularly if it is a sit down meal and there are over 40 guests. This means that you can organise who sits where in advance, ensuring that guests are not left out and that certain relatives can be separated – if your parent are divorced they can each have a table with their close relatives for instance. There are a number of ways to inform guests of where they are sitting, the most popular being a seating plan at the entrance to the reception, listing which table each guest is sitting on. It is optional whether you put individual place cards on the tables.
3. If you put individual place cards on the table make sure each guest has an individual card and not a Mr & Mrs card.
4. If guests have selected food from the menu in advance put what their selection is on their name card as a reminder. If it is a set menu but you have one or two alternatives due to dietary needs, discuss with the caterers the best way to handle this. One way is to let them know which table the relevant guest is sitting on and then highlight their name card in some way – perhaps with a ribbon or star.
5. Have a wedding guest book or an alternative such as a wish tree available throughout the reception for your visitors to sign.
1. Make the writing on the table plan and name cards too small or fancy. You will have a number of older people at your reception who will find certain fonts and sizes difficult to read
2. Have any name cards saying “and guest.” Hopefully when a single friend has sent their RSVP they will have given the name of the plus 1, but if not, someone needs to contact them shortly before the wedding to get a name.
3. Give out name badges – people are quite capable of introducing themselves!
4. Be inflexible. From my own experience assigning tables is a nightmare – you will get call-offs up to the morning of the wedding. Ask one of the bridal party (bridesmaid or usher) to take charge on the day and do the slight changes required to the seating plan to accommodate this.
We can help you provide all you stationery for the wedding day and with our experience we can advise you on the numbers required and layouts.