When it comes to your wedding, there can be a lot of different types of paper products you may need to get your guests the details they need and make sure everything goes smoothly. From the save the dates and invitations to the escort cards and thank you notes, the options are endless. If you are a paper and design person like myself, it can be even harder to make your selections and pick your favorites. Below we have come up with a list of the paper products you may, or may not, need for your wedding, but it is good to review the list and see if you want to add anything!
Save the Dates
For a destination wedding, save the dates are usually sent out anywhere from a year to 6 months before the wedding date. I believe that it is better to get them out on the earlier side so that your guests have time to find hotels and decide on their plans. Save the dates can be anything from a postcard to magnets. The basic information your guests need would be the date, location and a link to your wedding website.
Invitations - RSVP cards, Maps, Information
The most important part of your wedding paper is most likely going to be your invitation suites. There are so many options when it comes to your invites! I highly recommend meeting with a stationer to go over options so that you can get a good idea on pricing and what fits your budget. Don’t forget to include an RSVP card and envelope, a map of the area if needed and an information card that may include things like other festivities taking place, lodging suggestions or your wedding website.
Welcome letters are what you would provide to your guests upon arrival to their hotel. Sometimes this letter comes along with a welcome bag of some sort, but if you want to skip the bag, you should atleast provide a letter. This can include things like a “thank you for coming” note, things to do in the area, reminder of event times (welcome party, ceremony, brunch), parking information, etc. If you are not sure where all of your guests are staying, you could also send this in an email the week leading up to your wedding.
If you are having a church ceremony, you are most likely going to want to have a ceremony program. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, a program of the service is not required (especially if is rather basic), but it can be nice for your guests to have something to look at while they wait. You will want to include things like the bridal party and family names, order of service and maybe a thank you to your friends and family.
Escort Cards & Place Cards
What is the difference you ask? Escort cards are what the guests pick up and “escort” them to their seat. Place cards are what assign your “place” at the table. Most brides will do escort cards and not place cards, as it can be tedious to assign each seat at the table for your guests. There are many options for escort cards ranging from tented, seating charts, starfish, etc.
If you are having a plated meal with or without a choice, it is always a good idea to include a menu card on the table. You can either do one per table or you can do one per place setting. If you are doing stations or buffet, a menu is not needed, but you may need catering cards to identify what each food is. Check with your caterer first to see if they provide them or not.
There are always places throughout your wedding where you will want to include some signage. Some examples of this would be for your signature drinks, directing guests to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, guest book details, bride and groom signs, and more.
Thank You Notes
Don’t forget your thank you notes! You can talk to your stationer about having them match your invitation suite, or you can also talk with your photographer about doing a “Thank You” photo to use on your cards.
Learn from the expert!
Jen from Dulce Press in Mashpee says, “When choosing wedding invitations, be sure to go with something that sets the tone for the wedding. Whether it's casual, formal, backyard BBQ, your wedding invitation style will show your guests what you're planning. It doesn't mean that if it's a casual wedding, the invitations have to be flimsy! Just go with a fun, fresh design over a traditional format.”
In some way, shape or form at your wedding you are going to want to be sure to say hi and thank each person that was able to join you in the celebration. The receiving line used to be the most popular way to do this, but here are some ideas as to how you can take care of this task, depending on your wedding day schedule.
The receiving line is a bit old fashioned, but it does come in rather handy from time to time. If you are getting married at a church and/or you have a lot of time to kill in between your ceremony and reception, I would highly recommend thee receiving line. This way you are able to greet all of your guests, with your parents, immediately after the ceremony, go for photos and meet them at the reception. I typically recommend this for my clients that have more than enough time in between their ceremony and reception.
Greeting Guests at the Tables
If you do not have time for a receiving line, or think it is too old fashioned, then the fall back would be to greet your guests at the tables after you have finished each course of your meal. It is always nice to have someone in charge of making sure you get back to your seats when each course is brought out so that you do not miss a course. This is a great option, but remember to keep it short and sweet at each table - keep it movong! I would also recommend that you choose to sit at a sweetheart style table so that you are not leaving your guests at your table each time you get up.
The Cocktail Hour
If you are having a less formal affair, and you are having all of your photos done before the ceremony, then it is perfectly fine to mingle at cocktail hour and visit with all of your guests. That way you can enjoy your meal without interruption and converse with those at your head table.
On The Dance Floor
If you don't like those options, and would rather keep it super casual, then just thank your guests by dancing the night away with them!!
Cape Cod Celebrations has been fortunate enough to have an amazing young woman interning with us for the past 2 years and who will be joining us again this summer, but not only as our intern, but also our new admin!
Olivia has been studying event planning at UMASS Amherst and will be graduating a semester early this fall - smarty pants!
Words cannot express how grateful I am that Olivia found us. Her drive and attention to detail is well beyond her years. And in her 2+ years with us she has been on site with me to trouble shoot events with no air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year, but also to be thankful for beautiful days like the one above at Chequesset Golf Club.
We love you Olivia! Thank you for being so awesome!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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