The M. Harris Bride’s Guide to Custom Wedding Stationery
You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now let’s talk wedding stationery. I get so many questions from my brides about what to include in their wedding stationery. There are so many ways to spice up your wedding stationery and make it personal to you and your fiancé’s wedding. Let’s talk details! I wanted to create a guide for all the brides out there to help you as you decide what all you want to include in your stationery. Timeline, what to include, design embellishments, and printing methods, I’ll review it all here!
First, let’s talk timeline! One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “when should I reach out/inquire about wedding invitations?” The short answer is: ASAP! I always recommend my potential brides to reach out about custom wedding stationery as soon as you can. Especially if you plan to use me for your Save the Dates in addition to your Custom Invitations. Here is a snapshot of my Custom Invitation Timeline just to give you an idea!
8-10 months out
Begin Save the Dates. Save the Dates are typically sent 6-8 months out and the design process takes about 4-6 weeks. So depending on your length of engagement, we will begin the Save the Date process no later than 8 months out from your wedding date.
6 months out
While I recommend reaching out as soon as possible in order to secure your spot on the calendar, the custom invitation process will begin at 6 months out. 6 months away from your wedding date, I will send you a detailed questionnaire to fill out so I can get to know you and your fiancé and your wedding vision!
5 months out
I will send you a vision board and a round of sketches to give you the feel of your overall invitation suite so that we are on the same page before any designing takes place!
4 months out
I will send you your designs and we will tweak until your invites are perfect!
3 months out
Your invitation suite is printed, assembled, and any last minute touches like calligraphy addressing will be done.
2 months out
Your beautiful invitations will be shipped off to you at exactly two months from your wedding date! Invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks in advance, so this 2 month mark will give you plenty of time to gawk over your beautiful invitations and get your ducks in a row before you have to say goodbye and send them to your lovely guests.
1 month out
any day of items will be finalized during this time! Programs, menus, place cards, etc. If you’ve included any day of items, those will be finalized and sent to you in time for your wedding day.
I take care of all the planning so all you have to worry about is saying “I do!”
What to include in your Invitation Suite
Invitation + Envelope - this is the base of your entire suite, and usually what the rest of your suite will hinge on in terms of design. This will include your names and the general details of your ceremony. You can choose to have an outer + inner envelope, or just one outer envelope to encase everything
RSVP Card + Envelope - Again, pretty self explanatory here. You will obviously need to know who is coming, so this is how you’ll gather all of your guests and whether or not they are attending! You can choose the traditional way of having your guests mail in their responses, or you can opt for just the card and provide a place for them to RSVP online.
Info Card - this piece will give you the option to include the nitty gritty details. If you want to communicate anything to your guests such as directions to your venue, where they can find accommodations, website information, ceremony logistics, or reception information. This is a place to communicate anything to your guests that would not belong or fit on the invitation or RSVP card.
Calligraphy Addressing - Let’s give those envelopes some flair! The outside of the envelope is literally the first thing your guests will see. Nothing makes your guests feel more loved when they see their names are personally hand-written onto the front of the invite. So special!
Guest Address Printing - If calligraphy is going to break the budget, or if you just want a simpler look for the outside of your envelopes, address printing is an awesome option! Your guests’ addresses will be printed on the front in a beautiful and simple typeface.
RSVP Address Printing - You’ll definitely want this option if you don’t want to fool with hand-writing your address on each individual RSVP envelope. Big time saver!
Envelope Liners - Aside from the outside envelope, and envelope liner is one of the very first things your guests will see! The envelope liner is an extra layer that goes on the inside of your envelope and incorporates a design on the inside flap. Whether it is a sketch of your venue, or your wedding florals, or a meaningful quote in calligraphy, envelope liners are the perfect way to incorporate sweet and personal details from your wedding that will give your guests a first impression of what is to come.
Handmade Paper - handmade deckled-edge paper is the way. to. go. If you want one seamless way to instantly upgrade the feel of your invitations, this is a great option! Another great thing about handmade paper is that you can incorporate it into your suite however you want or however it fits into your budget. You could opt for just handmade envelopes, or a handmade paper info card, or just do your entire suite in handmade paper! But don’t worry, as your designer I can walk you through the best option specifically for you :)
Wax Seals - The perfect way to literally seal your invitations. Wax seals are a beautiful addition to your invitations and the perfect way to add some color or tie in the overall look of your suite. A wax seal can be incorporated on the inside on top of twine or silk ribbon to package up the individual pieces, or you can have your wax seal on the outside to seal the envelope itself. You really can’t go wrong with wax seals!
Vellum Wrap + Twine Assembly - Vellum is that beautiful translucent paper that adds an elegant touch to your invites while allowing them to perfectly peek through! One way to incorporate this is by wrapping your invitation suite in the vellum and adding the delicate twine around the middle so that your guests can easily pull the invite out of the envelope. Nothing will impress them more than a beautifully packaged invitation!
Silk Ribbon - This is definitely one of the more luxurious touches you can add to your invitation suite. All the silk ribbon that we use in our invitations is handmade and hand dyed by local vendors. Including a silk ribbon ties around your invitations is another way to incorporate your wedding colors (or neutrals) into your invitations. It literally ties everything together.
Vintage Postage - Yet another way to fill those invitations with personality! Vintage postage is the perfect way to style your stationery and to incorporate postage that matches the feel of your wedding and your invitations. Although vintage postage can be pricey, there are ways to incorporate vintage postage while still using regular postage to get the same look without sacrificing your budget!