You put a lot of time and energy into creating your perfect wedding invitation. You're pleased with the way it reflects your style and sets the stage for your event.
Sometimes, it can be easy to overlook some of the other important paper components that can pull together the day's celebration and truly "wow" your guests. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Wedding Programs. Programs are generally distributed at the ceremony as a way to provide guests with the details of the event to come, as well as offer a keepsake of the wedding. They may be handed out at the door by members of your wedding party, placed at each seat at the ceremony, or placed in an easily accessible basket or other receptacle at the entrance.
Programs come in all forms and fashions, from a simple printed card to tri-folds, scrolls and more fun or elaborate presentations such as fans, passports or playbills. The contents of the program may include:
- An outline of the ceremony and order of events, including processional music selections, greetings, readings, prayers, exchange of vows, ring ceremony, unity candle ceremony, pronouncement of marriage and recessional music selection.
- A list of those participating in your ceremony, including the members of your wedding party, officiant, readers, musicians and singers.
- Special thank you messages to family and friends
- Tributes to loved ones who are deceased or otherwise unable to attend
- Explanations of the meanings behind any special poems, readings, or religious or ethnic traditions from the ceremony.
How many programs to order? A good rule of thumb is generally 75% of the number of guests, as couples will in many cases take only one program, Extras may be brought to reception and placed near the guest book for any guests who may not have received one at the ceremony.
Escort Cards/Place Cards. You may have heard both of these terms...is there a difference? Technically, yes, though they are often used interchangeably. Both are small, usually tented cards that help guests determine their assigned seating at the reception.
The subtle difference is that "escort cards" are placed in a grouping at a main table before the entrance to the reception. Each card contains the guests' names and the table number to which they are assigned. The guests then pick them up on their way in the door and find their appropriate table.
"Place cards," on the other hand, are less common and generally used only at the most formal seated dinner receptions. They contain the guests' names and are placed on the table, at the precise seat at which each guest is expected to dine. As weddings become more and more creative, ideas for quirky, clever and unexpected escort cards and place cards abound. They may also be incorporated into the design of the wedding favor.
Table Cards. Table cards are used to designate the number of name for each table at the reception. As with escort cards, these may be very creative...often, couples will "name" tables based on things or places that are important to them. These should be large enough to be seen from throughout the room...often, they're set on a stand or incorporated into a centerpiece for easy viewing.
Menu Cards. Most commonly used at seated dinner receptions, menu cards may be placed at each table setting to give guests a preview of the meal to come. While not necessary with buffet-style receptions, some brides still choose to incorporate menu cards into table settings as a decorative element. Again, menu cards may be as beautiful and creative as you like...they are often adorned with ribbons, flowers or other special touches.
Napkins. Wedding day napkins personalized with the couple's names, wedding date and any other relevant details add a special accent to your wedding reception. Options include beverage/cocktail napkins, dinner napkins and guest towels for the bath facilities. They are available in thousands of designs and colors to match the themes of any decor.
Coasters. Personalized coasters have become very popular at weddings and may be personalized with the couple's names, wedding date, and fun themes, motifs or monograms appropriate to the celebration. They can also be a nice keepsake of the celebration.
Favors. The sky is the limit when it comes to wedding favors. They range from the traditional chocolates, candles and soaps to modern gifts like music CDs, picture frames, glassware and the Vermont-y choice of maple syrup bottles.
Nearly any item can be personalized with a tag or label with the couple's name, wedding date and even a photo. At Arabesque, for example, we can print personalized candy bar wrappers and wine bottle labels right on the premises, as well as favor tags that can be affixed to nearly any gift item you can dream up!
Another favor idea that has gained popularity is the charitable donation in lieu of gifts. In this case, cards can be printed for each table setting, detailing your gift and charity of choice to your guests.
Party Invitations. The list of events that go hand-in-hand with a wedding celebration can be endless. In addition to your perfect wedding invitation, don't forget that you may need invitations for other parties, as well. These can include showers, bachelorette parties, bridesmaids' luncheons, welcome dinners, cocktail parties, rehearsal dinners, brunches and more.
Thank You Notes/Personalized Stationery. The list of notes to be written in conjunction with your celebration is long! A set of thank you notes or personalized stationery is an essential part of your wedding stationery wardrobe. Whether you prefer a folded note (sometimes referred to an "informal,") a flat card ("correspondence card") or stationery sheet ("letter sheet"), you may choose to personalize your selection with a monogram or your new married name.
Of course, as with every other wedding "tradition," there are also many ways to get creative with your thank you's, including the idea of incorporating photography from your wedding into the note.
Miscellaneous Printed Pieces. Did you create a signature cocktail or recipe for your reception, and you'd like to describe it for your guests? Recipe cards at the bar or at table settings can be a wonderful memento of the celebration. Or maybe you plan to include welcome baskets in the hotel rooms of your out-of-town guests? A printed card to greet and welcome your guests, perhaps with a copy of the weekend's itinerary if appropriate, is a lovely touch to accompany the basket.
We look forward to speaking with you at Arabesque and helping you come up with your favorite way to personalize every aspect of your wedding as outlined above! Please contact us to make an appointment to come in and chat with us about all of your options.