Our Complete Guide to Wedding Stationery
Much like branding is to a business, stationery sets the tone for your wedding and helps guests know what to expect from your special day. It's the first look into your wedding style and colour palette and ensures that guests have important information at their fingertips. We chatted to Cape Town designer Anzel van Biljon, the creator of White Kite Studio, to glean her thoughts on all things wedding stationery.
How do you help a couple to figure out their unique wedding style?
“I am lucky in that a couple will mostly have a theme or colour scheme by the time they approach me for stationery design. However, it they are still confused about what they want, I will ask them to create a secret pin board for me on Pinterest with all the images that appeal to them. I will then put together a mood board for them suggesting a style as well as colour palettes for them to choose from.”
What's your checklist of important information to include on a wedding invitation?
“The first thing to look at is the wording of your invitation. Depending on who is paying for the wedding, the format of the invitation will be different. It is traditional for the name of the bride/bride's parents to be first followed by the groom/groom's parents.”
Below are some popular examples:
“Kelly and Ross joyfully request the pleasure of your company at their wedding day.”
“Together with their parents, Kelly and Ross invite you to share in the joy of their wedding day.”
“Sarah and James Smith, and Martha and Matt Jones, invite you to witness and celebrate the wedding of their children, Kelly and Ross.”
“Sarah and James Smith invite you to the wedding of their daughter Kelly to Ross, son of Martha and Matt Jones.”
Information to follow this introduction includes:
- The wedding date
- The venue and GPS coordinates (maps are slowly going out of fashion as it's so easy to simply punch a GPS coordinate into a phone)
- Time that the wedding guests need to arrive and the time that the ceremony will begin e.g 15h00 for 15h30
- Dress code
- Gifting or registry information
- Rules regarding partners and children (by invitation only)
- The RSVP date and contact information
- Accommodation options (if needed)
- A line asking for any dietary requirements
Other than the invitations, what other types of stationery do couples often have at their wedding?
“There are certain elements that are ‘staples’ when it comes to wedding stationery, and they are all related to the organisation of your wedding and the guests. They are…”
- Programs: The program usually supplies a timeline for the day and the names of the people involved, like the names of the parents, bridal party, the MC, band/musicians and who will be doing speeches.
- Seating plan: You can opt to create small cards with the names of all guests or do a big poster with your table layout.
- Name cards: Placed on the tables, these cards allocate a seat to each guest.
- Menus: You can opt to have one menu per table or create bigger name cards and place the menu on the back.
- Table numbers: You can create paper table numbers or do some special cut outs from wood or Perspex to compliment the look of your wedding.
How much would you suggest a couple budgets for wedding stationery?
Most stationery prices are worked out based on two factors:
- The complexity of the design. The less complex and time consuming the design, the lower the price. Also think about the type of illustrations you want, if any.
- The sizes, paper, printing techniques and quantities you choose. This will affect the production price of stationery.
“I would suggest starting your stationery budget at R7,000 for the basics. If you want any special finishes done then the price can go up to R15,000 for a full package.”
If a couple wants to save costs, what are your tips for a beautiful, simple invite? Does it have to be all ribbons and folded paper?
“Stationery does not need to be complicated to be beautiful. Even though I love invitations with special finishes like letterpress printing, foiling and special folds, digital printing is a much cheaper alternative and it can give you more options in terms of looks.”
“The golden rule with stationery printing is that size and quantity will affect the price. You can opt to go for smaller sizes to save on paper costs or send half of your invitations digitally.”
There’s something wonderful about receiving a wedding invitation that a lot of thought and care has gone into. Whether printed or digital, let your invitations tell a story and build excitement for the celebrations to come.