Eventi Eleganti can help with all your stationery needs. Use this page to find out more about wedding stationery and request more information about styles and prices by submitting an enquiry form on our contact page, which you can also get to by clicking the tab above.
There’s a lot of information on this page to help you organise your stationery requirements and you probably won’t want to read all of it at once. Therefore, alongside each heading we’ve included some indicative time-frames to help you, and these run in chronological order.
Compiling the Guest List (6 months before)
Traditionally the guest list would have been compiled by the bride’s parents in consultation with the groom’s family. However, these days the guest list is usually compiled by the couple in consultation with their parents and family. If the wedding is being hosted by someone other than the bride’s parents, etiquette suggests you should consult them as to whom to invite.
The number of guests you invite will be influenced by your budget and the size of the wedding and reception venues. When deciding whom to invite it is helpful to group potential guests into the following categories:
Most Register Offices, churches and wedding venues have a limit on the number of guests that can attend. Therefore, it is normal for two guest lists to be compiled – the main list (comprising ‘definites’ and ‘probables’) being supplemented with a second, evening only list, comprising those people on the ‘definites’ list who have responded to your ‘Save the Day’ notice advising they are unable to attend the service, some probables and possibles.
Although most people will understand why they have only been invited to part of the celebrations, some thought should be given to people’s sensitivities.
As a matter of courtesy, send invitations to the Best Man, Matron of Honour, bridesmaids and other attendants. It is also customary to invite the vicar/priest and his/her spouse, at least to the evening reception.
Save the Day (4 months before)
‘Save the Date’ notices are quick notes announcing your wedding date in advance of official invitations. These need not be on printed stationery; email messages are perfectly acceptable and will save you money. It is a good idea to send save the date messages to family members, your closest friends and all the people that you most want to see at your wedding.
It’s never easy finding a date that everyone can make, particularly at relatively short notice and when you have a hundred or more guests. Therefore, it is a good idea to send a Save the Date message in advance of sending out formal invitations, especially if you are having a wedding during the summer months, when people may be planning holidays. Consider sending a Save the Date message once you have confirmed the venues for the service and reception.
Send Invitations (at least 3 months before)
You should have your wedding guest list completed and invitations ordered around four months before the wedding date. Eventi Eleganti provides a wedding stationery service, which can advise or design and print your invitations and envelopes for you. We also work closely with some very good stationers, their contact details can be found on the Services Links Page.
Ideally, you should post out your invitations no later than three months before the date. This gives sufficient notice but isn’t too far in advance to be forgotten, and will provide enough time for you to receive RSVP’s, prepare your seating plan and advise the venue or caterer how many people need to be catered for.
Table Plan (No later than one week before)
You should assume that all your invited guests will be attending so that you can make a start on your seating plan in good time. However, you should not send it to be printed until a week or two before the wedding. This way you will be able to correct any last minute changes.
Check and double-check the spelling of all names.
Traditional wedding etiquette lists 8 people on the top table, as shown below. However, it may not always be practical to follow tradition.
If parents are divorced or separated, for instance, following tradition may cause problems. The following etiquette should, however, be observed
If you already have children, you may wish to seat them on the top table.
If the parents of the bride or groom have divorced and re-married you should consider putting their spouses on tables close to the top table.
If the parents of the bride and groom are not in the wedding party they should be seated on the table nearest the top table.
Breaking from tradition, some couples are electing to sit at their own table (for example David and Victoria Beckham). This is known as a “Sweetheart Table”. It can be useful for avoiding issues about who should be on the top table.
Traditional Guest tables
Your event coordinator will be able to tell you the size and shape of the tables at the venue. Armed with this information you now need to arrange your guests appropriately.
Traditional wedding etiquette alternates couples from each family around each round table or opposite each other on rectangular tables, with closest family members seated on tables closest to the top table. Arranging your guests in this way typically results in a good mix of couples/individuals from the Bride’s family and friends who know each other being placed with a like number of couples/individuals from the Groom’s family and friends.
Following the wedding breakfast, tables will often be re-arranged and supplemented to cater for the addition of your evening guests. There is no need to consider who sits where at this stage, many guests will either be mingling or dancing.
Table Labels, Place markers & Favours (when ordering Table Plan)
To simplify people finding their table, it is a good idea to give each table a number or a name. Some couples choose a theme that has significance to them. For instance, some couples that we have worked for have chosen the names of rugby grounds, F1 teams or racecourses; others have labelled the tables cleverly as: “Irresis-table”, “Unforget-table”, “Delec-table”, and so on. Labelling your tables in this way has the added benefit of removing any perceived hierarchy that may be associated with Table 1, Table 2, etc.
Place markers should be clear and ideally include both first name and surname to avoid any possible confusion.
For a final touch of elegance, consider placing a little “favour” next to the place marker of each of the guests at your wedding breakfast. These can be designed to complement your invitations, table plan and seating markers.
Remember to give a copy of the seating plan to the catering staff also, and include details of any special dietary needs.
Many of your guests will want to congratulate you with cards or gifts. The event coordinator will normally make sure a place has been set aside to store these. You are not expected to open all your cards and gifts at the reception. A good way to collect all cards together is with a decorated post box or some other receptacle, which can be dressed to match your theme.
Thank You Notes
Thank you notes can be ordered to match your other stationery. However, it is usual to hand-write a message to the recipient rather than having a generic message printed.