YOU are getting MARRIED- let the planning begin!! … There will be many decisions that will be made, from your dress, to flowers, to bridesmaids, to all of the various invites and thank you notes… I will share how exciting the role of stationery is in leading up to the big day, and ultimately telling everyone “Thank You” when it is all said and done.
Tradition says you mail save the dates 6-8 months before the wedding, and the invitations 6-8 weeks before. Then you have shower thank you cards, possibly personal notes to your wedding party, priest, venue, etc. How is one to keep up with it all?! I recently had the privilege of sitting with Bering’s Stationer Ben Whitley. Ladies and Gents, Ben used to be a writer for Hallmark- he knows his stuff!
Ben walked me through ‘I do to thank you’ and back around. According to Ben, many brides-to-be come in telling him they want something different. This makes perfect sense, there are no two couples alike- so why would save the dates and wedding invitations be any different? What he shared with me made the art of ‘thank you’ so clear and easy to understand, and I am pretty sure you will agree.
Bering’s tip: Come in with your mother or friend and spend your time looking at all of the books filled with save-the-date and wedding invitations. It will help you find exactly what you are looking for regarding paper stock, font color, shape, theme, etc. It also provides a great opportunity to compare pricing among all of the options.
The Paper Trail:
Step 1: Save-the-Date (Woohoo!!!)
Save-the-dates are all about setting the stage for this momentous time in you and your fiancé’s lives- your announcement to the world! While it is not a requirement to send save-the-dates, it does help to ensure the guests you would like to attend actually do. With busy schedules, and possible travel arrangements sending save-the-dates 6-8 months is a good rule of thumb. (One year for destination weddings.) Ben’s thought on incorporating “something different” is to have fun with your save-the-dates.
Bering’s tip: Anyone who receives a save-the-date should also receive a wedding invitation- even if they told you they would not be attending. Common courtesy dictates!
Step 2: Thank You cards (This is really not a step but the foundation of the event… and love!)
You might be surprised this is step 2 and not 3. If you haven’t already started writing your thank you cards, then get ready- the fun is about to begin. …Well, actually ‘fun’ is probably not the word. 🙂
As you are probably aware, a personal thank you note is the most appropriate way to say “Thank You!” Just telling someone who has given you a gift, how much you appreciate it, does not “cut the cake!”
Something I personally found interesting, and quite frankly- something I hadn’t even thought about, was the option of sending out personalized “thank you” cards. Of course, personalized stationery is always nice, but there are many other options to keep in mind. One of the bridal conundrums for personalized stationery is which names and/or initials to use. This is a time for transitions, after all. The answer depends on timing. If the “thank you” card is sent prior to the wedding, as in those sent for shower gifts, “thank you” cards from the bride-to-be should be written on stationery with her name or maiden initials. Likewise, “thank you” cards from the groom-to-be should be written on flat card stationery with his name or initials.
You have additional options for stationery used post wedding. Newlyweds can choose to send “thank you” cards with the bride’s married initials, Mr. & Mrs. “John Smith”- or use the groom’s flat cards from before the wedding. The important take-away in whichever option you choose is for the “thank you” card to be signed by the person who wrote the card, but to include gratitude from the two of you in the body of the message. Ex: John and I really appreciate the William Yeoward goblet, and can’t wait to use it at…
Bering’s tip: We suggest taking no longer than 3 months to mail your “thank you” cards.
Step 3: The Wedding Invitations!!
Sending out your wedding invitations is beyond exciting! By this point you have most likely already had your showers and both bachelor and bachelorette parties! Not to mention all of the time you have spent firming up all of your many wedding planning details. (I remember stuffing the invitations with my parents and how each and every invite seemed so special.)
We suggest mailing invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding. This gives everyone a little time to make arrangements, and it gives you more time to get a count on your RSVP list!
By now you have the invitation in the mail. I am sure you were amazed at all of the options you had. No matter what you picked out- you really cannot go wrong. The traditional white or cream is always beautiful, but doing something a bit more ornate and or unique is equally as sweet. After all, it is you and your fiancé’s wedding- no one else’s!!
Bering’s tip: It is fun to save the reply cards and keep them in a little box to look back on.
Step 4: The Program
It is helpful to gather up everything you need for your program ahead of time. In fact, if you have a template- that works too! Upon coming in to talk to a Bering’s stationer, you will have personal assurance that all of the details will be perfect. Bering’s emails proofs for most all personalized cards and invites. The big choice here is deciding on the format of your program. You can choose to do front and back or a small booklet format- the sky is the limit!
Bering’s tip: It is a good idea to include “At the home” on the back of your programs, so friends and family know where to reach you two for personal notes, invites and holiday cards.
Additional Stationery Options:
Now that we have covered the basics, I will give a short list of additional bridal stationery needs. There are several other opportunities to put things on paper. You have wedding menus, place cards, bridal brunch invites, and the ever important note to your groom before walking down the aisle. If you hadn’t considered yourself a “stationery pro” before your wedding, trust me you will be by the time it is over!!
If you keep a calendar task list, all of these decisions are much easier to keep track of. Please just remember that in the end, the only two things that matter are that you and your groom make it to the wedding. Everything else is truly icing!
Until the next Bering’s Bridal Buzz!!