You’ve hired all your vendors for your big day except one, the Stationer/Calligrapher! A good portion of the time this wedding vendor gets pushed to the back burner until you realize… oh shoot, I need menus and bar signs and programs…!!! Or you might be saying “What the heck do I even need… or where do I start?!” In my experience, couples tend to forget about these items until it’s close to the wedding day and that ends up adding undue stress on the couple, as well as the designer. BUT don’t fret, today I am giving you a list of all the stationery, day of details and calligraphed items you may need on your big day!
Of course everyone’s budget is different and that typically dictates what you’ll end up ordering, however I encourage couples to think about logistical needs first. For example, how will your guests know where to sit without a seating chart? Or how will your catering team know who has the chicken on table 8 without meal placement cards? All these items can be made by your calligrapher and they are important aspects to make sure your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible.
I truly care about my clients and I never want them to make wasteful decisions or choose something because they feel pressured to have it at their wedding. I work with each one of my couples directly and together we decide what is best for them and their budget. Read on for recommendations for day-of-stationery and helpful planning tips. I’ve also included a printable checklist for you to print out and add to your wedding binder (if you keep one ;)).
There are many options when it comes to the Rehearsal dinner and it all really depends on what level of formality you are going to have. For my own wedding we sent the invitation via email, but a lot of couples want something a little more fancy and ask for custom invitations.
Rehearsal dinner invitations and hand calligraphed envelopes
Welcome Bags (see below for more details)
If you have a lot of guests coming from out of town, it’s a nice touch to give them welcome bags at their hotels. Typically you can ask the front desk to deliver the bags to their rooms. Inside these welcome bags are fun things like gummy bears, your favorite wine and electrolyte packets to stay hydrated…. and informational items such as welcome programs, directions to the venue or things to do around town.
This includes a schedule of events leading up to the wedding, as well as a list of local restaurants and activities.
Custom Tote Bags - Your calligrapher can create bags made with your names and wedding date or even your personalized hashtag!
Branded gift - Your calligrapher can add little customized tags to items, such as your favorite gummy bear flavors or your favorite fruit jam! The ideas are really endless
Programs: This tells people how the wedding day will play out…and when cocktail hour and dinner begin. You don’t necessarily have to have individual programs printed, you could just do a sign to tell your guests the schedule of events.
Program Sign : This explains who is who in the wedding party. You can either do printed pieces or a sign could do the trick as well
Reserved Seating: You want those extra special guests to know that there has been a seat reserved for them, plus you don’t want anyone else to sit there! You don’t want Nana Graham to walk down the aisle and have no where to sit during your ceremony because your co-worker took their spot up front! :/
Unplugged ceremony sign : Telling your guests to please not use their phones or cameras during the ceremony
"Please sign our guest book" sign
"Choose a seat not a side" sign
Ring bearer Sign: Some people have the ring bearer hold something that says “Here comes the Bride” or something along those lines…
Now here is where you can really go ALL out, the reception can have so many options for signage and paper goods. Don’t feel pressured to include all of these items, but a few of them will definitely enhance your guest’s experience.
Bar Signs - These are some of my absolute favorite things to create. You can do them in so many ways wood, chalkboard, watercolor… you name it! You can do a full bar sign or just a signature cocktail sign
Escort Cards/Seating Chart: You can get so creative here! I love when I work with couples who want me to come up with a creative idea, as the options are endless. This will tell your guests what table they are sitting out. It is a VERY important part of the wedding decor.
Place Cards: These are placed at your guests place setting. I also love it when I go to a wedding and there’s a place card, because I feel like they reserved a seat just for me (plus I hate trying to decide where to sit on my own). Place cards can be super creative as well.. If you are interested in some ideas check out my Unique Place Card Options Blog
Hashtag Sign: Let your guests know what hashtag to use when posting photos to social media!
Cocktail Napkins: These are so fun and can be customized to fit the Couple’s wedding theme. I’ve even seen some with little facts about the couple that are really fun!
Thank you Notes: I have done a few of these were the couple has hand calligraphy done for each wedding guests and it has a short thank you note to each guest. It’s a really beautiful and wonderful touch to add to your wedding.
AT THE END OF THE DAY…
It’s really about you and your fiancé and the budget you have for the wedding. Only a few things are really necessities (cough* cough* Seating Chart + Place cards) on this list, but it’s up to you to decide on the level of items you want on your big day! You can use this free PDF checklist as your guide