So you’re engaged, congratulations! Now comes the fun, but slightly daunting task of hiring your wedding vendors. Between choosing the right venue and finding your perfect dress, finding the perfect wedding stationery to match your day may not seem high on the priority list. But, trust us. If you’re looking to have a cohesive day, stationery is huge! Truly nothing brings your wedding style together like making sure every paper details is in line with your style.
But, don’t stress, we’re here to help you enjoy the process because choosing your wedding stationery is seriously fun! Plus, we spoke to Chicago-based painting and design studio, Clementine Studio, who specializes in watercolor, illustration and stationery to get the best tips for finding the perfect wedding stationery match to bring the style of your entire day together.
First, let’s talk a little bit about wedding stationery. There’s a wide variety of elements you can include when it comes to stationery. Of course, the single most important element is your wedding invitations, but save the dates are up there as well, especially if you’re having a destination wedding or your wedding will be around a holiday. If you’re looking for the most basic stationery package, this will likely include save the dates, wedding invitations and maybe place cards. By the way, yes, there’s a difference between escort and place cards. Escort cards are typically where you have a little more fun with the items and design you use and they’re what get your guests to their table. Place cards are already at the table and designate guests’ specific seats.
Now, if you’re looking to include a little more in your wedding stationery package, there’s almost no end to the pieces you can include from engagement party invitations, wedding party proposal cards, wedding shower invitations, an actual invitation suite—which will include things like an RSVP card and accommodation card, ceremony programs, table numbers, menus, wedding welcome bag notes and thank you cards. Truly, you could go all out with the options available to you! The main takeaway is that you should use the same stationer for as many components as possible, at least when it comes to actual wedding paper details. For wedding events like your engagement party, shower, bachelor(ette) party, you may be looking for something a little different, though it could be fun to keep one or two colors the same throughout so there is a similar thread running through all your stationery.
1. Color and design is THE biggest factor!
The two most important angles to come from are color schemes and design styles. Color is an easy place to start because you usually have an idea early on of what you envision your wedding day looking like aesthetically. What flowers are there? Will there be a lot of greenery or are there any pops of color? Incorporating florals into your invitation design is an easy way to set the tone for your wedding. Is it tropical? The florals and colors used on your invitation can be palms and bright colors that instantly tell your guests they're in for a fun vacation. Winter wedding? Go for moody gem tones like deep greens, blues and dark reds.
If you’re not into using florals at all, that’s where design style comes in. Take cues from your venue: is it warehouse-chic? Classically elegant and ornamental? Fonts and type can depict design styles really well. If you prefer to go minimal with your invitations, focus on using really beautiful, modern fonts. I have a board on my Pinterest where I save amazing graphic design styles (soap packaging, a standout logo, etc.) that inspire me to use fonts and layouts in creative ways.
2. Details mean everything when it comes to matching a style.
If I'm designing a rustic wedding invitation I use florals that create a more casual, overgrown look. Maybe a few branches sticking out, wildflowers, things that appear in nature organically that I can mimic by creating an asymmetrical design. No perfectly trimmed hedges on either side of the invitation, but more of a cascading design with florals poking out in more natural ways. For a glam wedding, I would 100% go for gold foil! Best way to instantly elevate any invitation. For boho, I might crossover with some of the rustic details mentioned above, but use a loose, flowing script font to make it feel really romantic and ethereal without feeling too traditional.
There are also other details you can think about like the type of paper you use, or even the shape. A rectangular invitation with soft, raw edges is much more romantic, whereas a geometric heavy paper is likely for a contemporary, formal affair.
By the way, confused by foil? Let’s break it down. Foil stamping, or foil application, is a printing process where metallic colors are applied to a surface using heat. The heat causes the foil to stick to the surface permanently. They can come in almost any color, but the most popular for wedding invitations are gold and rose gold.
3. Envelope liners will make your wedding invitations stand out.
Play around with your envelope liners! They’re the first thing your guests see when opening your invitation and create a fun opportunity for a beautiful surprise or statement moment.
Envelope liners are probably one of the least-appreciated elements when it comes to stationery. But think about it, if you’re having a modern, industrial wedding and your guests open their invitation envelope to see bold gray and black gears with gold detailing, they know what they’re in for when it comes to your wedding day. It helps really set that tone in a fresh, unexpected way.
4. A great invitation suite doesn’t have to break the bank.
Every couple has a wedding budget and, generally, about three percent of said budget should go to your wedding stationery. Of course, if you’re really excited about all those paper details, you can spend more here and cut back elsewhere! That said, if you have a tighter budget, here’s a few tips on having great looking stationery without breaking the bank. One, play with your envelope liner as we discussed before! Two, fun or personalized stamps. You can get vintage stamps for a vintage-inspired or romantic wedding, or stamps with coastal details for a waterfront or yacht club wedding—you can have so much fun with these. Three, skip the foil and insert cards. Ultimately, if you’re working with a tighter budget when it comes to stationery, all you really need is a save the date, wedding invitation and envelope, anything else is a fun extra, which we totally recommend, but you can have fun and still not go over budget.
5. Always communicate!
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it one hundred times more. Communication is key when it comes to wedding planning—especially when it comes to things like budget. Be very upfront about your budget from the beginning. If the stationer you reached out to is outside that budget, they may be able to refer you to a colleague or they can work with you to figure out where you could cut back so you can still work with them. It is always better to let your vendors know what you are able to pay before you get too far into planning.
So, pretty straightforward, right? If you are still having trouble finding a stationer, email email@example.com and we can reach out to our network to find your perfect stationer with your ideal style, budget and location!
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