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Traditional invitations are printed in black on white or cream card and may be hand engraved, thermographed or flat printed. 

The style of invitation that you choose should reflect the style of wedding that you are having.  Your invitations will provide your guests with a glimpse of what your wedding day will hold for them.   Nowadays you can choose from an extensive selection of stationery.  If you are uncertain of what is right for you then why not request to see some samples.   Another means of getting ideas is to keep a collection of any wedding invitations that you or your family may have received.  Although it is unlikely that you will want to have the same invitation it may provide you with ideas.

Invitations can be formal, informal or modern style, and matching envelopes and even seals are available to complete the theme.

You will need one invitation for each family or couple/individual that you invite to your wedding.  It is also advisable to order extra invitations so that you have these as spares in case a mistake is made during the writing/printing of them.  It will also enable you to invite extra guests having found out that some of your guests are unable to make it from the first replies that come in.   

It is also advisable to provide the guest with a clear indication of what they are being invited to.  Is it the ceremony, the main reception or the evening reception? 

Your invitations should be ordered approximately four months prior to your wedding day.  This will give you plenty of time to personalise your stationery and to ensure that any mistakes are rectified prior to sending them out 6 weeks before you wedding day.   You will want to ensure that the day of the week and the date match and also that this is the date you have chosen.  You may laugh, but mistakes do happen.  You will also want to ensure that there are no spelling errors in any of the names on the invitation or the venues and finally that the address is complete and correct.

You may wish to add something personal to your invitations for instance a photograph of the bride/groom, a black and white line drawing of the church or the venue where the ceremony is to take place, etc.  When sending out your invitations you may want to include a pre-printed reply card and addressed envelope although this is not necessary it may encourage guests to reply promptly.

You may also wish to include clear directions and/or a map showing guests how to get to your wedding reception.  Although many of your guests may be familiar with the wedding venue you can not assume that everyone will be as some will be travelling from afar.  This will be very much appreciated by your guests as it will save them time and effort.   If your wedding reception is not being celebrated locally then you may also want to provide your guests with details on accommodation available.  If you are holding your reception at a hotel you may be able to arrange a deal with the hotel and receive discounted rates for the wedding party and also pre-book rooms on their behalf.  Not all guests may wish to stay at the hotel, so it may also be advisable to include a list of numbers for Bed and Breakfasts and Guesthouses in the area.  Some people may decide to include a wedding list with the invitation; however some may prefer not to and instead wait for their guests to ask for one to be sent out.

Send out your wedding invitations to your guests 6 -8 weeks before the wedding day.  It is important to keep a copy of acceptances and refusals as they arrive back so you can provide your reception venue with final numbers.

Other items of Wedding Stationery include:

Order of Service

These contain details of the order of service, music and readings to make is easy for all your guests to follow and contribute to your celebration.  You do not need to print one for each guest; generally it is one per couple.  Wedding guests generally take these home and keep them as a souvenir.

Table Plans

If you decide to have a table plan then you will need to clearly display where guests are to be seated.

Place Cards

If you decide to have a table plan then you may also decide to assign seats to your guests.  If this is the case then you will need place cards for the table.  Once again these can be written or printed.


Menus are optional.  If your guests do not have a choice with their meal then it may not be necessary to supply them with a menu. You may also wish to check with the hotel/venue as they may be able to supply them. 

Thank-you Cards

It is always nice to thank your guests personally for the presents you receive; therefore it is best to take the time to handwrite a personal thank you card.  You may wish to do this as the gifts arrive, or you may leave this until you return home from your honeymoon. At this stage you could make it more personal by attaching a photograph of the newly married couple on their wedding day or the wedding party as a whole.