Whether your wedding day is fast approaching, or you have a long time ahead of you to prepare, you will want everything to be perfect. This special event only happens once in a lifetime. Every tiny detail matters from the decorations down to the Save the Date cards, Wedding Invitations, Menus and Place Cards. Planning first and foremost, you want to lay out your wedding plans. When you are just beginning the process, wedding planning can feel incredibly overwhelming. There are so many different things to consider and figuring out how to organize it all in a way that brings your dreams to life without causing you to lose your mind is critical. Here are a few tips on how to get started…
Picking your location: The best place to start your wedding planning journey is with deciding your location. The location and time of year will dictate the style of your day. For example the style of a Castle Wedding in December will be very different to a Festival Style Wedding in July. Once you have picked your location and time of year it is easy to then work outwards. Doing this can help you decide what kind of clothes you will need to wear and how to dress your entourage. It will also help you develop the colours and theme you want to go with. You want to decorate and dress in a way that compliments your atmosphere. Being able to picture your layout can get the ball rolling for the most vital details.
Write your Guest List: Before you go into all the actual wedding planning details you should start compiling your Guest List. You may think you don’t have too many to invite but once you start adding family from both sides and all your friends the list will soon grow. You will need to know a rough idea of your numbers before you confirm some of your suppliers or your location and order your Stationery. If you are unsure of some addresses you should start collecting them now as this could delay you later on.
Send Out Your Save the Date Cards: You may want to send Save the Date Cards to anyone that you know you want to invite to your wedding. As soon as you pick a Wedding Date and Venue, announcing it months or even a year in advance helps everyone make travel preparations, also giving them enough time to buy gifts and send them out or store them away for your special day. Save the Date Cards are usually essential for Overseas Weddings as your guests need longer to plan as they may need to book flights and hotels or save money for the trip. These cards can be simple and will often have limited text, you just need to let them know the basic details such as your date and location, if the wedding is overseas, it can be helpful to include flight and hotel information too.
Pick a Colour Scheme and Style: Once you have picked your location and the time of year you would like to get married, you have conquered half of the battle. Now it is time to start thinking through what colours and styles you want and what would naturally play off the venue and the time of year you have chosen. If you are having a winter wedding, you want warm clothes and accessories that bring life to the cold, sometimes white and dreary atmosphere. If it is an Autumn wedding, you may wish to use an Autumn-themed décor with earthy tones and hints of pumpkin and spice. If it is a Summer Wedding you might decide to use pastel florals or go bold with a bright fun colour scheme. There are just so many great options, and it is all about fitting your style and design taste into the season and space. Choose two or three interior and exterior styles you like and see which one coordinates best. What you come up with may surprise you.
Now that you have everything planned out, it is time to send out the official invitations. Just like the rest of your wedding décor and your attire, you want your wedding invitations to match your style and the atmosphere you are trying to create so that you can draw your special guests into the dream with you. This is one of the most essential parts as it is the first glimpse your guests will have of your Wedding Day.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to your wedding invitations:
– How do you want your guests to feel when they receive your invitation? The invitations you choose should say something personal about you and your partner and make your guests feel special. You are inviting this person because they mean something to you, and you want them to share in one of the happiest moments of your life. Take this into consideration when you write the invite.
– Does it match your colour scheme and theme? You want your wedding invitations to fit into the event seamlessly. Play off the colours and themes you have in your wedding décor and location without giving too much away. Tease your guests about the mood without spoiling anything, and make sure the style of the invitations goes with all your other printed Stationery. We can also add on Information Cards, RSVP Cards, Coloured Envelopes, Envelope Seals or Envelope Liners too your order.
– Are you giving your guests enough advanced notice? Even though you may have already sent out Save the Date cards, it is important to send out your official wedding invitations a few months in advance before your actual wedding. These go out much later than your Save the Date cards and provide your guests with a reminder and more precise details about the time, place, accommodation etc that your Save the Date cards did not. We would advise you start working with us on your Stationery at least 3 to 4 months before your Wedding, sooner if possible as we can always keep your design on file until you are ready to print. The design process can take time although we will do our utmost to accommodate rush orders. You also need time to write them carefully, you do not want to leave them to the last minute and rush them all in one night and make mistakes. You should send out your Invitations about 8 weeks before your wedding. If your wedding is at Christmas, the height of the Summer or on a Bank Holiday we would advise you send them out even sooner as people may have other plans made.
– Don’t forget: You can purchase “Love Stamps” from An Post. They are a nice touch to include on your envelope rather than a standard stamp and they also don’t have the price of the stamp on them. They are available from larger Post Offices or at www.anpost.ie. They are usually on special offer for a week or so around Valentines Day, so stock up early if you can, you may get 1 or 2 stamps free in every 10!
On the Day Stationery
There are a huge amount of Stationery add-ons you can choose to compliment your Invitations. For your ceremony we can create matching Order of Service Booklets or Leaflets, and Signage to welcome your guests to the Ceremony Venue or maybe to ask your guests not to use Social Media. For your Reception we would advise you create a Seating Plan and Table Names so your guests can find where they are sitting. Place Cards, Menus, Signage, Betting Cards, Charity Favour Cards, Bridal Party Greeting Cards are also lovely additions to your Stationery Package.
Order of Service Booklets: Your Priest or Celebrant should help you to plan your ceremony and choose prayers, readings, poems and hymns. They will usually supply you with a Word Document that you can edit to incorporate your own choices. If they don’t, then please get in touch with us and we can provide a template for you. Once you are finished editing the document, get your celebrant to look over it to make sure they are happy with it too. Then send us on the document by email. You don’t need to make it fancy as we just need the text and will be laying it out for you. We have a variety of different Order of Service options so have a chat with us about what you would like. We will then create a proof for you to check over with your celebrant.
Seating Plan & Table Names: Once you figure out how many people you want to invite to your wedding and think through what their relationships are to each other and to you, you’ll want to come up with a seating plan and get Table Names for your reception tables. These Table Names should match the style of your other Stationery such as your Invitations, Seating Plan, Menus etc to maintain a continuity of flow. Place cards can help each guest know precisely where they need to sit at their table during the meal. Seating Plans decrease the possible chaos and awkwardness that looking around and choosing your place to sit can create, it is also a great way of keeping bickering relatives apart!
Plan your Menu: A few months before your wedding you will get the chance to develop your menu with your venue. The menu should correlate with the season and your theme, and it should include a variety of foods you know many of your guests can eat. Don’t forget to include a Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free option for any guests who may need these. You can request any Dietary Requirements with your RSVP details so it is easy for you to collect this information. It is then a good idea to create matching Menu cards for your reception tables so your guests can easily choose what they would like to order.
After your Wedding
Thank You Cards: Don’t forget to send out Thank You Cards to your guests after your big day. We would advise to wait until you get your Wedding Photos and use some of these on your card but no later than your First Wedding Anniversary. We have a selection of Thank You cards on our site or if you have something particular in mind just let us know and we will create it for you. We can also include a printed message with your names inside so you don’t have to write every single one by hand. If you had a Summer Wedding, maybe consider getting a festive style Thank You card so you can send it as a Christmas Cards, kill two birds with the one stone and save on stamps!!!
Baby Announcement / Thank You Cards: The story often doesn’t end once your Wedding is over. We find that many of our couples return to us to order their Baby Cards. It absolutely makes our day to come full circle with a couple from working with them on their Wedding Stationery right through to their Baby Announcements. We also have a beautiful selection of Baby Announcement Cards, Thank You Cards and Christening Cards that can all be ordered on our website under the Stationery category.
When you get yourself organized and figure out how to coordinate everything, weddings can be so enjoyable to plan. The most important thing is to realize that the day is yours and to have fun. If you have any questions at all please just let us know and we will be happy to help.