For starters, let me tell you what I am referring to when I say "stationery". First, you may have noticed it is spelled stationery and not stationary. Not that it matters, but just saying, so hopefully vendors will stop offering wedding "stationary" ;).
For stationery we refer to: the wedding invitations, of course, save the dates, and what is needed for the day itself, such as menus, programs, gift tags, order of service, table numbers, place, escort or name cards and thank you cards, which are usually sent after the wedding.
When you choose a printed design on your invitations, the coordination is pretty straight forward: You ask your professional stationer to simply carry on the design or part thereof, on all the cards and stationery you choose to purchase.
It is important that you choose a flexible vendor, who will not impose an invitation pack, instead of giving you the option to buy only the products you need. This will save you money by not having to pay for items not needed. For example, if you have a buffet dinner, you are not likely to need place cards, but still, you may choose to have a few menus printed, in order to inform your guests of their food choices. The choice should be yours. You should also have the choice of how each item should be decorated. You may want to have very pretty thank you cards and a simple rsvp, since it will come back to you in the mail.
Crafted wedding invitations, with more elements or materials, can be trickier to coordinate. There are more options and the prices can vary significantly. For example, if you have a hessian and lace invitation with a pearl brooch, with all the details printed on matt card, and everything wrapped with twine.... what elements do you combine? Do you use all elements for all products ordered? Do you use just some? Or do you simply stick to the base card for each item? The choice should ultimately be yours.
You can put the lot on all pieces: place cards, menus, programs, table numbers, thank you cards, gift tags, etc. However, it may look a bit over-the-top, without mentioning it could also be a budget buster. For some weddings, it may be perfect, while for others it may be better to use less of the common elements.
By using between 1-3 elements on each category of product it is still easy to identify a coordinated stationery group and decorating theme. To illustrate once more, you may choose hessian for the table numbers, just a twine around the place cards, and perhaps twine and an acrylic pearl on both.
One basic way of coordinating is to have all the stationery printed on the same type of paper and to use the same fonts throughout. Style, colours, shapes and the addition or removal of embellishments can then be used to create a uniqueness for each item. As long as your guest can identify elements in common among all the stationery: same font, same paper, or/ and some of the same elements, your wedding stationery will be well coordinated.
The images above show a well coordinated stationery set, where the only elements carried through the entire set were the natural card that was printed upon and the fonts used. You may choose to have the handmade or specialty paper featured on the menus and table numbers, but perhaps your table is getting busy, and the names cards can be printed just using the pain base card. it can also happen the their way: some venues may not offer chair sashes or colour other then white for table clothes and decorations.... In that case you man want add a bit of colour, bling or accents to the stationery shown at the table: i.e ribbon or bling on place cards, menus, table numbers or just on some and not on others. The choice is yours and the best person to help here, is your wedding planner or the reception organiser to discuss what elements you will have on the reception and have a better idea of what you need in terms of stationery on the day..
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