STATIONERY 101

Wedding Day-of Items You Need

(But May Not Be Thinking About)

The cake has been tasted, the wedding bands purchased, the honeymoon booked, the invitations sent. Now what? It’s officially time to start thinking about your day-of stationery! Your day-of items are imperative because they serve as little guides throughout the day to keep your guests moving in the right direction and cut down on questions.  Below we’ll discuss some of the most popular day-of pieces.

CEREMONY PROGRAMS

Programs offer a glimpse into what guests can expect during the ceremony. They outline the order of events and match up faces to names in the wedding party. They also communicate important information like musical selections, readings, and sometimes even when to sing or stand. They can be as detailed or as simple as you prefer and can even be a space for a quick thank you note to guests for coming to celebrate. It is recommended to have 1 program per couple, plus some extras for the men who grab one not knowing their wife already did or for the family who needs one for each kid to avoid a fight. They can be handed out as people walk in or even placed on seats. 

ESCORT CARDS OR SEATING CHARTS

Horror story time: I was once a bridesmaid in a wedding that had open reception seating. Guests naturally sat with who they came with and started new tables as it suited them based on their party size – leaving tons of single empty chairs scattered throughout.  As a bridesmaid, I entered the reception after all other guests were seated. Because my hubby was working, I was solo at this event, which meant nobody had saved me a seat. I ended up eating my dinner standing up at a cocktail table by the bathroom. 

All that to say: you’ll definitely need to have a plan for reception seating and you’ll need a way to communicate it clearly. Enter: the seating chart. Seating charts are typically stationed near the entrance to the reception space and include guest names and table numbers. From that point, you can leave it open to the guest to choose their seat within the assigned table, or you can use place cards to assign specific seats at the table. You may also use place cards as a way to indicate meal choice to the wait staff if you are serving a plated dinner. As an alternate form of a seating chart, you might utilize an escort card display, which typically attaches guest names to an item that also displays the table number. The guest finds their name, grabs their item, and takes it with them to the specified table. Escort displays can be a super fun way to take your event up a notch: think personal flower arrangements, glasses of champagne, or other details unique to the couple!

TABLE NUMBERS

Table numbers are also crucial to the smooth operation of a reception. If guests can’t find their tables, they can’t be seated! Tables don’t necessarily have to be numbered, though. They can also be used as another way to express the couple’s unique love story! They can be cities the couple has visited together, characters in the couple’s favorite tv show, books with special meaning, etc.

MENUS

Menus are a great way to add a special touch to your tables. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be placed on empty plates, tucked into napkins, or even layered with the place cards for a unique composition.  They let guests know what to expect and when it’s coming. 

SIGNAGE

Welcome signs, bar menu signs, directional signs, guestbook signs, oh my! Siggage is especially important if you have a large venue or are using both an indoor and outdoor space.  Bar signs are also a great touch if you have a set alcohol menu or signature cocktails.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

This can include things like cups, koozies, napkins, coasters, and favors.  If you have a wedding monogram, these items are a great place to make use of it!

When it comes to stationery, the magic lies in the details. From your save the dates to your invites to your day-of pieces, you have the opportunity to tell your love story – each piece a point of contact seamlessly connecting the chapters.

Experience the Anna Howe Design Difference

If you feel overwhelmed by ANY part of the stationery prep, we have good news: we’re here to help! With so much already on your plate in the wedding planning process, we exist to take the stress of design, timeline, etiquette, and production of your save the dates, invitations, and day-of paper goods off the table. AHD clients get one-on-one access to a designer to hold your hand through every step of the process as well as unlimited proofs until every single detail is perfect! If this sounds like something you’d be into, we’d love to hear from you! Fill out the form here to get started today!

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Hey, I’m Anna!

I’m a wedding stationer with a passion for all things crafty. Whether you’re a bride looking for info on invitations or a mom looking for crafts for your kids (or let’s be real here, for yourself), I’m glad you’re here! Check out all the other ways to follow along below.

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