Congratulations you're getting married! You're in the exciting planning stage but have seen what's happened in recent months with 100's of weddings being postponed and rescheduled. Many a dark cloud looms over your head - doubt as to whether your day will go ahead on your preferred date; the possibility of having to reduce guests numbers; the prospect of changing the date (potentially multiple times!); the headache of hunting for new suppliers if your originals are no longer available and on top of all of that...reprinting stationery.
Prevention is always better than cure.
Let me say that again for the folk at the back - prevention is always better than cure. It's times like these that you really discover the value of working with a professional Designer who's accustomed to dealing with craziness, devising creative solutions and working with professional printers to get the job done. Today I'm going to take you through some of the most ordered wedding stationery items and offer advice around how you can plan to avoid reprinting some or all of your stationery due to postponement or guest list reductions.
I'm going to say it one more time - prevention is always better than cure.
SAVE THE DATE CARDS
Save the date cards can prove an essential if you're planning on getting married abroad but don’t have all the details yet and need to allow guests time to save for flights and accommodation or your celebration is a multiple-day event or you've chosen a bank holiday or other occasion where people might usually book a holiday in advance
Photo credit: (L) Jo Greenfield: Photographer
Ways to reduce waste and/or avoid reprinting save the date cards
Consider opting for a calendar card. You could go for a full blown calendar card like the orange one I've designed or alternatively select a design from the save the date range and request that a calendar is printed on the reverse so that if there are changes at this stage a quick email, text or phone call asking your guests to circle your new date on the reverse is all that's required. No reprinting - hoorah!
Print your save the date on plantable paper this means that even if the date or location changes at least your guests can plant them and watch them grow.
Don't get printed save the date cards at all! Wait a little and redirect the budget which would've been spent on save the dates into your invites or something else entirely!
Many wedding professionals like to call the invitations the first glimpse into your special day but I'm here to tell you not to put so much pressure on yourself or those invitations. Think personal touches over "making a statement", think purpose-led over embellishments. And most importantly think about how you can reduce the chances of having to reprint everything!
Photo credit: Jo Greenfield: Photographer
Ways to reduce waste and/or avoid reprinting invitations
Consider opting for a calendar card like the orange one further up or alternatively select a design from the invitation range and request that a calendar is printed on the reverse so if there are changes a quick email, text or phone call asking your guests to circle your new date is all that's required. No reprinting!
Print your invitation on plantable paper this means that even if the date or location changes at least your guests can plant them!
Consider having a dedicated email address for RSVPs. Couples love to receive the completed RSVPs cards in the post but when it comes to the crunch if your date changes its far easier to request your guests email you rather than print another batch of RSVP cards.
Avoid putting the date on your details card or map or any other additions that you're having. This means that if all other details about your wedding remain the same no need to reprint. Whoop!
Menu cards can add a special touch to your table presentation and sometimes work out essential if you've allowed your guests to choose their meal in advance or if there are various dietary requirements amongst your guests - we all know, no one remembers their meal choice when it comes to the actual day!
Photo credit: Stephen Walker Photography
Ways to reduce waste and/or avoid reprinting menu cards
Consider opting for using neutral colours because if your wedding gets rescheduled to fall in a different season and you decide that you want to change the colour scheme, depending on your choice your menu cards might not compliment the overall look anymore.
Print your menu cards on plantable paper this means that even if the menu has to change due to changes in caterers at least your guests can plant them and watch them grow.
Don't request to have your wedding date on them, this means you can store them ready for when the day comes.
Place cards beautifully indicate a guests assigned seat. A place card not only directs guests to the table where they will sit during the reception, to achieve this, they are traditionally placed at each table to denote each guest's place.
Also, if you're having a sit-down reception and serving different menu options, place cards can come in really handy for catering staff to know who to give what to if they're subtly marked (by colour or some other means) to indicate who's getting chicken and who's getting fish and so on.
Ways to reduce waste and/or avoid reprinting place cards
Consider opting for using neutral colours. I say this because if your wedding gets rescheduled to fall into a different season and you decide that you want to change the colour scheme depending on your choice your place cards might not compliment the overall look anymore.
Think about whether you need place cards at all. If you've significantly reduced guests numbers you may want to consider letting them sit where they like on their table.
Print your place cards on plantable paper this means that if the guest numbers are reduced but you've already got them printed. The ones that have been printed can avoid the bin and be planted instead.
Again don't request to have your wedding date on them!
Leave it as long as possible before printing. I can advise on the very latest date you can wait until.
Table plans always seem to be a bit of a nightmare with chasing RSVPs to trying to place someone next to a person they actually like and know. However all the headaches are worth it when it means everyone is guaranteed a seat, hopefully beside people they know or have something in common with... If you do opt for a table plan, it can take one of two forms: Assign people to tables, but seating at the table is flexible. Assign guests to specific seats.
Photo credit: Utterly Wow, Sama Hemsley - wedding planner
Ways to reduce waste and/or avoid reprinting table plans
Consider opting for using neutral colours. If your wedding gets rescheduled to fall in a different season and you decide that you want to change the colour scheme your table plan setup might not compliment the overall look anymore.
Consider escort cards or postcard-size table plan cards instead of a board. Why because its soooo much easier to remove or add people and you're likely to reduce reprinting costs.
Don't request to have your wedding date printed on the table plan!
Leave it as long as possible before printing. I can happily advise on the latest your table plan can be left before it'll need to go to print to be delivered in time.
The wonderful welcome sign, often the first piece of decor your guests will see. And these welcome signs aren't always just for show—they can also provide an important service for your guests. Some couples use them as a way to display times for the day or as a directional sign or simple map to direct guests.
Photo credit: Matt Fox Photography
Ways to reduce waste and/or avoid reprinting a welcome sign
Consider opting for using neutral colours so that is still compliments if your wedding is moved to a different season and you decide to make tweaks to your colour scheme.
Don't request to have your wedding date printed on them. Instead consider opting for a meaningful quote, maybe your favourite song lyrics or an illustration. Make it a memorable, meaningful keepsake and something you'd be proud to display in your house. If nothing else you've got yourself a nice piece of home decor.
THANK YOU CARDS
And finally, rounding up the stationery journey nicely with thank you cards. Not much to say on this except don't get your thank you cards printed before your wedding date! You might think you're being super organised by doing that but one thing that we've all learnt over the past few months is that things can change very quickly! Hold on and wait until your special day is done, oh and DO request to have your wedding date printed on them.
Remember the ones that were on your original guest list that might not have been able to be present at your wedding day due to restrictions but they're still present in your life - send them one of your thank cards - use this as an opportunity to express your love, appreciation and how much they were missed. Most people will be touched by this small gesture!
That's all from me! Don't hesitate to get in touch, I'm ready to help.