Choosing a wedding invitation, and all the additional wedding stationery, can seem like a confusing undertaking, especially, if you have no prior knowledge on the subject. With that in mind, we decided to compile a general list of wedding paper goods to take into consideration for your big day — including a quick description to help you decipher all the wedding stationery lingo.
Wedding InvitationThe official letter (usually a flat card) inviting guests to your wedding celebration. The traditional wording of a wedding invitation includes the names of the bride and groom, the date, the ceremony location, and let the guests know who’s hosting the wedding (the couple, one set of parents, or both set of parents). They are usually sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding.
Outer Envelope – According to wedding etiquette, outer envelopes are part of the double envelope tradition where the outer envelope is the one addressed, sealed, stamped and mailed to guests.
Inner envelope – In the double envelope tradition, the inner envelope arrives at their destination in pristine condition. The inner envelope only has the name of guests written on it and is never sealed.
Pocketfold – Decorative — and protective — enclosure for your wedding invitation and additional paper goods. They’re usually adorned with ribbons and bows, or closed with a paper band or seal. The pocketfold would take the place of an inner envelope.
Response Card (RSVP) – This card is usually sent with the wedding invitation and comes with a pre-stamped return envelope. The response card needs to be filled out by your guest and return in a timely fashion. Your guests should specify if they will attend the wedding or not — as well as stipulating a specific number of guests.
Reception Card – The card is a way to invite your guests to the reception and give them the location, times and type of reception to be expected. To be sent with the wedding invitation.
Directions Card – Gives out specific instructions on how to reach your wedding’s location. It can also feature a map of the area. Sent along with the wedding invitation.
Thank You Card – The card is a way to thank your guests for attending the wedding and express your gratitude for the wedding gift they gave you. Thank You cards are usually sent 4-6 weeks after the wedding to all your guests.
Save The Date Card – It’s a great way to inform your guests that a date has been selected for your upcoming wedding. The card should be sent at least 6-12 months before the wedding to insure that your guests pencil in your big day on their calendar.
Ceremony Program – Small booklet that informs your guests of the order of service for your ceremony, as well as songs, prayers, readings and vows. You can also include the list of your wedding party and other useful information.
Escort Card – Displays the name of your guests and specifies which table they are assigned to. The formal version is a flat card tucked in its own envelope. The casual version are tent folded cards. Escort cards are usually displayed on a table near the entrance of the reception room.
Place Card – Found at each place setting on all the tables; it assigns a specific seat to each one of your guests.
Table Number Card (or Table Name Card) – Displayed in the center of each table, they’re a way for your guests to easily find their pre-assigned table.
Menu Card – Fun way to decorate each place setting. It’s also a practical way to inform each guest of the food offerings — as well as the various choices for the main course.
Hang Tag or Stickers – Personalized hang tags or stickers that include the couple’s name and their wedding date. Adds a personal touch to your wedding favors.
Keep in mind that not all the various stationery elements are required for your wedding — except maybe the Invitation, Response card and Thank You card.