Wedding Stationery The Basics, What’s It All About?

As soon as you enter the wonderful world of weddings it can feel like you need a PhD to get your head around the new wedding lingo, let alone the traditions, formalities and etiquette. From which ones to ditch and which ones to keep and that’s before I even mention family politics….It’s a minefield and I’ve just uncovered another one toady –  stationery!

Today I’ve asked Jenny, stationery designer and co-founder of the brilliant fresh, fun and creative Hip Hip Hooray Studio to eliminate some of the overwhelm.Nu Bride family member  Hip Hip Hooray studio are delighted to uncover some of the basics of wedding stationery for you! 

Take it away Jenny!

Choosing and ordering your wedding stationery can be a really fun part of the wedding planning process. It’s one of the parts where if you want to, you can get really creative, reflecting your personality, chosen style or theme through designs. It’s also an opportunity for couples who don’t shy away from a bit of DIY to get their craft on; you can make your own save the date cards, invitations, table numbers and more.

In this post I’ll be breaking down the basics for you, as well as unpicking some stationery jargon too…

What is Wedding Stationery? Ginny Marsh

Wedding stationery is essentially all the paper based goods you may need in the run up to, during and after your big day. Some are essential, many are optional and decorative.

The main elements you can expect to choose from are;

Nu Bride: let me break it down for you:

Save the Date Cards: A wedding notice sent to close family and friends announcing your engagement and asking them to take note of your forthcoming wedding date.

Wedding Invitations: What is says on the tin

Evening Reception Invitations: If you are splitting your day in two and inviting additional guests to the evening of your wedding only i.e when the party starts!


RSVP Cards: Correspondence cards inserted within your invitations to encourage guests to respond to your wedding invitation.

Order of Service Booklets: The order of the day for non-religious ceremonies and for religious ceremonies this may include ceremonial procedures such as hymns and prayers for guests to follow.

Menu Cards: Place these on your tables so guests know what they are eating.

Place Cards – Used as place settings on each table to signify where your guests are sitting. Ginny Marsh

Table Number/Name Cards: These can be as simple as numbers, or as creative as quotes or the names of some of the favourite countries. Used to identify tables in conjunction with a seating plan, so guests know which table they are allocated to.

Wedding Quiz / Activity Cards: Quizzes can be used as ice breakers for tables, or activity cards to keep the kiddies occupied. 

Seating Plan: Used to display to guests which tables they are seated on.

Posters / Signs: Useful to sign post to  display information and show guests where activities are taking place throughout your day

Thank You Cards; It goes without saying any gifts you receive should be acknowledged after your wedding with a thank you card. Regardless of gift giving, some people enjoy writing thank you cards, simply to thank guests or members of the wedding party for being a part of their day.

Nu Bride: I can hear you panicking. Don’t panic! You don’t necessarily need them all!

Why Do We Need Wedding Stationery?

For many people, wedding stationery is high on the list of wedding priorities, with some couples spending hours picking out their favourite styles or even commissioning a bespoke design to match their wedding theme.

If you’re keen to go all out and achieve paper perfection on your wedding day, you could easily find yourself allocating a four figure sum of your wedding budget to the cause. Alternatively, you can pull back and keep it simple.

We also work with many couples who have a tight budget to stick to and focus on the essential items such as the invitations. As with many aspects of your wedding planning, how much time and money you want to spend on stationery is a personal choice and completely up to you.

Help!! There Are So Many Options

Green Peach Floral Wreath Wedding Invitations and stationery by Hip Hip Hooray IMAGE BY PLENTY TO DECLARE styled by Alexandria EventsPhotography: Plenty to declare weddings

Fast forward a few months, several new Pinterest boards and coffee table full of well-read wedding magazines, and you have finally found the perfect design for you. The only thing is, more choices follow,  you now have the world of card stocks, printables and print techniques to conquer! (Nu Bride: Oh Lord! lol!)

When looking at different stationery design companies, you’ll no doubt come across a wide range of options when it comes to printing options and finishes. Here is my basic guide to help uncover what’s what:

  • Letterpress printing: this is the oldest form of printing and uses a press to make and ink a raised imprint on card. Although significantly pricier than digital printing, the finished article has a tactile and luxurious quality, with a thick layer of ink and a slight indentation where the type pressed against the paper.
  • Pearlescent card stocks: If you’re going for an elegant overall look with your invitations, pearlescent card will give designs a pretty shimmer, adding a lovely luxurious finishing touch. To note: This will no doubt mean you need to make a bigger investment in your wedding stationery.
  • Textured card stocks: (also referred to as ‘Woven’ ‘Cotton’ and ‘Laid’) – This kind of card can feel more luxurious to touch and at times, can have a more ‘expensive’ look about it. Vintage style designs tend to print very well on textured card stocks. Please be aware that colours can appear slightly more subtle on textured stocks, as the colour doesn’t always penetrate the paper surface as well as on smooth card with Matte or Silk finishes.
  • Printable designs: With the growing trend for DIY and craft in weddings, printable designs are becoming more popular. This is where you can pay for a personalised design and you will receive a PDF to download and print your invitations yourself from home, or work with a printing company of your choice. This can work out a lot more cost effective but you need to be willing to put the time and work in to get your stationery printed correctly.
  • Card Stocks: Matte & silk card stocks have a smooth (as opposed to textured) surface, which will give you the best definition when it comes to colour and detail. Colours can appear bold or brighter on smooth card stocks, and block colours (e.g.  black background) will almost always come out better when using a matte or silk card finish
  • Foil printing: Foiling is a traditional artisan method of hand printing where the card is stamped with a beautiful metallic finish, perfect if you want a touch of gorgeous shiny silver or gold on your wedding invitations.
  • Laser cutting: For a beautiful and intricate look and feel to your wedding stationery, you can opt for laser cut wedding invitations which have exquisite lace and floral patterns cut into the card.

You may have gathered by now, the world of wedding stationery can feel a bit of a minefield. (Nu Bride: Erm, Yes)

Here are my top 5 tips for getting it right:

1. Always request a sample

Photography: Ginny Marsh

Most stationery companies worth buying from will be happy to post you a sample, often even for free. It’s always good to get a sample so you know what to expect and can make a decision having seen your favourite design ‘in the flesh and get a better understanding of what stock you prefer and overall finish.

2. Check reviews

MODERN VINATGE WEDDINGSPhotography: Modern Vintage Weddings

99% of wedding stationery companies offer great customer service and products, but like any industry, there are a few who won’t be able to deliver what they promise.

Check for reviews on their website, and Facebook page before you buy.

3. The Perfect Match

Travel beach tropical Postcard Wedding Save the Dates and stationery by Hip Hip Hooray MAXEEN KIM PHOTOGRAPHYPhotography: Maxeen Kim

Find a company you want to work with, look at their prices and set your stationery budget at the start. This will help you decide which wedding stationery items you can have, and which you may need to forego.

4. Check, double check and triple check

Vintage Italian Italy Postcard Wedding Save the Dates and stationery by Hip Hip Hooray MAXEEN KIM PHOTOGRAPHYPhotography: Maxeen Kim

When it comes to placing your order, you will need to review design proofs or previews before anything is printed. Be sure to check all spelling, grammar and punctuation thoroughly. It is a good idea to ask a few other people to check for you too. Finding a mistake once the invitations are printed can be costly, stressful, and can cause you a delay in sending them out to your guests. So don’t rush this element.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff Ginny Marsh

By all means, pay attention to detail and ask your stationer to customise the design to complement your own personal style, but don’t worry too much if the wedding invitation you like is not the exact, pantone perfect shade of seagrass-green to match your bridesmaids’ dresses. You can easily end up going round in circles and adding to your wedding planning stresses. Instead, keep in mind that if it has the overall look and feel you want, it will be perfect none the less.

Love it! This will be my mantra for the year “Don’t sweat the small stuff”

Happy planning! Let us know how you get on!

For more information on wedding stationery, or if you get stuck with the right option for you, please contact Hip Hip Hooray Studio:

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One Response to “Wedding Stationery The Basics, What’s It All About?”

  1. Dean
    January 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Gosh, there’s always so much to think about – it’s a nightmare (but not really, it’s so much fun 🙂 ). We went down the DIY route for our wedding stationary, but it was pretty time consuming – with the benefit of hidnsight I think we would have paid for them.

    Love the designs from Hip Hip Hooray – they are amazing. It’s such a fun element of the wedding, but as Jenny mentioned, you have to just draw the line eventually and not get too carried away with perfection.

    My tip would be to have a plan in place for thank you cards before the wedding itself, so that it doesn’t take too long afterwards to get them sent off – it’s surprising just how little motivation you’ll have to get this done once the wedding pressure is off and you’re thinking more about honeymoons than stationary 🙂