Even though you bought every wedding planning book Barnes and Noble carries, pinned every wedding board on Pinterest, and Googled every organization tool known to man, you still aren't sure what you need to send, print, or make yourself.
Weddings can be very overwhelming and having a graphic designer help you will all of printed, digital, and miscellaneous things on your DREAM list, can really save you some hair-tearing-out later. Even as a graphic designer, I had trouble remembering all of the many pieces that go into a wedding and even missed a few. Afterward, all I could think was, "I should have done that!" In this blog, I wanted to outline all of the many print and digital pieces that go into a wedding. Whether you are a do-it-yourself or you hire a graphic designer, this is a good check-list to go by.
1. Save the Dates
Ahhhhh.... Save the Dates. This is your first opportunity to let everyone know YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED!! Wooo! However, this is also the first opportunity to be overwhelmed.
There are a few different Save the Date (SD) options you can choose from; the postcard, the photo card, or the traditional card. Many budget conscious couples choose to send postcards for their SD. This option is low-cost and gives the recipient an immediate view of your theme, photo, or destination! The photo card is almost the same as a postcard, but is usually sent inside an envelope. The envelope protects the photo paper from getting wet or damaged in the mail and also gives a bit more privacy than a postcard. Although there is an added cost to purchasing both the photo card itself, the envelope, and stamps, this is still the most common SD option. The third option is a bit more costly than the card, but is considered more traditional/formal. The traditional SD will be a card on heavy card stock or linen announcing the impeding nuptials of the couple. The envelope is usually a heavy card stock or linen to match the card.
If you have a wedding website, which I will address later, you should include that on your Save the Date so that your guests can begin following your posts, Facebook updates, or look up your registry.
This is the BIG one. Everyone knows that the invitation is the most important part, besides the actual day and there are so many different options out there for invitations. To a graphic designer, there really are only two directions to go; traditional or non-traditional. These categories are very broad but, really they are the only two options.
Traditional invitations are elegant and have many pieces to include. The two main pieces are the invitation card and the RSVP card with a return envelope. (It is customary to write out your return address and put a stamp on the RSVP envelope for your invited guests) You can also add a registry card, directions card, (especially if there is more than one venue or it is in an obscure location) and any additional information you would like your guests to know. The invitation should include the place, time, and date. (You would be surprised how often those details are overlooked when brides DIY invitations)
Many traditional wedding invitations are printed on high quality paper or linen and can range from simple text text to photographic prints. Some choose to deliver their invitations in an invitation Pocket Fold envelope. These special envelopes allow you to adhere your one-sided invitation to the inner panel and have a pocket on the right or left hand side to slide in the additional pieces and RSVP. They are gorgeous, but pretty pricey. If you are looking to save a bit of money, a non-traditional invitation or less expensive version of the traditional invitation may be a better way to go.
For me, we included a 2-sided invitation (saving a bit of money on buying less paper and using more of the space) and the RSVP card with an envelope. You don't need to put all of the additional materials in the invitation, especially if you direct them to a wedding website that has all of that additional information there.
A non-traditional wedding invitation is just what it sounds like... non-traditional. Instead of trying to explain it, I thought I would give you a few examples.
3. "Day of" Materials
Depending on what your wedding entails, this could be A LOT of pieces or only a few. Below is a list of "Day-of" material that may or may not be used depending on your theme, venue, and wedding size.
THANK YOU CARDS!!! So many couples are not sending out thank you cards after their wedding. This is such a nice touch, especially for your family and friends that came to support you and gave you gifts. These don't have to be fancy or extravagant, but it is another opportunity to use those awesome shell stickers you bought waaaaaay too many of for the wedding. :)
You may also want to use some of your design choices (colors, images, etc.) to add to photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.
5. Misc. Additions
There are a few miscellaneous additions that I would like to mention, just as an afterthought.
Website are a great way to keep your guests updated and informed on everything. This is also a great place for them to look at your registries, RSVP online, and ask you questions. There are plenty of free wedding website options out there and they only take a few minutes to set up. I would highly recommend doing this!! Have questions on how to get started, email me! I have done quite a few websites and a few of them were wedding websites. :)
If you are engaged, or about to become engaged, these are some loose guidelines to follow when thinking about print and digital material for your wedding. I am always happy to help or give advise to those Brides and Grooms to be!!
Good luck and get planning!