{ Guest Post } Getting your wedding stationery timing right.

 Many couples, and especially the bride, will spend a lot of time carefully picking out the colour scheme and design for their wedding stationery.  The process is a key part of planning the wedding ceremony and your choices will go a long way to setting the tone of the big day.  However, it is important that you don’t get so involved with picking out your design that you forget about the importance of getting your wedding stationery timing right.  Following the advice below should help keep you on the right track and also avoid those potential etiquette pitfalls.  

Let them know early
Most weddings are now planned a year or more in advance, meaning that couples have plenty of time to make their proposed guests aware of the date.  This should of course be done through a save the date card and there is no reason not to send them out as soon as you have booked your venue and know the date of the wedding.  Although anything more than about 18 months in advance is perhaps going a little overboard and you run the risk that people will forget the date of the wedding in the meantime. 
Save the date cards can be especially important if you are planning a summer wedding; when people are more likely to be looking at booking their holidays.  Of course, if you are planning a wedding at short notice, you should skip this bit of stationery and move on to the wedding invitations. 

The formal invitation
There is no exact science as to how close to your wedding day you should send out your invitations.  Some will advise that four months is about right, whilst others suggest as little as six weeks.  Where save the date cards have already been sent out you can be a little more relaxed about things.  What is important is that you write all of your invites and then send them at the same time.  Otherwise you run the risk of friends and family members who have received their invite, talking to those who haven’t.  This can of course have the potential to cause a misunderstanding and leave people questioning why they haven’t been invited, even though it is simply that you haven’t got round to writing their invitation yet!
Showing your appreciation
In order to say thank you to your guests for attending your special and for any gifts and cards that they may have given you; there are two pieces of stationery that can be used.  The first are wedding favour boxes, which should be filled with a token gift to show your appreciation.  Wedding favours tend to be positioned at every place on the dining tables, so that guests find them as they are seated for their meal.  Taking this approach has the benefit of providing something for guests that do not already know each other to talk about – acting as a bit of an icebreaker.  Alternatively you can choose to hand them out to guests as you greet them at the entrance to the dining room. 

 The second item of stationery you can use to show your gratitude is of course the thank you card, which provides you the opportunity to reach those that only attended the evening celebration, as well as those that were also at the ceremony.   Whilst your guests will appreciate that you are busy with your honeymoon right after the wedding; do not put your thank you cards off for too long.  Accepted etiquette suggests that thank you cards should be received no later than 6 weeks after the wedding day.  As with your wedding invitations, you should write a few cards at a time to break up the task, but ensure they are all sent at the same time to avoid upsetting anyone. 

This post was written by Mike Smith at Bespoke Wedding Stationers Paper Themes. 

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