You’ve mailed out your wedding invitations and it’s time to start thinking about “day of stationery”. If you’re wondering – what the heck is day of stationery, no fear. I use this phrase to refer to any of the paper or design pieces you’ll need for your actual wedding day. Think menus, programs, place cards, signage, and more.
There are a lot of questions that come along with ordering day of stationery:
- Which pieces do I need?
- How many of each piece should I order?
- When do I need to order my day of stationery?
- How much do these things cost?
I offer day of design pieces exclusively to couples I work with on invitations. I create menus, programs, place cards, and more to match and complement the wedding invitation design. Since I provide full service design I’m happy to share examples and advice when planning for these pieces. There are a few questions that most couples have as we start the day of stationery process!
Programs provide a couple uses for your guests: they give some information about the wedding party and families, something each guest may not know without it being explicitly listed. In warm weather, a program has a double purpose: fans!
Beyond listing the ceremony order, bridal party, and family, the wedding program can contain other information. I’ve had couples list an “unplugged request” (asking guests to put away phones and cameras – read more about unplugged ceremonies here!), fun facts about the couple, and a section to highlight names of loved ones who have passed in remembrance.
Number of Ceremony Programs Needed: 75-80% of your total guest count. Not everyone will pick them up, including the bridal party, but it is nice to have a few extra for keepsakes!
Typical Size of Ceremony Programs: 3.75×9.25, 5×7, or custom
If you’re having a plated meal at your reception, menus can be placed at each table setting for guests so they’ll know what to expect as dinner is served. I’ve also seen couples add thank you notes or song lyrics to their menus to make them even more personal.
With a buffet style dinner, it’s likely you don’t need menus for each guest, however you might want to use small signage for the buffet table to identify what is being served. Sometimes caterers provide this, but if not I’m happy to create!
Number of Dinner Menus needed for a Wedding Reception: One per adult guest.
Size of Dinner Menus: 3.75×9.25, 5×7, or Custom
I’m excited to announce I’m now offering circular menus in various sizes!
If you have assigned tables with a seating chart, place cards can be at each table to indicate to each guest exactly where to sit. They’re also useful in the case of pre-chosen meals where servers need to know who receives what. Place cards can be flat or folded. Flat place cards work best if you don’t have a menu, since they’re placed on the table settings. Folded place cards stand up like a tent, making it each to identify where to sit.
If you have table assignments, but no seating chart, you’ll want to order escort cards for your wedding reception. Escort cards have the guest’s name and table number. They’re usually placed on a table (folded cards) or hanging from a display (flat cards). If needed, these can also contain the meal identifiers and have a dual purpose: telling guests where to sit and servers which meal goes where.
Number of Place Cards Needed: One per guest
Number of Escort Cards Needed: One per couple or family (assuming they’ll be seated at the same table)
Size of Flat of Folded Place/Escort Cards: 2×3.5, 2.5×3, or custom
Depending on the event, each couple will require different signage. Signage can tie the invitations and day of pieces together. Some most popular signage ideas for weddings:
- Instagram Hashtag
- Unplugged Ceremony (download this one for free!)
- Guest Book
- Signature Drinks
- Bathroom Signs
- Ceremony Directions
Signs can be different sizes, but if they’re going in a photo frame are usually 5×7 or 8×10. With hashtag and bar/drink signs, you might want to order two but usually one of the remaining designs is sufficient!
Number of Signs Needed: Varies depending on logistics
When to Order Day of Stationery
I recommend starting the process for ordering these pieces about 5 weeks in advance. This gives you time to mail out your invitations and hopefully have some RSVPs returned. We can get started on the designs of each and finalize a quantity before sending to print based on your final guest count number. I recommend sending these pieces to print 3 weeks prior to your wedding date, but definitely no less than 2 weeks before in order to allow for time to print and ship to you.
How Much Does Day of Stationery Cost?
Costs for these pieces will vary greatly depending on the quantity ordered and finished size. Once you have a general estimate of your guest count and an idea for sizing, I’m happy to provide a personalized quote based on exactly what you need! Fill out my questionnaire here to get started!
Photos: Vue Photography Atlanta, Katie Tiller Photography