Wedding Stationery 101

May 16, 2023

Filed in: Education, How-To

Today, I’d love to walk you through a little Wedding Stationery 101 to help you create and plan your wedding stationery with confidence. As you plan your wedding day, you’ve probably heard that you need wedding stationery. But, what the heck is wedding stationery? If you have no idea, that’s okay! How are you expected to know what wedding stationery is if you’ve never been married before? Well, my friend, do not fret. I’m here to give you a lil’ Wedding Stationery 101 crash course to get you started in no time.

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What is wedding stationery?

A wise man once said…

“The dictionary defines “wedding” as the fusing of two metals with a hot torch” — Michael Scott, The Office

Wait, that’s not right. 🤣

Let’s try that again…

The dictionary defines “stationary” as “not moving or not intended to be moved.”

Okay, that’s definitely not right either. 🤦🏼‍♀️ (”stationery” is spelled with an “e”, in case you were wondering.)

“Wedding Stationery” is a communication tool commonly printed on paper with matching envelopes that is mailed/delivered to friends and family to bring loved ones together for a marriage celebration.

Much better! 🥰

So many engaged couples lose focus on what wedding stationery truly is and what it’s used for.

At it’s core, wedding stationery is used to communicate and to bring people together for your one special day.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in what your invitations should look like.

It might showcase your personality. 👍🏻 Sure!

Or tell your unique story through visuals like illustrations, color, fonts + words. 🤩 Totally. It can even give your guests a lil’ preview of what to expect on your big day. 🫶🏼 Love that!

Even with all the extra design details and the bells + whistles, your wedding stationery is still communicating to your guests.

So, as you begin planning your wedding stationery, ask yourself — What do I want our wedding stationery to say to our loved ones about our wedding day?

From there, you can decide what stationery pieces you need. Then, you’ll create a timeline + budget to get everything created for your big day.

wedding invitation flat lay with various cards, flowers and fruit all around

Wedding stationery check list

There are so many different wedding stationery pieces to create for your big day. Sometimes, it can feel a little overwhelming to determine what all you need or don’t need for your wedding. So, how do you narrow it all down? Let’s chat about it!

Save the Dates

First on the wedding stationery list — save the dates

This is the very first announcement to your loved ones that you, my friend, are getting married! 🎉

Typically, this is a card that is printed with the key info for your wedding day and maybe an engagement photo (or two). The save the date will include your names, the wedding date, and the location of where you’ll be tying the knot.

The main goal of the save the date is to communicate clearly when and where you’ll be getting married. That way, your guests can quite literally save the date and begin to make arrangements to celebrate with you on your wedding day.


Next on your wedding stationery checklist — invitations

Similar to your save the dates, the invitations are typically printed with important details about your wedding. Only this time, there’s usually a lot more info organized into this sweet lil’ package that you’ll mail to each of your guests.

There are several stationery pieces included in your wedding invitations that I like to call your “Base Invitation Suite”. This includes your invitation card, a details card, RSVP card + matching envelope, the mailing envelope + address printing. It’s possible you’ll need a few other pieces, as well.

Some other wedding stationery items you might want or need are: a ceremony card, rehearsal dinner card, brunch card, wedding day timeline card and/or custom map card just to name a few.

A lot of couples like to dress up their wedding invites with some embellishments! These are fun add-ons to sort of decorate your invitation suite and add a little personality. Some embellishments you might like are: bellybands, envelope liners, ribbon, vellum overlay and/or wax seals. That’s just a handful of options!

To learn more about invitations and what all to include in your suite, check out my blog post: “What Pieces To Include In Your Wedding Invitations”.

Day-of Stationery

Did you know there are stationery items you’ll need for your actually wedding day, too? Yup! All of these wedding stationery items are referred to as day-of stationery.

Typical stationery pieces you’ll want to consider for your wedding day are: programs, menus, table numbers, escort or place cards, gift tags, welcome sign, seating chart and so much more!

All of these stationery items play a key role on your wedding day. Whether they are outlining what’s for dinner or directing your guests to their assigned table, they all communicate in their own unique way.

Thank You Cards

The very last stationery item you’ll want for your wedding day are thank you cards.

The sad thing is, these are typically forgotten! So, definitely add them to your must-have list for wedding stationery.

A quick tip to ensure you have them after the wedding — order them with your wedding invitations or day-of stationery. That way, you can customize them the way you like and have them on hand when you return from your honeymoon.

There are so many wedding stationery pieces to keep track of for your big day. This can make it a little tricky to keep track of everything and make sure it all gets created in time for your wedding day. Let’s chat a little bit about a basic wedding stationery timeline to help ensure you don’t miss anything!

invitation flat lay photographed at a side angle with various cards, flowers and fruit

A basic wedding stationery timeline

Now that you have your wedding stationery checklist, you’re probably wondering:

When do I create all of these?! And when do I mail the save the date? The invites? How early do I start on day-of stationery? When do I send out thank you card? How the heck am I going to get this all done!?

Don’t worry! You’ve got this. And I’m here to help map it out for you.

To get all of these wedding stationery pieces created, I recommend breaking them up into different projects and tackling them one at a time.

This is actually how I work with all of my couples when I design their wedding stationery! We work one project at a time so it’s not totally overwhelming.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what a basic wedding stationery timeline looks like:

Save the Dates

Inquire / Get Started: 12-16 months before your wedding date

Mail: 8-12 months before your wedding date


Inquire / Get Started: 6-8 months before your wedding date

Mail: 10-12 weeks before your wedding date

Day-of Stationery

Inquire / Get Started: 4-8 weeks before your wedding date

In-Hands: 1-2 weeks before your wedding date

Thank You Cards

Inquire / Get Started: 4-8 weeks before your wedding date (*pair with day-of)

In-Hands: 1-2 weeks before your wedding date

Mail: 2-4 weeks after your wedding date

Keep in mind, that you are not tied to a specific due date for any of your wedding stationery. Except your day-of stationery — that definitely has be ready by your actual wedding date!

Other than your day-of stationery, all the other wedding stationery items are really flexible.

The timelines noted above are simply guides to ensure you give yourself plenty of time to get them designed, printed, assembled and mailed.

But, if you end up mailing your invites 9 weeks before your wedding instead of 10-12, it’s not the end of the world!

Again, this is simply a guide, not a rule.

close-up image of the wedding invitation wrapped with a vellum bellyband with white ink that says "your invited".

Budgeting for wedding stationery

The toughest thing to do and the most dreaded task of all is creating a budget for your wedding stationery.

If you Google “wedding stationery budget” right now, there will be about a million different perspectives and opinions on what your wedding stationery budget should be.

But, guess what? It’s up to you to decide. There’s no rule book to follow, or special magic number you’ll want to stick to.

Your wedding stationery budget is totally, one hundred percent a personal decision based on your unique wants + needs.

To help you get a better idea of what you might spend on your wedding stationery, I’ve put together some ballpark estimates for you below:

Save the Dates

Potential Investment: $300-$600+

The investment for your save the dates could change depending on how many you need, what printing methods you choose and what pieces you need.

For example, lot of couples like to have the save the date card, mailing envelope and address printing for a simple and stress-free experience. Others prefer to save cost and address the envelopes by hand. It’s completely up to you!


Potential Investment: $800-$3,000+

What you choose to spend on your invitations depends on your wants and needs.

If you’re looking for something really simple to text or email to your friends and family about your wedding plans, your budget can be on the lower end. If you’re looking for a lavish, elegant invitation suite with all the bells and whistles, you can plan to spend a pretty penny for your wedding invites.

Day-of Stationery

Potential Investment: $50-$2,000+

For day-of stationery, your investment depends on what items you actually need!

Its possible all you need is a menu card for your reception. Or, maybe you want all the different stationery possible, including a seating chart, bar signs, gift tags, programs, menus, place cards, etc.

Your investment for day-of stationery will look different depending on what you have envisioned and what you actually need.

Thank You Cards

Potential Investment: $300-$600+

The thank you cards are a lot like the save the dates, so the investment is similar, too!

These are typically a simple card with an envelope and address printing. However, you might choose to mail a post card or simply text or email a thank you message to your guests, instead.

No matter what you choose, it’s kind to say “thank you”. 🖤

As you create your budget, keep in mind that all of these estimates are based off of my personal services + offerings. Depending on where you decide to order stationery, the pricing may look different!

Just like we discussed for each stationery item, there are several different variables that can change your wedding stationery investment:

  • Quantity
  • Printing Methods (digital, foil, letterpress, etc.)
  • Embellishments + Add-Ons (bellybands, custom illustrations, wax seals, etc.)
  • Postage Cost (depends on final size/weight/destination of your stationery)
  • Additional Services (assembly service, mailing service, etc.)

The best way to get a better idea of what your wedding stationery budget might look like is to start inquiring! This will help you get a feel for what’s available and what the average investment is for wedding stationery you love.

I would also recommend talking with your wedding planner (if you have one) to see what they recommend! They most likely have a list of wedding stationers you could work with or where you can order wedding stationery that fits your vision.

Let's tell your story, together. Custom and Semi-Custom wedding stationery for the creative couple. Click to get started!

Let’s create your wedding stationery, together!

So, how was Wedding Stationery 101? Helpful, I hope!

There are lots of moving parts when you create your wedding stationery. Shoot, there’s a lot of moving parts when planning your wedding! Period.

To help give you peace of mind and reduce your stress while creating and planning your wedding stationery, I highly recommend working with a professional wedding stationer.

As a wedding stationery designer, I listen carefully to your vision, along with your wants and needs to determine what your wedding stationery should look like.

Based off of what you have planned for your big day, I’ll walk you through how we can organize all of your info to communicate the details clearly and beautifully with your friends and family.

To keep us on track, I’ll create a timeline for us, so we never miss a deadline.

I’ll also make sure everything stays within your stationery budget by being transparent about pricing and coming up with creative solutions along the way.

If you’re interested in creating your wedding stationery with me — I’d be honored. 🖤

To get started, feel free to learn more about my Custom + Semi-Custom design services and inquire anytime! I’ll be on the other side of your email ready to chat more about all things wedding stationery whenever you’re ready.

In the meantime, here are some other wedding stationery blog posts I think you might like:

Custom and Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery: How To Decide Which Is The Best Fit For You

How Many Wedding Invitations to Order in Four Easy Steps

3 Things You Need to Start Your Wedding Invitations

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