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Wedding stationery - our top tips

Your wedding stationery is the first hint your guests will get about the theme and style of your wedding - so it's no wonder they can be the trickiest detail to pin down! It may seem, at first glance, as if deciding on stationery will be one of the more basic decisions you'll make regarding your celebration, but there are so many tiny variations to consider.

Do you want foil-pressed invitations? Will you be using ribbon, rough twine or nothing at all? Do you want to add a layer of translucent paper for a "luxe" feel? Will your parents be inviting the guests, or do you two want to be the arbiters of your own destiny?

Once you've got the practical details pinned down, it's all about the style. If you're having a wedding abroad, you may want to nod to your destination in your invitation (like Sara and Ian's Greek-style invitation, designed by Bespoke Press). Similarly, you may want to bring some of your home abroad - like Isabella and William's Amelia Lane stationery, that really focused on the UK with all of those Union Jack emblems! 

But before you get bogged down in the details (flags, family crests and cutesie details), here's our five-step pre-invite checklist!

Think about budget

This will determine the type of invitation you can go for - and it's worth having a price in mind when you approach your stationer. You don't want to spend a half hour choosing delightful foil-pressed cards, only to realise that your budget doesn't stretch that far. This is the one time that a higher number of guests will work in your favor; your invites will work out a whole lot pricier per piece if you're having an intimate soiree for 10 than if you're having a 200-person family extravaganza!

Decide on a style

Carl and Peter (above) obviously both wanted to go for a very modern and bold design (by Little Ivory) - but not everyone will like to go super-modern with their stationery. Your groom may be the strong, silent type (particularly when it comes to your wedding), but you might want to check before assuming he has no set ideas about your stationery suite. It's worth sitting down in front of Pinterest and working out what you love, what you hate and what you could just about settle for.

Work out the details

Do you want to include RSVP cards, or will you be happy for guests to respond online or via text? (You may want to consider setting up a wedsite specifically for your celebration - you can include directions, accommodation details and RSVP functionality as well as menu selections and links to transport and so on.) Figure out exactly what you want to include in your stationery suite before you place your order (and try not to be swayed by the beautiful designs you see on the way, such as this suite by Magva Design + Letterpress).

Work out the finer details

Once you've got your budget, style and suite details you can start to think about, y'know, those other little details! Do you want foil-pressed or embossed invitations? Will you be handwriting each name on your invitations, or will you be happy for people to assume a plus one? Do you need to specify that you're not inviting children, or ask for dietary requirements? Think about envelopes - will they be sealed or simply tucked closed? Do you want to include your initials somewhere on the envelope (say, with a vintage wax seal)? One thing we'll say: do not assume that your invitation will be collectible to anyone outside of your immediate family. No matter how much love and effort you put into your stationery, no one will want that stuck to their fridge, three years later.

Work out a timescale

When do you need to send your Save the Dates? When will you need to post your invitations? Write these dates down on a calendar or in your organiser so you know exactly when to purchase your stamps and post your invitations - and be prepared to follow up with emails or phonecalls if you don't hear back by the RSVP date. A smart idea is to set reminders on your phone for the specific dates so nothing passes you by. As a general rule, invitations should go out six to eight weeks before your wedding - but this can be extended up to six months if you are having a wedding abroad, to allow people to book flights and plan time off work. If you're sending save the dates, six to eight months ahead of time is de rigueur

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