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Tuesday 22nd October 2013

Wedding Stationery - etiquette and trends

To whom do you address it? Are plus ones invited? And what wording should you use? When it comes to wedding invitations, there are plenty of decisions to be made and etiquette to keep in mind.

It’s also the first and only point of contact with some guest before your big day, giving them a sense as to the style of your wedding whether it’s a formal or more casual affair. And it’s the chance to wow, tying in the colours and themes that are going to feature perhaps in the flowers, bridesmaids’ dresses or even time of year. Then there’s who to invite and how to word it, because missing out a cousin or someone’s boyfriend could cause offence. All things considered, wedding stationery is an essential detail to get right.

From humble beginnings, wedding stationery has grown to become a significant part in the event with the average spend being around £300 per wedding. Each year, different trends emerge. 2013 saw metallic hues through to romantic watercolours. And like cakes and dresses, the influence of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress means lace is also popular in wedding stationery, particularly thanks to the modern printing techniques like laser cutting. And this classic fabric continues to be popular into 2014 giving a stylish, feminine touch to wedding invitations.

Other key trends for next year include romantic floral designs and big blooms. Brides also still love vintage style, and in particular all things Gatsby inspired. This can include pearls, ribbons and glitzy additions. The key here, however, is the look of luxury.

Then there’s the etiquette. Because writing and addressing the invitations is prone to certain must dos not least to let your guests know all the important details such as where the ceremony and reception are taking place and who is invited. Whoever is hosting, however, comes first on the invite whether this is family or the couple themselves. Traditionally this was the bride’s parents, but the circumstances of many families no longer fit this anymore.

On formal wedding invitation, use full titles when addressing. On less formal invitations, first names are fine. And find out the names of any partners, avoiding the impersonal use of ‘guest’. Envelopes are addressed depending on familial circumstances and etiquette expert Debrett’s has a handy breakdown online.

Other details to include are directions to the venue and a map. This can help those unfamiliar with the area and save frantic phone calls from guests lost in the lead-up. Any include transport information, local accommodation and dress code if necessary. Include the host’s contact number and a special dietary requirement request. And finally whilst it used to be that gift list information wasn’t included, now it is pretty much the norm.

Once you’ve chosen your wedding stationery and the wording, be sure to double check, nay triple check for any typos. And give yourself time to send out the invites. Save The Date cards are a great way to let your guests know of your wedding plans and typically are sent out up to a year before the big day. Traditionally wedding invites are send out eight weeks before hand. And include spare invitations in any stationery order because mistakes happen.

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