Wedding Planner | The Stationery

Set the tone for your wedding day with beautiful invitations, says Ruth Baxter, Bespoke Stationery Manager at Smythson.

What are the most important things for a couple to consider when choosing the style of their wedding stationery?
First, consider the style of the wedding and the ambience you want to create for your day. The invitation is the wedding’s ambassador, so select an invitation that suits the wedding you are actually planning – not a fantasy wedding in your head.

Second, the invitation should always be stylish but it’s also a practical item – its primary purpose is to communicate information to your guests. It needs to convey your messages clearly and include everything your guests need to know, so that they can be relaxed on the day to enjoy your wedding with you.

How far in advance should a couple order their wedding stationery?
Six months covers most eventualities. Once the date and venue are set, you could start on the invitations – it’s one task that can be ticked off the list nice and early, even if the completed invitations sit in the box for a few weeks before they need to be sent.

What is the correct etiquette surrounding writing and sending wedding invitations?
Traditionally, guests’ names are handwritten on the top left of the invitation. The timing of sending invitations depends on the date and location of the wedding. Send them earlier if the wedding coincides with popular dates in the social calendar. Save-the-date cards can be useful to give advance notice if guests need to travel overseas, but they don’t need to be viewed as an essential item for most weddings – word of mouth is very effective.

Are there any particular trends or new styles in stationery that couples should know about?
I’m always somewhat wary of trends. There’s a lot of wedding stationery out there that’s completely overdesigned; it’s much more chic to be understated. So many trends date very quickly, but true elegance never goes out of fashion. I suspect that if we were to see the invitation sent for the wedding of the Queen and Prince Philip (from 1947), it wouldn’t look dated today; that’s true elegance.


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