Ceremony & Reception Stationery: What You Need to Know
We know that as your wedding day approaches there are so many details to remember. But you must not forget the stationery essentials for your ceremony and reception! This guide will help ensure you understand what you need, when you need it, and what not to forget when ordering, along with some creative ideas we've seen from couples along the way!
The most important stationery for your wedding ceremony is the program. This helps your guests follow along with the proceedings of the ceremony, including the meaning behind certain traditions that will occur, as well as introduce the wedding party and others in the processional. However, have fun with it! You could include a "how we met" story, or, alternatively, some couples opt for custom crosswords, illustrations of the bridal party, or social media hashtags on their ceremony programs.
Given that your ceremony details are typically confirmed far in advance of your wedding, we recommend ordering your programs 4-8 weeks prior to your wedding. This helps ensure that you have the programs early, with plenty of time to focus on other last-minute details surrounding the event. If you have yet to look for a design for your wedding program, we recommend looking for stationery that matches your invitation suite to create a cohesive theme. Though you can also use simple and minimalist programs which beautifully complement any theme.
Depending on your event, you may also need quite a bit of signage to point your guests to the right place and make sure that they know any critical details prior to starting the ceremony. This could include communicating directions on where to go, if the ceremony will be "unplugged," or if there are any requirements to note in the venue (e.g. shawl to cover shoulders, head covering, or masks). We’re loving the light-hearted tone many couples are taking with these signs. Here are some ideas for direct and fun-loving signs to have at your wedding:
Ideas for Ceremony Signage
- Ceremony This Way
- Welcome to Our Beginning
- Please Choose a Seat
- Help Us Capture the Love with #yourhashtaghere
- Welcome to Our Unplugged Ceremony
- Let’s Do This
- Love Is Really All We Need (But We’re Glad You’re Here, Too)
- We’ve waited all year for this. Let’s party accordingly.
- Mutual Weirdness Forever
With your ceremony stationery covered, it’s time to focus on what stationery you'll need for the reception. Typically, reception stationery is one of the last things to purchase, though we recommend browsing and identifying the design you'd like at least two months in advance of the big day. This will ensure that you can get to ordering as soon as you've finalized the menu and heard from the guests that will be in attendance.
Menus & Table Numbers
These are typically the most straightforward of the reception stationery. We recommend placing your menu and table number order once you've completed the tasting and confirmed your dishes with the caterer—about six weeks in advance.
Pro Tip: Though many couples opt to have their menus match their table numbers, we've been seeing an increasing trend toward mix and match day-of stationery—pairing two designs to create a completely unique, coordinating look. Luckily, we have quite a few complementary designs on our mix and match stationery page to help you get started.
Place Cards & Escort Cards
Both escort cards and place cards are used to direct your guests to their tables on the big day. While place cards reside on the table itself and identify each guest’s place setting, escort cards are more casually displayed in the entrance of a venue. Place cards are most often used for formal sit-down meals, where servers will be giving multiple unique courses to guests. Conversely, escort cards can be displayed in a very creative manner to engage guests as they head into the reception. Escort card displays in particular can help add to the ambiance and theme of your event, for example, attaching them to a wedding favor, placing them in a bed of flowers, or affixing them to a wall.
Given that these cards are most reliant on guests’ RSVPs, they're typically one of the last things that you'll order for your wedding. However, be sure that you're ordering them far enough in advance to receive them for the big day. We recommend placing your order the week after your RSVP deadline—about three weeks prior to your wedding.
The reception signage can be very straightforward—directions, welcome, or seating charts (if you're opting for this in place of escort cards). With so much going on at your reception, very few people will have time to direct guests. Here are the top places that we recommend having signage:
- Venue Entryway
- Gift Table
- Dessert Table
- Favor Display
- Guest Book Table
- Dance Floor
Pro Tip: If you want your guests to share the fun they are having, add signage to let them know how to share pictures. The most common way to do this is to guide them to the wedding hashtag they can use on Instagram.
Still have questions on how to get started purchasing day-of stationery? Schedule a free wedding concierge appointment here with our resident wedding experts at Minted! Each session is 30 minutes and we're happy to walk through your every need for an end-to-end wedding day experience!