Wedding Stationery Glossary
A glossary of terms when it comes to the world of wedding stationery design and DIY Wedding Invitations
Wedding invitations are an essential part of wedding preparations, providing vital information and details to your guests about the date, time, and venue of your special day even down to the colour theme. Wedding invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks before the big event, giving everyone plenty of advance notice to make plans for attending.
You can find wedding invitation ideas on our recipes page.
A belly band is a wrap used to hold wedding invitations and enclosures together. They usually consist of ribbon, twine, and printed or laser-cut paper and can be personalised with the names of the couple. Belly bands add a nice touch to wedding invitations and help keep all the components organised in one place.
Usually found in pocketfold wedding invitations, enclosures are additional information sheets included with the invitation. These typically include a response card, reception card, and other forms or sheets. They’re included so that the wedding invitation can remain simple and not be too cluttered with information.
Enclosures vary from wedding to wedding and can include (either together or separately) items such as maps, menu choices, accommodation, and additional information you wish to keep separate from the main wedding invitation.
Enclosures are usually smaller than the invitation itself and bundled together with the invitation as a little ‘stack’ or enclosed in an Enfolio pocketfold wedding invitation.
Engagement invitations are an important part of any wedding tradition. They are a way to announce the happy couple’s engagement and let friends and family know the happy news.
A separate enclosure often, known as RSVP’s, response cards or reply cards, is invaluable in your wedding planning. ‘RSVP’ stands for ‘Respondez S’Il Vous Plait’ which is French for ‘Please Respond’. They allow the couple to easily keep track of who is coming and to plan accordingly. RSVP’s come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials including paper, wood, and acrylic.
They encourage your replies (and gives an excuse to chase it up if you include a reply date). They often include menu choices and notes on special dietary requirements too.
Evening invitations are usually sent closer to the wedding date, usually around a month before. They can be separate or part of the main wedding invitations.
The style and wording of evening invitations differ from day invitations as they are often more informal and focus on the reception entertainment rather than the ceremony.
Hen Party and Stag Party Invitations
The Chief Bridesmaid traditionally organises the hen party invites, or Best Man for the stag these invitations cover all the necessary information for a top hen party or stag do.
Other Wedding Stationery
Save the Date Cards
Save the Dates are a unique way to inform everyone of the date and time of your wedding celebration. Traditionally, they are sent out 6-8 months before the main invitation, allowing plenty of notice for those who may need to schedule travel or accommodation. They’re ideal for long engagements, weddings abroad, and families who may have to plan in advance to travel for the wedding.
All the formal information to do with the wedding (date, time, venue, etc.) is revealed in the wedding invitation.
There are heaps of ideas online; our save-the-date templates can be found here.
Order of the Day
The wedding order of the day is usually a timeline or ‘schedule’ of the events of the wedding day , e.g. drinks reception at 1 pm, the wedding breakfast at 2 pm etc. It can be presented in various ways such as on notice boards, chalk board or an individual card for each guest. By listing the approximate timings, it helps make everyone knows when everything is happening.
Order of Service
An Order of Service is for a religious ceremony whereas an Order of Ceremony is for a civil ceremony.
These booklets or programs allow everyone to follow the proceedings without hiccups and having to find hymns or songs in hymn books or via a screen. They also describe readings and authors, hymns and songs, and those who are reading/singing. You can find an order of service template here.
Placecards are an important part of your wedding stationery as they help to designate seating for the guests. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, from simple paper to fancy acrylic or wood designs.
Table Names and Table Numbers
Vary hugely in design but are mainly labels for your tables to guide your guest to the right table. Traditionally tables would be numbered but now often follow the theme of the wedding or something unique to the couple such as football teams, places visited, sweets, famous bands or music.
They’re most popular as wedding favour boxes but can also be pouches or bags. They contain little gifts or keepsakes as a memento of the day and can double up as place settings and match the wedding invitations. They also serve as part of the wedding table decoration.
Most couples give chocolate wedding favours as they’re universally appreciated!
Wedding Guest Books
Traditionally your wedding guest book is a hardbound book for writing individual messages to the couple on the day. It is usually looked after by someone in the Bridal party, like the Chief Bridesmaid or Best Man.
There are many alternative ideas for wedding guest books from fingerprint trees, to signing frames or wooden hearts for the guest to sign.
Wedding menus detail the wedding breakfast menu. Did you know that the ‘Wedding Breakfast’ is named because it’s the first meal the couple takes together after their wedding?
A wedding menu helps remind everyone of their choices or the menu on the day.
Wedding Post Box
Wedding post boxes are decorative boxes usually displayed near to the wedding cake or guest book; it’s a safe place to post wedding cards on the day. Wedding post boxes can be made to coordinate with your wedding invitations, or they can be hired.
Wedding Table Plan
Your table plan or seating plan, sometimes called a seating planner, guides everyone to the correct tables at the wedding breakfast. They take many forms from ‘Escort Cards’ (little envelopes for each guest which contain the number of their table) and lists (presented in creative ways) to framed table plans.
You can find our table plan templates here.
Wedding Thank You Cards
It’s important to say thank you to everyone for sharing your day and especially for wedding gifts. Make them as personal as possible as it means a lot to the person who gave the gift.
You can also thank members of the wedding party like ‘Thank you for being my Bridesmaid’, everyone appreciates a thank you.
Designers or DIY Wedding Invitations?
A wedding stationery designer is someone who specialises in designing custom, high-quality and beautiful stationery for weddings. They design a wide range of items, such as invitations, thank-you notes, menus, table plans, RSVPs, and lots more.
A wedding stationery designer will usually have a portfolio of their work and be able to provide examples for you so that you can choose the right style for your special day.
DIY Wedding Invitations
For cost-effective wedding, stationery try DIY Wedding invitations. You can find a range of craft supplies for purchase for card making and DIY wedding invitations available from wowvow. We have all the diy supplies for you to create everything from your wedding invitations to your thank-you notes.
We have lots of ideas and advice, as well as tips and tricks to create professional wedding invites even if you have little card-making experience.
Our free-to-download ready-made templates make this task easy if you don’t have much time or experience in design. DIY wedding invitations give couples the opportunity to add a personal touch to their big day and are a great way to reduce costs at the same time!
Top Tips: If you choose to make DIY wedding invitations then allow enough time to gather your supplies. Allow plenty of planning time, and consider your theme and colours to achieve a professional finish.
Is it Cheaper to make your own Wedding Invitations?
It’s almost always cheaper to make your own invitations but always factor in hidden costs such as ink, print, glue and trim. However, if you have a complex design or don’t feel confident in your creative, design skills then we suggest hiring a professional wedding stationery designer. They will be able to make sure that everything is perfect.
The supplies needed for DIY wedding invitations are vital for a quality finish.
You’ll need your chosen cardstock paper in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your needs, envelopes and of course any other decorative items such as sealing wax and ribbons to match your colour scheme.
Envelopes for your wedding invitations are an important part of your wedding stationery suite as they add an extra level of sophistication to your wedding invitations. For example, you could opt for a heavy-weight envelope which will add a designer feel to your wedding invitations. Top Tip: choose your envelopes first!
Sealing wax is used to make wax seals which are traditionally used to seal wedding invitations. Available in many colour options they’re elegant and can be combined with ribbon for a gorgeous effect.
The paper or board stock used for wedding invitations and card making. Choose supplies wisely and your DIY wedding invitations will be gorgeous!
Wedding Stationery Ideas
The art of beautiful handwriting, usually with pen and ink. Calligraphic wedding stationery can be traditional or contemporary.
Envelope liners can be made from plain or patterned paper cut to size to fit the envelope. They not only add a touch of luxury to the invitation design, but their addition helps to protect the invite inside.
Monograms are design elements designed from the initials of the couple. Monograms are a classic way to add a unique and elegant touch to wedding stationery.
Monograms are particularly used for embossed stationery and for making wax seals from sealing wax.
Pocketfolds and Wallets
Pocketfolds are wedding invitations in many colours and shapes with internal pockets for keeping the enclosures together. Wallets have one’ pocket’ where the invitation is stored. Easy to assemble the printed invitation can be stuck inside with glue with the enclosures in the pocket.
Flat Card Blanks
Also known as postcards, they’re cut pieces of boardstock, they usually fit standard envelope sizes. Available in an array of beautiful colours and shades.
Folded Card Blanks
Available in various sizes from large square card blanks and A5 card blanks to A6 blanks (usually to fit standard envelopes such as C5 and C6) with a single crease.
These come in all shapes and sizes and are so versatile. Tie on with ribbon or twine and use everywhere!
Trifold or Z Fold Wedding Invitations
With two creases the design opens out to reveal three panels.
Wedding Invitation Fonts
The style of text or typeface used for your invites. Some fonts are free for personal use while some require licenses.
Use a reputable website for your wedding font and check whether you need a license.