floral and green wedding invitation set

The complete wedding stationery checklist

Reading time: 14 minutes

Congratulations, you’re getting married! Next up, it’s time to send out save-the-dates and invitations for your wedding and wedding-adjacent activities like your engagement party and bachelor(ette) party. In addition to these, you’ll be ordering a bunch of other pieces of stationery, like menu cards and ceremony programs. The easiest way to keep track of all of them, stay on schedule and stick to your budget is to keep a handy-dandy wedding stationery checklist.

A wedding stationery checklist includes all your pre-wedding, day-of and post-wedding stationery needs as you create beautiful designs that are as unique as your love story.

Table of contents

Gather the stationery on your checklist

Although you might not need all of the stationery included here, this definitive checklist will ensure you won’t miss out any important pieces of communication in the run-up to your big day. Refer to this list when deciding how to reach out to guests, keeping them well-informed about all of the wedding celebrations you plan to host.

Pre-wedding invitations and communications

  • Engagement party invitations
  • Bridal shower invitations
  • Bachelorette and bachelor party invitations 
  • Bridesmaid proposal cards
  • Thank-you cards for pre-wedding gifts

In preparation for the big day

  • Wedding invitation suite
    • Main invitations
    • RSVP/response cards
    • Enclosure cards
  • Wedding invitation accessories
    • Return address labels
    • Circle stamps
    • Invitation wrapper
    • Envelope seals
    • Belly bands
    • Custom inner/outer envelope

Recommended extras

  • Itinerary cards 
  • Rehearsal dinner invitations 
  • Welcome dinner invitations 
  • Farewell brunch invitations 
  • Personalized notes for groomsman and bridesmaid gifts

Ceremony and reception essentials

  • Ceremony programs
  • Place cards
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Menu cards 
  • Paper coasters
  • Wine labels 
  • Personalized cup/koozie labels
  • Guest book
  • Table numbers
  • Cocktail sign
  • Bar signs
  • Foam boards
  • Favors

After the wedding stationery and keepsakes

  • Thank-you cards
  • Photo books
  • Holiday cards
  • Canvas and framed prints
  • Personalized stationery

Pre-wedding invitations and communications

Send out custom invitations to your engagement party, bridal shower and bachelorette/bachelor party to drum up excitement and celebrate with your loved ones. These event invitations vary in formality, but try to keep them consistent with your wedding aesthetic.

“Every design you choose for your special day should tell your one-of-a-kind story, from save the dates and invitations to unique day-of touches.”

– Kevin O’Connor, Senior Director, Consumer at VistaPrint

Invitations to pre-wedding events and celebrations should include the following information:

  • Time and date
  • Location
  • RSVP date and contact details
  • Mention the dress code or gift policy, if applicable

If you want to look at and feel physical pieces of wedding stationery before you start the design process, request our free wedding sample kit. It includes 10 pieces of stationery that feature a variety of trims, finishes and styles so you can find the one that fits your wedding best.

Engagement party invitations

An engagement party invitation is likely the first piece of wedding communication your guests will receive and therefore sets the tone for your wedding. Therefore you should decide on your wedding aesthetic or “brand identity” before you design these. It can be simpler and more casual than a wedding invitation but should include similar information.

Send these invitations six weeks to one month before the engagement party date.

Bridal/wedding shower invitations

Traditionally, a friend or family member of the bride — or of the couple — will host the bridal or wedding shower. Although the host is in charge of sending out the invitations, you should coordinate with them to make sure the invites fit your wedding aesthetic and timeline.

A bridal shower invitation can also mention where the couple is registered for gifts and even include a QR code to their registries. It should be sent out six to eight weeks before the shower.

Bachelorette and bachelor party invitations

The bachelorette and bachelor party invitations are another important piece of wedding stationery. Because these parties — and in some cases, weekends — tend to be less formal than other wedding-related events, their invitation designs can be a bit more casual and fun. 

This party invitation should include the meeting point if everyone is traveling to the destination together.

invitation to "celebrate" with colorful background

Source: Vistaprint

Bridesmaid proposal cards

Bridesmaid proposal cards are a simple type of wedding stationery, usually featuring minimal text, like “Will you be my bridesmaid?”.

Contact information isn’t necessary as the bridesmaids will know how to reach the bride. They’re often delivered in person and so receive an immediate response.

Tip

If you’ve already decided on an aesthetic for your wedding, you can design bridesmaid proposal cards to match it for a cohesive look.

Thank-you cards for pre-wedding gifts

Send thank-you cards for gifts given at showers or the engagement party. Similar to thank-you cards for other types of gifts, they are typically folded cards that fit into a standard envelope and include the following:

  • The guest’s name
  • A short message thanking them for their specific gift
  • The sender’s signature

Save-the-dates

As the name implies, save-the-dates are cards letting guests know the date of the wedding, asking them to block it out in their calendars. These cards are often sent about six months before the wedding, a point at which all the specific details might not be worked out yet; these pieces of information can be saved for the invitation. 

A save-the-date includes the following information:

  • The couple’s names
  • The wedding date
  • The location of the wedding, if it’s been confirmed
  • Quotes or other personal touches

Tip

Get creative with your save-the-dates. For example, save-the-date magnets build anticipation on the guests’ refrigerators for months leading up to the event, while postcards give the wedding an air of adventure.

black and gold script font save-the-date and wedding invitation set

Source: Vistaprint

In preparation for the big day

Once all your communications for pre-wedding events are out of the way, guests will start to receive the next wave of information via save-the-dates and wedding invitations…

Wedding invitation suite

Main invitations

According to recent studies, the U.S. hosts around 2,401,148 weddings per year. And with so many happening all the time, it’s no wonder you should allow your guests the utmost time to plan: they can receive the main invitation about up to a year before the wedding, but usually, they arrive between six and three months prior. It contains much more detailed information than the save-the-date, such as:

  • The couple’s names and often the hosts’ names
  • The time of the wedding and specific location
  • Dress code, small gifts
  • Plus ones, are kids welcome?
  • A short message like “reception to follow”
  • An RSVP request and deadline, which is typically four to eight weeks before the wedding

Wedding invitations vary more than other types of wedding stationery in size, format and price.

Enclosure cards

Often bundled with the wedding invitation, enclosure cards are smaller documents that provide all of the extra details guests need, such as accommodation options, travel and parking information, and directions to the ceremony and reception venues.

RSVP or response cards

RSVP cards are often bundled with invitations, with the purpose of encouraging the recipients to let the couple know if they will attend their wedding. Sometimes cards direct guests to RSVP via email or a wedding website and in other cases they are sent with a postmarked envelope.

Note: If you plan to bundle these pieces together, be sure to choose envelopes that can fit the invitation, enclosure card and RSVP card inside. 

floral wedding invitation set

Source: Vistaprint

Wedding RSVP cards request a response by a specified date and may also ask the recipient to choose a meal option for the reception.

Tip: Consider creating a single piece of communication that does all of the above. All-in-one wedding invitations are a great choice for smaller weddings and couples on a budget.

Wedding invitation accessories

Return address labels

They might seem like a small detail, but return address labels can also be a fun part of your wedding’s brand identity and their low prices mean they’re suitable for pretty much any budget size.

Include your names and address on these simple stickers and place them on all communications sent to guests.

Circle stamps, envelope seals and belly bands

Used to personalize envelopes, circle stamps and envelope seals are additional pieces of wedding stationery that can tie your whole aesthetic together.

A circle stamp, customized with a design, monogrammed logo or the couple’s names, is pressed in ink and applied to envelopes. Alternatively, custom stickers can be used to seal envelopes, adding a personal touch to your wedding stationery.

Other gorgeous custom design ideas for sealing your envelopes include using wax seals or fastening decorative belly bands around them. These should complement the style of your invitations and wedding and really suit a rustic vibe.

Custom inner/outer envelope

A custom wedding envelope makes your invitations and other wedding-related communications stand out in recipients’ mailboxes. These envelopes should always match your wedding aesthetic.

Recommended extras

Although the following items are not exactly necessary, they’re nice to have because they can help guests prepare for your wedding. For example, the information that a card with extra details or an itinerary on might help a guest coming from out of town plan their travel schedule. These pieces of stationery are even more useful for couples planning wedding weekends, rather than single-day events.

recommended extras wedding stationary templates

Source: Vistaprint

Itinerary cards

Itinerary cards are similar to enclosure cards in that they provide information beyond the wedding’s date, time and location. They can be sent alongside enclosure cards or given to guests on the day of the wedding. 

These cards list the program for the wedding day or, in some cases, the entire wedding weekend.

Rehearsal/welcome dinner invitations 

Usually, a rehearsal or welcome dinner occurs the night before the wedding and is reserved for the wedding party and those close to the couple.

If a welcome dinner is part of your wedding weekend, plan to send a separate invitation for it. Send them soon after the main invitations go out to give enough time for you and your guests to plan logistics accordingly.

Rehearsal dinner invitations should include the:

  • Date, time and location
  • Couple’s names
  • RSVP date and contact information, as well as a call out for dietary requirements

Farewell brunch invitations

Day-after brunch invitations have a lot in common with rehearsal dinner invitations; they are the same size and are sent after the wedding invitations. Unlike welcome dinner invitations, however, next-day brunch invites are typically sent to all wedding guests, or at least those who traveled from out of town and are staying the night.

Ceremony and reception essentials

The big day is here! Personal touches like customized wine labels and cocktail napkins can make the memories of your wedding day more tangible. Other items in this section, such as ceremony programs and menu cards, serve a more practical purpose: to guide guests through your wedding and reception.

Ceremony programs

Wedding programs are guides to the ceremony itself, from the start time to readings and the couple’s vows. The program may list the bridal and groom party members by name and include any requests the couple has for their guests during the ceremony, such as silencing their phones. 

Place cards

These small cards — about the size of a business card —  feature a name and table number, so guests know where to sit at the reception. Personalize them with an illustration fitting your wedding aesthetic for a personal touch.

Cocktail napkins

Custom cocktail napkins and paper coasters can really personalize your cocktail hour! Use them to display fun facts about you and your new spouse (like how you met), list the recipe for your favorite cocktail, or simply feature a design that aligns with the look of your wedding. 

Menu cards

At wedding reception meals with table service, a menu card listing each course is commonly placed at each guest’s place setting. It may also declare any potential dietary concerns or requirements, such as a dish containing nuts or a vegan option.

Wine labels

Custom wine labels can be used to add a fun touch to your wedding reception. Personalize with your names and wedding date, or get creative, labeling different varieties after your pets or places you’ve traveled. 

Wine labels can be ordered as single stickers or sticker rolls, often in plastic or paper.

wedding-themed wine bottle label

Source: Vistaprint

After the wedding

Your wedding day doesn’t signal the end of wedding communications. Thank-you cards are an important way to show guests your appreciation — be sure to create a design that captures your joy and gratitude — while photo books are keepsakes you’ll treasure for life.

Thank-you cards

Fairly self-explanatory, thank-you cards are sent to each guest, thanking them for coming to your wedding and, if applicable, for their gift. A thank you card should feature the words “thank you” prominently in its design. It should also include a personalized message to the recipient, ideally naming their specific gift when thanking them for it. With U.S. weddings including around 122 – 132 guests per wedding, it’s best to create a template you can reuse or personalize, rather than rewriting something totally unique each time.

Etiquette states that you should send thank-you cards within one to three months after your wedding.

Framed prints

Choose one or more of your favorite images from your wedding and memorialize it as a framed print. These also make terrific keepsake gifts for you and your partner’s parents. Create framed prints in a variety of sizes and capture your wedding memories forever.

Photo books

Internet searches tell us that interest in film wedding photography is on the increase by 266%. If you find yourself part of this movement, why not treasure your wedding forever in the form of a physical photo album.

Custom photo books are keepsakes containing glossy, high-resolution photographs from your wedding. They can include any images you want, including photos from your engagement and honeymoon.

Unlike most of the other items in this checklist, your wedding photo book is just for you and your spouse, so you can order it whenever you like!

Customizing your wedding stationery suite

Designing custom wedding stationery makes it personal to your relationship and marriage. Together, you and your fiancé have a one-of-a-kind story. As you design your wedding stationery, think about ways you can tell this story through aesthetic elements and thoughtful choices.

“For couples, designing and customizing wedding stationery should be a fun experience that expresses your unique personality and love while reminding everyone why they are gathering to celebrate you.”

– Kevin O’Connor, Senior Director, Consumer at VistaPrint

Your wedding theme is a great place to start when designing wedding stationery. For many couples, it’s important that all of the items in their “wedding portfolio” fit this theme. If you don’t have a theme, use your chosen color palette as a jumping-off point. As you explore ways to design stationery with your wedding colors, you might even find inspiration for your theme. 

If you’re still stuck for which design direction to go in, check out wedding trends for 2024. You can also find inspiration in the styles that VistaPrint offers:

Blooms botanicals

With lush florals and soft color palettes, ultra romance-inspired wedding stationery designs exude warmth and intimacy.

Blooms botanicals wedding invitation template

Blooms botanicals wedding invitation template on VistaPrint

Pretty playful

For a more modern look, try a colorful, contemporary design with quirkily layered elements and bold typography.

Pretty playful invitation template

Pretty playful wedding invitation template on VistaPrint

Bold type

Earthy colors and organic patterns decorate the bold type style templates, which create free-spirited and whimsical wedding stationery.

Bold type wedding stationary templates

Bold type wedding invitation template on VistaPrint

New rustic

A fresh take on rustic themes, these stationery template designs blend natural textures with modern design elements.

New rustic wedding stationary templates

New rustic wedding invitation template on VistaPrint

Vintage vibes

The vintage aesthetic has made a comeback this year, with wedding stationery designs featuring ‘70s fonts and color palettes.

Vintage vibes wedding stationary

Vintage vibes wedding invitation template on VistaPrint

With any of these styles, you’re not locked into just one; maybe your ideal wedding aesthetic is a little bit of retro mixed with ultra romance. Or maybe it’s a travel theme for your destination wedding and you design invitations that look like boarding passes and a seating chart that looks like a map. Have fun and be creative!

As you explore different designs, try swapping out the following to see how a slight tweak can enhance or totally re-work a design: 

  • Trim. Cut the edges of your stationery to create scalloped edges, rounded corners or standard straight sides. 
  • Embossed foil. A metallic foil overlay gives stationery a shine. Choose from gold, silver or glitter foil, and use it on as much or as little of your design as you like. 
  • Seasonal. Celebrate your wedding date with a color palette and design choices that reflect the mood of the season, like deep-hued evergreens for winter weddings or splashes of bright, warm citrus tones for summer nuptials.
  • Fold. Stationery can be flat, single sheets or folded, opening vertically or horizontally. 
  • Orientation. Your stationery can be oriented horizontally or vertically. Both create a different feel and allow for different imagery and fonts.
  • Photos. Consider featuring photos on your wedding stationery, like portraits from your engagement photoshoot or images of the wedding venue.

Build a downloadable stationery checklist

This blog post can function as a checklist, but you might also want a physical list for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s easy (and satisfying!) to check off items to ensure you haven’t missed anything
  • You can reference it as you have in-person conversations and make offline decisions

To reduce the amount of clutter on your list, take a moment to create your own, customizing it to the specific stationery items you’re choosing for your wedding. You can create a digital version as well as a print version. You don’t even have to design it yourself—you can download one here.

Tip

A wedding stationery checklist is one of the easiest ways to stay organized!

wedding stationery checklist

Source: Vista

Once you’re ready to move forward, request custom designs from our team of experienced stationery designers. Or, if you prefer the DIY route, use the VistaCreate graphic design tool to bring your vision to life.

Create your dream wedding stationery suite

The wedding stationery you choose sets the tone for your big day. It’s also a reflection of your couple’s style and influences the impression your wedding leaves on its guests. Working with a partner for all your wedding stationery needs streamlines the design and shipping process, which can be a huge relief when you’re juggling the demands of planning a wedding.

With a print partner like VistaPrint, you can ensure all of your wedding suite stationery, mementos and accessories are coordinated. This makes it super-easy to stay organized as you plan, design and order your wedding stationery.