Continuing our series on what to look for in a custom stationer, we explore another key quality: Knowledge of etiquette.
By no means are we suggesting that you can’t think outside the box, be creative, or add your own personal touch to wedding or event stationery. However, we do believe that both types of stationery should be handled with a certain element of refinement and protocol.
Why is stationery etiquette so important?
- Proper stationery etiquette—especially for weddings—can help alleviate some of the planning challenges that arise when information is not clearly communicated. For example, addressing an envelope to an entire family when you only intended to invite the husband and wife can result in a lot of questions. The guests might send back an RSVP card stating that their entire family is coming. This leaves someone planning the wedding, often the bride or groom, with the awkward responsibility of calling to tell the family that the children are not invited.
- Proper stationery etiquette can help you avoid offending a guest prior to him or her even attending your event. The majority of envelopes, escort cards, and other personalized paper goods are fairly simple. Some, unfortunately, are not—like your fiancé’s parents’ best friend who is a “Ph.D.” doctor, goes by a nickname, and has a serious girlfriend also attending the wedding. And perhaps, he is a little sensitive about his nickname always being used. Knowing how to address his invitation envelope and write his escort card can ensure cordial interaction for all involved!
- Proper stationery etiquette reminds us that timelines are crucial! Sending out wedding and event stationery should be done in a timely fashion—leaving guests with ample time to schedule travel, coordinate vacation days, find a babysitter, and RSVP. Ideally, save the dates should be mailed out 6-12 months prior to the wedding (or 4 months if you have a shorter engagement). And wedding stationery should be mailed out 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding. You should give your non-wedding event guests 4 weeks or more to RSVP—depending upon the commitment, location, and type of event. (By the way, timing for thank you notes is just as crucial. The old adage that you have a year to write wedding thank you notes is absolutely false! A custom stationer will remind you that you have three months following the receipt of the gift to send a thank you note.)
Be comforted! These etiquette tips and all those we didn’t include do not need to fall on your shoulders. A good custom stationer will serve as your go-to resource for all things etiquette to ensure you have one less thing to worry about in the planning process.
Note: At the end of the day, however, this is your event. If you have a strong preference about something, be sure to communicate that. Your stationer will help accommodate that in the best way possible!