A Complete Guide to 'On the Day' Wedding Stationery
After you’ve sent out your save the dates, invitations and other pre-wedding stationery, you’ll need some ‘on the day’ stationery. This is important as it helps organise your guests and ensures the day runs smoothly. Your wedding guests will need to know where to be, at what time, where to sit, what to sing and when to eat.
Here is a handy checklist of ‘on the day’ wedding stationery, and I go into more detail of why it’s important for your wedding below.
‘On the Day’ Wedding Stationery
- Order of service / order of the day
- Seating / table plan
- Table numbers
- Place cards
- Favour tags
- Kids’ activity books
Signage is useful as it helps direct your guests to the right room, which can be helpful in large wedding venues with several rooms, where you may have your daytime ceremony and evening celebration in different spaces. You can also print out a large version of the order of the day and display it on an easel, pop-up banner or other wedding sign, this is useful for evening guests who normally won’t get an order of service.
Order of Service / Order of the Day
The order of service or order of the day is essentially a ceremony programme or timetable so your guests know where they should be and what’s happening throughout your wedding day. It’s practical as it helps stop delays or guests missing moments like cutting the cake, and it’s a nice keepsake for your people to take as a reminder of the day.
What does it look like? The order of service is normally a folded booklet or a flat card, or they can be more creative, printed on fans or confetti bags… Traditionally the usher hands the order of services, although you can also have them on a table for guests to help themselves, or place them on the seats.
Tip - before you get started, you need to choose your readings and music to ensure you celebrant is happy with your choices.
What should you include in your order of service?
You can keep it simple with basic details, or have a complete breakdown of the service with words of the minister etc. Details you can include are:
- Lyrics to hymns or songs (Check with your celebrant this is permitted and there are no copyright issues)
- Who is in the bridal party
- A welcome and thank you message to guests
- Personal ‘thank yous’ to anyone that has played a special role in your wedding
- Reasons for your hymn or song choices
If you’re having a booklet style, you’ll usually have your names, venue and wedding date on the cover, with details, hymns and songs inside, and possibly a timetable on the back. If you’re going for a flat design these could be single or double sided.
Table / Seating Plan
This is absolutely essential for your wedding breakfast so that guests know where to sit. Lots of couples like to print the seating pan on a large board and display it on an easel, although I can come up with lots of creative ideas from incorporating upcycled elements, to rustic, illustrated and destination table plans. Your table plan should be consistent in style with your other wedding stationery and I usually take elements such as flowers or shapes from your save the dates and invitations so that it flows nicely.
Once guests have found their name on the main seating plan, they will then look for their table, to help them along most couples put table numbers on each table. This could be a traditional style with a number on it, or some couples name their tables with a running theme such as brands of gin, types of wine, countries of the world or something related to a hobby or interest. I offer several styles including acrylic table numbers in clear, black and frosted, illustrated table numbers which include flowers or a bespoke illustration related to your other stationery and luxury table numbers which feature elegant calligraphy style lettering, vellum and wax seals. There are several ways of displaying your table numbers including gold or silver holders, using picture frames, easels, wooden menu holders or upcycling something such as corks.
Once your guest has found their table, they'll need to find their seat, which is where place cards come in. These can be flat, credit card sized cards, folded tent cards or something seasonal such as cards pinned to lemons or pine cones. The place cards usually sit in the middle or at the top of each place setting, and can be used alone or attached to a wedding menu.
As a significant amount of time between taking pre-orders and your wedding is likely to have passed, it is useful to have wedding menus on each table so that guests can remember each dish. You can have a menu on every place setting to form part of your table decor, or have one or two menus placed in the middle of the table.
Some couples like to incorporate some form of entertainment into their table stationery such as activity books for children, that contain personalised colouring in sections and quizzes. Or you can place trivia or quiz cards on the tables which can act as ice breakers for your guests. I can also create luxury favour tags, labels and stickers in keeping with your other wedding stationery.