Picking the venue, food, linens, entertainment and flowers often come to mind when planning your wedding reception. It’s so easy to forget about reception stationery, or hard to fully think through what you might need.
Here’s a handy guide to wedding reception stationery. You can use this list as a starting place and let your ideas flow.
Seating Cards. These are more typically escort cards which include the guest or couple name and the table where they are seated. Place cards, on the other hand, simply list the guest name and are placed at the table where the guest sits. The use of place cards is seen more with smaller weddings. But more formal or lavish weddings may use both escort cards and place cards.
Seating Chart. A seating chart may take the place of seating cards or be used with place cards. A chart can be a poster-sized design with the name and table of each guest, or a series of smaller cards. Charts can be listed by name, usually the last name, or by table. Listing by name is easier on your guests, especially for weddings with more than 6 tables.
Menus. These may be provided by the catering company or your venue. But you can also supply your own if you want to match other wedding stationery or your venue decor. Menus typically list the couple’s name, wedding date and dinner or buffet menu items. They can be provided at each place setting or displayed 1 or 2 for the table.
Table Numbers. You can really have fun with these. Table numbers can be numbers, words, favorite book titles, etc. The possibilities are endless. And since they are on every table, you can use them to tell a story, or start dinner conversation. One of our couples included names of cities they had been to together with a personal travel story on each table number.
Alternative Guest Book. If you are looking to go beyond the traditional guest book, you may decide to use stationery that guests can sign during your reception. These can include wish tags or postcards. One of our couples had guests write notes on postcards that matched their invitations, and the maid of honor mailed them to the couple throughout their first year of marriage.
Favor or Gift Tags. These can be as simple as labels or tags attached to your favors. Couples often include their names and the wedding at least. However a personal note of thanks can make your favor even more special.
Directional Signs. Where is this reception exactly? If your reception isn’t right next to the wedding revenue, consider using larger signs to send guests in the right direction. This may also be a good idea for slightly out of the way wedding venues or parking.
Banners. These signs of love are great for the reception, and look wonderful in pictures. Like table numbers, banners can also be different. Feel free to be fun, cheeky or sweet. In addition to “Just Married”, you can do your names or romantic phrases, like “Love is in the Air”.
Buffet Cards. Let your guests easily see the name and what’s in a buffet dish. Larger buffet cards may include detailed ingredients, especially important for potential allergens or for people who have dietary restrictions. Coordinating cards are also perfect for a dessert table.
Bar Signs. Bar signs are great if you have a specific bar menu or signature drink to highlight. These can be tent cards that match the rest of your reception stationery, panel cards in a frame, or even mini chalkboard signs.
Instructional Signs. These can be framed or tented 5×7, 8×10 or larger signs for guest book instructions, welcome, gift table, photo booth or other activities you may have during your reception. For example, coordinating signs at a beach wedding may direct guests to flip flops, water bottles or hand held fans.
Chair Signs. Some couples use chair signs to say, Mr. and Mrs., or to include their new last names. But they can also say “just married”, “sweethearts”, nicknames or anything else you can think of that matches the theme of your wedding or something meaningful to you.
Reserved Cards. These signs can be as small as seating cards or larger like table numbers to let guests know that a certain table or place setting is reserved.
Are there other stationery or design pieces you are including in your wedding reception?