Category: Wording & etiquette

Wedding stationery disasters (and how to avoid them)

There are a few common wedding stationery pitfalls that it’s easy to fall into without some knowhow. Here’s our guide to the most common disasters, and how to steer clear!

1) Our stationery’s arrived and it’s got a typo in it [insert expletive here]

If your beautiful big-day stationery has arrived and has one (or more) mistakes in the copy, you’re bound to be upset. Make sure it doesn’t happen by asking your stationery supplier to send you a proof of the copy before they print the invites – all good stationery providers will be happy to do this. Get at least one other person to read over it before approving it – someone other than you and your groom is a good idea. Make sure you double-check important details such as ceremony times and venue postcodes, and be aware of misplaced apostrophes and common spelling mistakes. Printing off a copy of the proof is always a better idea than just looking onscreen, too.


10 questions to ask when ordering your wedding stationery

Happy Friday everyone! With this weekend set to be ‘hotter than Ibiza’ we are digging out our summer wardrobe and cracking open the G&Ts! Perhaps a little premature, but hey… it’s been a long winter.

This afternoon we are lucky enough to be sharing the expertise of award-winning stationers Ivy Ellen. Planning a wedding can be daunting – especially when it comes to parting with money – so remembering to ask all the right questions can help keep those stress levels to a minimum. Print this page and keep it to hand… and have a LOVELY weekend!

Bunnies invitation, Ivy Ellen
Bunnies invitation, Ivy Ellen, from £1.40

1. When should I send my invitations out?
Most couples send their wedding invitations out at least two-four months before the wedding day, depending on the time of year. For example if your wedding is planned for mid-July, this is peak season for both weddings and holidays. To ensure all your guests are available it is worth considering sending a save the date card six-twelve months in advance.

2. When should I order my wedding stationery?
Ideally you should allow at least six weeks between placing your order and receiving your stationery. At Ivy Ellen we guarantee dispatch three weeks from the date of your confirmation but you should allow time for the proofing process and any potential alterations.

3. How many invitations do I need?
Most people make the mistake of ordering per guest, when in reality you only need one invitation per couple or family. Remember to also order a few spare in case of any mistakes, typically for 100 guests you will need around 65 invitations.

4. Do you print address labels and guest names?
Most stationers, including Ivy Ellen, do offer these printing services. For example, our addresses labels are printed onto a transparent label to stick onto your envelopes. Be sure to check any additional charges.

5. When is payment due?
At Ivy Ellen we require payment upfront due to the handmade nature of our invitations, however this is something you should always check with any wedding supplier.

Millie invitation, Ivy Ellen, from £1.95
Millie invitation, Ivy Ellen, from £1.95

6. Will I see proofs before printing?
Yes – all good stationers will send you proofs of your final items before printing, either as a PDF or in the post. Always make sure this is the case as it’s so easy to make a typo and you don’t want to receive an item that is incorrect or not what your expected!

7. How do I get across extra information to my guests?
Here at Ivy Ellen we offer information inserts that get sent out with your invitation. These can be staggered in a pocket, slipped into the invitation or added to a belly band. This way all your guests have both the invitation and extra information in one beautiful package.

8. How should I word my invitations?
Most stationers have their own wording suggestions online, you can either use one of these with your information or choose your own custom wording.

9. Do I get to see a sample?
Of course, almost every stationer offers a sample of their designs before the ordering process, this way you can check the quality and finish of your wedding stationery.

10. Other than invitations, what do I need?
There is a large range of wedding stationery items that you can order including your menu cards, place cards, order of service and table plan. As a basic package you normally need invitations, place cards, menu cards, table cards and thank you cards, however it’s always worth checking with your venue in case they provide any of the items as part of their package.

Fade Belly Band Wedding Invitation from £1.95
Fade invitation, Ivy Ellen, from £1.95

To see more of Ivy Ellen’s eclectic range, which includes some gorgeous watercolours and botanicals, visit

Wedding guest lists: our how-to guide

OK, writing your wedding guest list isn’t half as much fun as choosing pretty invites, but you need to get that bad boy sorted before even so much as thinking about save the dates.

It’s tempting to invite everybody you know as soon as you get engaged, but it’s no fun when you then have to go suspiciously silent on the matter after realising that you don’t have the venue (or budget!) for 180 of your closest acquaintances.

The first thing to do is to write down absolutely everybody you can think of to invite (do it in a word doc or in spreadsheet so it’s easy to edit afterwards). I found it handy to work through people in groups – e.g. ‘family’, ‘uni friends’ ‘family friends’ – as it cuts down the chances of missing people out. 


What do I put in an order of service?

What to put in an order of service
Image: McKinley Rodgers Photography

Your orders of service can be as brief or detailed as you want to make them – you don’t even have to have them if you trying to keep costs down or want to save on paper.

The key thing to remember when deciding what to put in is that if you’re having an order of service booklet, you’ll have either four or eight pages to work with, due to the way they’re folded. Obviously, the more pages you have, the more you’ll end up spending on design and printing, so what needs to go in?

Below, I’ve talked you through what I did for my wedding, but of course that’s not set in stone  – you can add anything you like to yours! Generally, some useful things to include are:

When do you send out wedding invitations?

Want to know when to send your save the dates and invitations? Then our handy wedding stationery timeline is a must-read!

Right away: Put together your guest list – and don’t be tempted to start inviting people before you’ve worked out the final cut! Start chasing up addresses too, as it takes a surprisingly long time.

12 months: Send out save the dates. Whether you go for a classic card, quirky beer mats or a simple email, spread the word so guests don’t get booked up.