Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wedding Day Stationery: Programs

Once your invitations are sealed and delivered the paper party isn't over just yet! Most brides and grooms have paper needs for the day of the wedding that can include anything from programs and menus to table signs and favor tags. Often our couples aren't sure what they need until they get closer to the big day (usually about 6 weeks out) so normally we don't start working on these pieces until after the invitation suites are all wrapped up.

Samantha and I find that most couples don't know what information should go in the program and if they need a menu at each guest's seat or just one at each table. The questions go on and on. So we decided we're going to take some time over the next week to explain the different pieces you might need for the day of your wedding, what type of info goes in each piece and how you might use them.

Wedding programs seem to be, by far, the most popular type of wedding day stationery that our couples need and usually include:
• the names of the couple, the date and location
• a list of the members of the wedding party which often includes the parents and grandparents
• the order of the ceremony starting with the processional (some couples opt to include the music for this) and then listing out each reading and song, who is doing the reading and singing/playing the music, and ending with the recessional
• a short paragraph thanking their friends and family for all of their support and for being present on their most important day

Of course there is no need to include all of this information. Some of our couples opt to keep it short and sweet and others like to include many more details. We encourage you to do what feels most comfortable for you as a couple rather than worrying about what other brides and grooms are doing. Once the content has been chosen for the program we start brainstorming ideas about the physical format of it. This isn't something you need to worry about because this is where Sam and I step in and offer advice about the best way to deliver the information to your guests and about the costs of all of the options.

This "fan" style program is a super easy DIY project. We can design a beautiful cover that matches your invitations and you can print the rest of the pages yourself. Simply punch a hole in the top left corner and tie them together with a piece of ribbon or twine. Erin and Sam (a 2010 couple) created these for their beautiful orchard wedding last fall:

{photos above by Alexandra Daley-Clark}

Probably the most common style we are seeing this season is a simple flat card with the ceremony printed on one side and the wedding party printed on the other. This piece from store favorite, Smock, is beautifully letterpress printed using the design and ink colors from the couple's invitations:

This booklet style program below from Bella Figura is an ideal format if you plan on including multiple pages of details and information. We can letterpress print the cover on our heavy weight cotton stock and then offset or digitally print the interior pages on text weight paper to save on cost and to keep the booklet from getting overly bulky. This example here has been hole-drilled down the spine and will eventually get tied with a matching green ribbon:

The program below is my absolute favorite of all time. We designed and printed this piece for Ben and Hillary who got married last September in Kennebunkport and we (Sam/Me and Ben/Hill) could not have been happier with the end result! We created an illustration of a mussel and printed it repeatedly on the front using no ink and then also printed it on the 2nd page in navy ink. After die cutting the shape of the mussel out of the cover, the navy illustration on the second page was revealed. We printed multiple pages outlining the ceremony and the wedding party and hole-drilled each page so that we could tie them all together using a beautiful piece of navy cotton ribbon. So pretty right?

Last, but not least is an example of a folded program with no (added) interior pages. Usually with a letterpress folded program we take a single sheet of paper and print the cover and the inside right page. With the programs below I printed the cover, both inside pages and a piece for the back on separate sheets and then adhered them to a piece of folded purple paper. This assembly added extra texture and substance to the piece and also allowed me to letterpress print both interior pages and both covers without having the normal impression from letterpress printing show through on the opposite sides of the pages. Because we inserted little pouches of petals inside the programs (guests tossed the petals at us as we walked down the aisle has husband and wife) we had to tie the programs shut with a piece of natural cotton ribbon:

{photos by emilie inc.}

If you're starting to think about your day-of wedding stationery the first thing you should do is to give us a call to set up a time to come in and chat! Don't worry, we promise it will be quick and easy (unlike your invitation appointment:)

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