On the Wedding Aces blog, we strive to give you the true insider’s skinny on the wedding stationery business.  In Part One of this topic, we weighed the merits of reply cards and wedding programs.  So here’s Part Two of our scoop on determining which stationery items you need – and which ones you don’t.

4) Save-the-Dates: If many of your guests will be traveling from out of town, or if you have a particularly large guest list with relatives and family friends you might not see often, then sending a save-the-date card 6-12 months ahead of your wedding is a good idea. For a smaller event, or if you feel confident most of your guests are well aware of the date of your pending nuptials, you can afford to skip sending save-the-dates.

"Cari Postcard Save-the-Date," from The Green Kangaroo

5) Thank You Notes: While you certainly don’t have to order thank you notes that coordinate with your wedding invitations, you do have to write thank you notes for the gifts you receive! Check with your stationery vendor to see if they discount thank you notes if ordered with your invitations. You may be surprised how inexpensively you can find personalized thank you notes (with your new monogram, of course!) compared to retail store prices for generic note cards. And remember, it’s always better to order more of these than you think you need!

6) Reception Cards & Other Accessory Cards: If you’re planning an elaborate destination wedding, or even just dealing with a fair number of out-of-town guests, it’s often a good idea to provide guests with information that might not fit easily on the wedding invitation itself. Accessory cards are perfect for providing detailed reception information, maps and directions, and other information such as hotel and transportation options. If everyone coming to the wedding lives in your hometown or is on your mama’s speed dial, you probably don’t need to spring for accessory cards to go inside the invitation envelope.

7) Table Stationery: If you’re having a sit-down dinner reception, your stationery vendor will likely be able to provide such additional items as table cards, place cards, and menus, which can be a great way to streamline the flow of a formal event. But if you’re opting for a buffet-style meal or a more casual reception, you probably won’t have a strong need for these “extra” items.

As a basic rule of thumb, if you carefully consider what you need before you start shopping, you’ll stand a much better chance of sticking to your invitation and stationery budget. Who knows? You may even save enough money in this category to get those Jimmy Choos you’ve been eyeing to go with your dress!