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Dedicated July 2019

Paper Goods

Caitlin, on October 9, 2018 at 3:23 PM Posted in Planning 0 14
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Are you using programs, escort cards, menu cards, or other paper goods? What about custom invites and save the dates? I understand that the design is often in the details but it kills me to spend a lot of money on paper that will be thrown on the ground and/or thrown away.


Which paper goods do you think are worth spending the money on? Which ones aren't? Why? Thanks!

14 Comments

  • DC Wife 10.27.18
    Master October 2018
    DC Wife 10.27.18 ·
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    We aren't doing any of those paper things. We are trying to stay as green as possible.

    You could do an order of events sign instead of a program. Something like this could be made and then printed at Walgreens for cheap. We did online Save The Dates, RSVPs and invitations. We aren't doing escort cards or menu cards. Just signs at each food station.

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  • Brae
    VIP September 2019
    Brae ·
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    I'm only doing STDs and invites. Maybe a sign by the bar. I feel like programs and menus are a waste, that get tossed in the trash. Depending on how many people RSVP yes will determine if we do a seating chart or escort cards. I'd prefer a chart though.
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  • Melissa
    VIP October 2018
    Melissa ·
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    We are doing programs and menu cards outside of the invitations. Programs are small and were super inexpensive - but we had to have something to explain who everyone was since we have a large list and were already tired of answering the questions about "who is so and so" Smiley smile Our menu cards we just did one per table. We have a few picky eaters, people with food sensitivity, etc. So everyone can look at the full menu to know what they can/can't eat. But we didn't want to do one for every plate.

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    We are doing invites & save the dates. Then if we pick a buffet, just one large menu near the table. If we do plated, people will have picked prior so no menus. I'm leaning towards yes on programs, and for our assigned seating we will have a large chart outside the reception space, then name cards on each table setting.

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  • FutureMrsKC
    Master January 2019
    FutureMrsKC ·
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    We bought save the dates, escort cards, and invites.

    We bought save the dates because our wedding is far for most guests so we wanted them to have a heads up, invites are self explanatory, and escort cards because we are doing assigned tables and this made life easier and made more sense to do escort cards rather than a large sign.

    Menus are pointless because your guest either decided what they wanted to eat on the RSVP card or they will decide when they get to the buffet line. Our ceremony is short so we didn't think programs were needed because people already know whats going on.

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  • C
    Dedicated July 2019
    Caitlin ·
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    I agree with you, I’m leaning toward the chart as well!
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  • Kristen
    VIP August 2018
    Kristen ·
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    IMO programs, escort cards and menus are all expendable. If they are in your budget, go for it. But if they aren't, there are better things to spend money on.

    I did do paper STDs and invitations because I don't really think you can do without those, especially if your wedding is on the formal side.

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  • HayMrsO
    Master October 2018
    HayMrsO ·
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    Invites and a sign by our wine bottles/guestbook. That is it. The rest of it just seems like a massive waste.

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  • C
    Dedicated July 2019
    Caitlin ·
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    I agree, I think that menus for plates meals are a waste! My only reason for considering programs is because we are having an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour in July and they can double as fans.
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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
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    Same here! I did a lot of planning early, so by the 6 month out mark all the vendors, venue, wedding party & apparel, and bride & groom apparel will be done. So that really leaves smaller things like DIY decor, signs, programs, seating chart, etc. So we will have way more time. But my mom & I are going to make the program fans at home!

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  • Victoria
    VIP October 2018
    Victoria ·
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    I would definitely do invititations and escort cards. You don't need a menu, and likely not a program, unless you are getting married in a church. Save the dates are good if you have a lot of out of town guests, but not necessary.

    I'd stay away from a chart for seating because while they're pretty, most of the time there's no order to the names so you get people crowded around having to search for theit name rather than just grab an escort card in alphabetical order.
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  • C
    Dedicated July 2019
    Caitlin ·
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    I definitely will do paper STDs and invites but I’m unsure whether I will use a service like Minted or Vistaprint or if I will go for the custom invites...again, custom seems like kind of a waste.

    I just looked at what my estimated spending pending would be on just STDs and invites (plus postage) and was surprised at how little it’s going to cost- we budgeted for much more! Which I guess is a good thing but I was worried that I would be missing things I guess.
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  • C
    Dedicated July 2019
    Caitlin ·
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    The crowd is something I never thought about. Good advice. Thank you!
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  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
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    Programs: We had them only because we had a Jewish ceremony and many guests who were not Jewish. The programs had the full text of the ceremony (with translations and transliterations of the Hebrew), plus explanations of the Jewish customs. If your ceremony is not complex, you really don't need them.

    Escort cards: I don't think these are really necessary. You could just have a board that shows who is sitting at what table.

    Menu cards: We had these at the luncheon after the ceremony, because people were able to choose their entrees then, rather than having them pre-ordered. (Also, the restaurant supplied them at no cost to us.) For the at-home reception, we had menus at the beginning of the buffet line, but not individual ones for each person.

    Other paper goods: We had thank-you cards, with a design based on the design of our ketubah (formal Jewish marriage contract), with the consent of the ketubah artist.

    Custom invites: We had pocketfolds, with the design of the various cards based on the design of the ketubah. They were more elaborate than was really necessary (and required more than the minimum postage), but we didn't mind since we were only sending a few of them. You can definitely do something less expensive using something like Vistaprint.

    Save the dates: I am very opposed to save the dates. People think they are inexpensive, because they can be done as postcards or even e-mails. However, the real cost is that you send them out so early that you may invite people that you later regret (e.g., if you drift apart, have a falling out, or just would prefer a smaller wedding). Even inviting one extra couple will cost you far more than the cost of the STDs themselves.

    Plus, STDs are unnecessary. Sending your invitations 8 weeks in advance gives people plenty of time to arrange for the lowest cost airfares and hotel rooms. So STDs would be necessary only if they enabled people to plan their vacations around your wedding, or save up for it. The people who would do this--those closest to you--undoubtedly already know when your wedding is.

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