Paper Products: What’s really necessary?

Your budget is small, your wedding desires are large, so where do you draw the line when it comes to your paper products? Most wedding related expenses are necessary: the invitations, dress, photographer; these all play a major role in the celebration of a lifetime. To help you decide what paper products are a must at your wedding, lets take a look at some of the options.


There’s no way around this one. If you don’t send an invitation to your wedding, no one will be there! At Zenadia Design, we like to think of your invitation as a piece of history for you and your family. Our company tag line is Zenadia Design: Creating history just for you.â„¢ Therefore, we make sure your invitation reflects who you are and is completely personal. After all, when all is said and done, the only things you will have left from your day are the pictures, the video, your dress and the invitation. Make sure its something meaningful and special.

The Inner Envelope

The inner envelope dates back to the Victorian era, when mail was delivered by horse and buggy. The outer envelope would usually get dirty on its way to the receiver, so when the servants of the rich and wealthy would receive the mail, they would remove the soiled outer envelope, and present the clean inner envelope on a silver platter to the receiver. In this day and age, inner and outer envelopes are not necessary, unless you are particular about keeping with tradition. If that’s the case, the outer envelope would be addressed to the head of the household (Mr. and Mrs. James Smith). On the inner envelope you would write the names of the people you were inviting to the wedding. (James, Sara, John and Emma Smith).

Save The Date

As a pre-cursor to the invitation, save the dates have become increasingly popular in the last few years. But are they necessary for your wedding, or can you use part of that expense toward something else in your budget? Lets take a look at when save the dates are necessary.

Necessary when:

– You have a destination wedding where your guests will need to make travel arrangements. (i.e. book flights and make hotel reservations)
– Not a lot of your guests know about the wedding and will be traveling in from out of town.

Although nice, save the dates are not always a necessity.


Programs outline the details and order of the ceremony for your guests. They are also a place to put an explanation of any traditions or to give a dedication to your guests. A nice addition to any ceremony, however not something you absolutely need. I didn’t have programs at my wedding, and have been to numerous weddings where a program was not issued. If it comes right down to your budget, consider skipping the program.

Cards Cards Cards! (Seating, Escort and Place)

It’s easy to mix these terms up, and even to think some are the same thing when in fact, they are 3 separate cards.

An escort card was originally used to tell the gentlemen guests which lady they would be “escorting” in to dinner. Obviously you really don’t need this anymore, and today, the term escort card is used interchangeably with seating card.

A seating card is generally picked from a seating card table before the reception and tells your guests what table to sit at.

Place cards are already at the table and and alert your guests which seat to sit in.

Unless you are super picky about who sits where when they get to their assigned table, you don’t need place cards. And unless you would like to tell the gentlemen which lady they need to escort in to dinner, you don’t need escort cards either.

Seating cards are almost a must, unless you don’t care in the least where your guests sit. The only other option to seating cards is a seating chart.


Menus are definitely optional, however the fancier the meal, the more likely you are to see a menu. Even then its all up to you. If you are set on having a menu, try placing 2 or 3 per table instead of one per person. This will not only save you money, it will also help your guests to intermingle with each other as they will have to pass the menus around.