With the washers I haven't ever found it to really matter so long as they are free of damage/burrs, but the seals are certainly uni-directional. The large side of the seal (with the writing stamped on it) should face the dry side of the fork. I -think- the service manual has an illustration of which they should go.... did you check in the front fork section for that?
It's hard for me to find how to explain it, but almost all shaft oil seals in this type of application have seal faces that are asymmetrical... you can see which side would be better for wiping (cleaning the shaft), and which side would be better at holding fluid pressure (sealing) by the way the face of the seal, erm, "faces", and the direction of the taper off the face of the seal.
Attack life... it's going to kill you anyway.