A wedding invitation is more than just a piece of paper with your wedding day details–it’s your guests’ first glimpse into what they can expect on the big day. In other words, your invitation is your guests’ guide to your wedding, and should include the most important information about the day: the names of wedding hosts/sponsors (usually parents), names of bride and groom, day of the week, date, time, and address of the ceremony and/or reception.
But that’s not all; there are other elements that make up the invitation “suite,” specifically the enclosures. An event that continues through the weekend or is at a particular destination may require a folder with multiple components for directions, accommodations and even an itinerary. For a local wedding, the most common enclosures are:
– Reception cards that provide guests with the time, date, and location of the wedding reception.
– Response cards, which guests will use to RSVP to your wedding. They simply fill in their name on the card, along with how many guests will/will not be attending. The card is then mailed back to you in the enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope. Some couples also ask guests to choose their main course when they respond. While some couples think having guests RSVP through their wedding web site or email is cost-effective, it can wind up causing a lot of stress since emails get lost and websites go down.
– Maps/Directions to both the ceremony and reception sites. Most venues can supply pre-printed direction cards that you can include in your invites. Even if the locales are easy to find, it’s still a good idea to provide your guests with this info.
– Envelopes, including the response card envelope which is self-addressed and stamped so that your guests can mail their RSVP back to you; the inner envelope which will house all of your invitation components; and the outer envelope which is where the inner envelope will be placed. Your guests’ names and addresses will be written (usually by a calligrapher) on the outer envelope.
For more wedding tips, check out 10 mistakes couples make when planning a big wedding and everything you need to know about writing and sending thank you notes.