Wondering what to include in a wedding invitation suite? You’re not alone. Designing, packaging, and sending wedding invitations is a major undertaking. If your head is swimming from stationery overload and you can’t tell a reception card from a response card, we’ve compiled a helpful guide outlining exactly what to send with wedding invitations.
1. Wedding Invitation
Naturally, your wedding invitation suite should include your wedding invitation—and though it may seem obvious what should be included, make sure to check over your invite once, and then check it again! As for less obvious additions to your invitation, consider corner copy. Corner copy is a great place for bite-sized pieces of information, such as “reception to follow,” if they’re in the same location.” You can also use corner copy for “no gifts requested” or a note about attire.
2. Reception Card
If your wedding reception is not going to be held in the same location as the wedding ceremony, you’ll need to include a separate card with the reception information with wording that indicates the formality and nature of the event. For example, if you are hosting a reception before 1 p.m., the first line should say “Breakfast Reception.” Anything after 1 p.m. should just read “Reception”. Want to indicate a sit-down meal? The first line should read “Dinner Reception”.
As for whether to include information about children if you’d like to throw an adults-only affair, you should notify guests through verbally and by the names addressed in the invitation. If you must include an “Adults-Only Reception” line, do so on the reception card, as the last line.
3. Response Card
When sending response cards, don’t forget to include a stamp for your guests’ convenience. Consider numbering the names on your guest list then writing that number on the back of the corresponding response card. You can then look up responses by number just in case you can’t read the handwriting or someone forgets to include his or her name. If you’re having meal choices, this is also the card where you leave check boxes for people to choose chicken, fish, steak, vegetarian options, etc.
You can, of course, forego response cards altogether and direct guests to RSVP on your wedding website, but try to considerate of older generations. If you can anticipate certain guests not wanting to use a computer, send them a response card even if you’re not including them with the majority of the wedding invitation suites.
4. Directions (optional)
Don’t leave guests to their own devices when it comes to getting to your wedding on time. While Google Maps are alive and well, a guest’s phone could die or lose reception and that is a recipe for tardiness. Plus, your elderly guests might not even have a smart phone that can give them directions instantaneously. So, to be on the safe side, always include a directions card. You never know when your guests will need it.
On the card, legibility is key; carefully consider the font you use on your direction cards. It’s important to make sure the font is easy to read for all of your guests. And, in the event you don’t include a direction card in your wedding invitation suite, you should still list the directions to your venue and its address on your wedding website as another backup.
5. Accommodations Card (optional)
You don’t have to send accommodation cards to everyone, just to out-of-town guests. Including a deadline for making reservations on your accommodations card is optional but helpful. Rooms tend to book up fast, so it’s nice to give your guests a date. If you’re covering guests’ accommodations, it’s proper etiquette to indicate that on the accommodation card. This is also where you can include any information regarding transportation to and from hotels to the wedding.
6. Weekend Itinerary (optional)
If your wedding will span a weekend and will include multiple events such as welcome drinks, an after-party, a day-after brunch, etc., it’s a good idea to include a full itinerary for guests so they know what to expect and pack for.
7. Inner Envelope
This is the place to clearly write or print the names of each wedding guest, and effectively indicate exactly who is (and isn’t) invited to the wedding. If your guest will have a specific plus-one, write both their names. If they can bring anyone, the envelope should include their name and a generic guest: “John Smith and Guest.” If there’s not a plus-one, it’s simple: just include the guest’s name.
This is also another way to indicate whether or not children are invited. For example, if you are inviting a family, the envelope should be addressed to “The Smiths.” If it’s just the parents, however, it should read “John and Victoria Smith.”
8. Outer Envelope
Don’t forget the stamp! Luckily, you don’t have to hand write the addresses yourself—many stationery companies, including Alex + Elin offer additional addressing services with assembly.
9. Belly Band (pretty, but optional)
A belly band (or invitation wrapper) holds all the pieces of the wedding invitation suite together neatly. Choose a coordinating color and accentuate the band with a ribbon or jewel for added glam.
10. Postage (courteous, but optional)
With all this stationary, your envelope may weigh more than standard postage covers. Head down to the post office with a your invitation suite and get it weighed to see what postage you’ll actually need. This is also the time when you can go over stamp options to find a stamp that’s suited for a wedding. From hearts to flowers, you’ll be surprised at the variety of stamps they have hiding behind the counter! We understand the additional cost implications for supplying postage, so for that reason we’ve list it as a very courteous BUT optional item.
When you actually mail the invitations off, request that the stamps be hand-cancelled rather than machine-cancelled. All stamps need to be cancelled when they’re sent out so that the stamp cannot be reused, but stamps that are cancelled by a machine can leave tacky, wavy lines all over your beautiful envelope. Avoid any unexpected marks on your envelopes by asking for your wedding invitations to be cancelled by hand rather than by machine.
Alex + Elin Creative is ready to partner with you to create a custom wedding invitation suite tailored to fit your needs. Start by filling out our Wedding Questionnaire or emailing us directly with your favorite design and/or inspo at firstname.lastname@example.org!