Your wedding invitations play a big role in your big day! Remember, they are your guests’ first glimpse of your wedding. And while they should look great, it is also essential that you stick to a few basic rules of invitation etiquette when creating them.
I have gathered some helpful tips for you – on some of the most important basics to remember about your wedding stationery and the necessary enclosures and information that should be included in your wedding invitation suite.
The very foundation of the entire invitation suite. Remember to use the proper wording, with the hosts’ names at the beginning, followed by the full names of the bride and groom and then the date, time, venue, where it is located, and so on. Feather & Ink has an excellent wording guide for all clients, with many different samples on wording your invitations, from fun and casual to traditional and elegant.
The Mailing Envelope
This envelope houses and protects the entire wedding invitation suite during mailing. Hand-calligraphy or traditional printing looks fantastic on these envelopes, so if you want to add an elevated look to your invitations, this is a great way to do it! BONUS, it also saves you a lot of time and cramped hands! As part of the process, Feather & Ink Paperie provides each client with a personalized link to a Google Sheet, including tips and examples of how to format your addresses for proper printing.
The Response Card
Your RSVPs are essential because that’s how you know how many guests will attend the wedding. Be sure to confirm by talking to the caterer or venue to see when they need the final headcount (usually 2-3 weeks before the wedding day) – then ask your guests to send their RSVPs back before that.
RSVPs can be sent back on a traditional card or submitted online (through a wedding website). Some couples choose to have response cards where guests can check boxes if they are attending (or not attending the wedding). If your caterer requires you to have a final count for menu options, checkboxes would also be included on this card to gather this information.
RSVPs are returned in the reply envelope (which will also be included with the invitation suite). As tradition states (and as a courtesy to your guests), apply the proper postage to this envelope before sealing up the main envelope and mailing your invitations. Feather & Ink Paperie can also print your return address on this envelope to save you time and headache!
The Direction Card
This card will help guests find your wedding venue. Suppose your ceremony and reception venues are different. In that case, you could create a double-sided card (one side for the ceremony venue directions and the opposite side for the reception venue directions). I like including these cards because guests can reference them when traveling to your wedding! Even though people have GPS, having this card as a backup is convenient!
The Reception Card
If you plan on having your wedding reception at a different location than the ceremony, a reception card is more than appropriate. The reception card generally provides information about the wedding reception (time, place, etc.). This card is optional when the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. You would include a phrase like “Dinner and Dancing to follow” at the bottom of your main invitation.
The Accommodations Card
Do you have out-of-town guests, or are you planning a destination wedding? If so, including an accommodations card is very useful. This card should contain information about hotels and other types of accommodations in the area so it is easy for your guests to find a place to stay. If you reserved a block of rooms at a hotel, you would include the necessary information (such as reservation codes and the date they must book their room by).
The Wedding Website Card
A wedding website is an excellent option because you can update it as you go and keep guests informed about the latest developments and details about your big day. Many wedding websites can be built for free and have pre-designed templates you can use (one of the most popular sites is The Knot).
If you have a wedding website, the reception, accommodations, and directions cards can be skipped (or they can offer less information than what is posted on the website). A great feature to include on this card is a QR code. There are many great websites where you can enter your wedding website link, which will generate a QR code. You will then download this file and send it to me to include in your design.
** Remember that your guests have many different levels of comfort with computers, so including pertinent information about your day within your suite should be considered even if you have a wedding website.
Some Mailing Tips
Before mailing out the invitations, bring a complete wedding invitation suite to your local post office, where they can weigh it and see exactly how much postage you need. This will help you avoid any unpleasant budget surprises later and ensures your invitations aren’t returned for inadequate postage.
Depending on the weight and size of your complete suite, the post office may require your invitations to be hand-stamped (hand canceled). Instead of machine processing, the postal clerk will mark each postage stamp, on each envelope, with a rubber stamp noting the current date and postal location. Usually, there is an extra fee for this. You may also request hand canceling even if the post office doesn’t require it. Some reasons for this would be to preserve the invitation and envelope and any elements such as wax seals.
Last But Not Least
When ordering your wedding invitations, think ahead to the day-of and post-wedding stationery too! Some items you might want to consider ordering with your invitations are ceremony programs, menu cards, placed cards or a seating chart, table numbers, signage, and “Thank You” cards.
If you need help creating your custom invitation suite, contact me today!