What should you include in your wedding invitations? When trying to determine what you really need you should consider your guest list and your wedding events. If all of your guests are local and your wedding and reception are in the same location - you probably can get by with a simple rsvp card. If your reception is in a separate location, if you are having multiple events or a complicated timeline you should probably give your guests a little more information. Here are some examples of information we see included on enclosure cards. Keep in mind that we can combine several items on one card (most of the time) to help save you money.
RSVP - these are pretty straight forward for the most part. General information - are you coming and how many? Something we include quite often is a note at the top stating " we have reserved ___ seats in your honor". The blank is to be filled in by the client for each invitation depending on how many people they are inviting from that household. This is a very straight forward and polite way of making sure people are aware they may or may not invite a plus one. It is also a way to let people know children are not invited. If a couple has two children and it is adults only - simply fill in the blank with a "2" so that it is clear the children will not have a place.
If you are allowing your guests to choose an entree that information obviously needs included. Just provide us with the meal options and we will set up the text for you so that it is clear to your guests. Some clients like to leave a space for dietary restrictions. My personal opinion is that if a guest has a dietary restriction that is important - they will let you know. By including this note on the card you could possibly be opening yourself up to a lot of complications. I have seen picky eaters use this as a way to communicate their preferences and not genuine dietary concerns.
** don't forget to include a stamp on your rsvp envelope so your guests have no excuse for sending the rsvp back late.
Reception Card - if your reception is at the same location as the ceremony and immediately following you can get by with including " reception to follow" on the bottom of your invitation. If you need to include any extra info you need a separate card. Reception cards are usually small and include the location of the reception and start time. I also like to include a short timeline of events if needed like cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and even send off.
Accommodations - include one of these if you have guests coming from a distance OR if you think your guests might enjoy a night at a hotel after a late night of celebrating. I would recommend one or two hotels that are near your venue. Make sure to include any cut-off dates or discount codes.
Transportation - If there is provided transportation make sure to include that information in the invitation suite. Make sure to include departure and return times so that guests can plan ahead.
Map- These are especially popular with destination weddings. It is aways nice to help guests navigate the area. It is nice to also include area attractions and key way finding points.
Website - I always encourage clients to create a wedding website. Many wedding planning websites will host them for free and provide easy to use templates. You can include a ton of information on these and even include some fun stuff like the story of how you met, where you are going on your honeymoon, registry info and area attractions.
Timeline of events - Timelines can be just a list or a cute cartoon format. Either way they are a very straight forward and easy way to help your guests plan for the days activities. A good example of this is the slate blue and white card at the beginning of this post. I am happy to create one to match any design.
Rehearsal - Save yourself some time and postage by adding in a card for those people invited to the rehearsal and following dinner.
Dress Code - As a guest I always appreciate a dress code- I hate being under dressed. Help your guests look their best and feel great by letting them know how formal it is. If you need help determining how to word the dress code just ask!
Other Events - if you are having a meet and greet, brunch or any other event make sure to include it on a separate card along with the time, date, place and rsvp info.
What NOT to include -
This is a touchy one...but DO NOT include your registry info or a request for any kind of gift in your invitation. The only place this is considered acceptable is your bridal shower invitation. If you check in with Emily Post, Martha Stewart or any other etiquette professional - they will tell you the same thing. Asking for money or including your registry will make some guests feel as if you only sent them an invitation to receive a gift. Old fashioned..yes I know but I know the last thing we want to do is offend our guests. What I suggest to clients is to include this info on their wedding website and include the website in the invitations on a small card. Make sure the bridal party is also aware of your preferences as well because they may be asked. This being said- when all is said and done these are your invitations and if you still want to include it just let me know and we will include it. I only want to make sure you are aware of the "rule" before we include it.
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