This is by far one of my most asked questions, so I wanted to tell you what I tell every one of my brides. Every invitation suite is as unique as the wedding it belongs to, and so what you include or don’t will be different than the next bride’s invitations, and thats ok! Your invitations are the introduction to your wedding. When your guest open their mail box, you want it to feel like the very beginning of all of the amazing fun and gorgeousness they are going to experience at your wedding. All that said though, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated! In this blog, I’m listing my top 5 things to include, and a bonus 3 things you shouldn’t. Let’s get started!
I know this seems obvious, but the first thing you need to include are you and your spouse to be’s names, your date, time, and venue either listed with its city/state (or country), or the full address. This information needs to be part of your main invitation card so its easy to reference for guests later, but also gets across the main information to them right away. A couple notes on this: Your names can be fully written out (first, middle, last), or just your first names. That is completely up to you and how formal you want to be. The wording surrounding your main invitation is also up to you, and I’ll be discussing options for that in an upcoming blog post, since it is a subject all its own!
If you have a wedding website, I absolutely recommend including it either on a card of its own, or as part of your details/information card. Your wedding website is where guests can go to find lodging information, registry info, what to do around your city, and more information on the timeline of the wedding weekend, or itinerary for the wedding day. If you included all of that information in your suite itself, it would get overwhelming, and start looking more like a small paperback! For our wedding, we opted to also let guests rsvp via our website if they liked. While I still got some rsvps in the mail, our guests loved having the option, and we ended up not missing any rsvps!
Have you ever received an invitation to a wedding and had no idea what you should wear? I know I have. As a kindness to your guests, you should list the dress for your wedding somewhere on your invitation or details card. It makes it easier for them to plan, and guarantees everyone will show up feeling glam and comfortable for your wedding. A note here: Don’t complicate the dress code… “dress chic”. It will only confuse your guests. Its best to stick to standard dress code terms. Not sure what you want at your wedding? The Knot has a great quick guide here.
Are you using a shuttle from the hotel to your venue? Having a destination wedding where all the guests need to book travel and rooms? If so, these details need to be included up front within your invitation suite. If you have a room block that the majority of your guests will be using, its good to include it in print (not just on your website) so that its easily accessible for everyone, including grandma, who might not be checking your website. Include the important details, and if you want to add more information, you could put that on the website. Again, you want it to be as easy as possible for your guests to get to your celebration!
The last things to consider adding to your invitation suite are optional, but can really personalize your suite.
Maps – Venue or City maps can be a great way to show your guests your area through your eyes, and list important landmarks they might want to visit on the days surrounding your wedding. You should include any place you’re holding wedding festivities. Some other fun options are where you had your first date, your favorite park or landmark, downtown shopping areas, etc.
Order of Events – Especially if you’re holding a wedding weekend, you might want to consider giving your guests a printed itinerary of where to be and when to soak in all the festivities. This could be part of your invitation, and/or your welcome bags!
While your invitations are completely in your control, here are a couple of things to leave out.
Registry information – While your guests will definitely want to know this information, it is better etiquette to keep that to your website, or at least on its own enclosure card.
Events not everyone is invited to – If you’re including an itinerary, make sure to leave off anything that not anyone is invited to. Its best to send a completely separate invite for those celebrations, to avoid confusion or accidental embarrassment.
Adults Only – If you are planning an adults-only soiree, its best to give this information either through word of mouth, or by addressing the invitations specifically to the parents. If you absolutely feel like it needs to be included in print, it should be at the very end of your reception details.
I hope that helps uncomplicate things for you! Have anything you would add to this? Questions? Post them below! I’d love to hear!