What To Include In Your Wedding Invitation
For most couples, this is the first time you’re planning a wedding! These days, there is more inspiration than you could possibly sort through, but who is there to answer your questions - like, how do I give my guests all the details they need for the weekend? Should I do both escort cards and place cards? How do people usually address the envelopes? Do I really need to do programs? Enter the Insiders Guide to Wedding Stationery, your answers to all things relating to your paper goods and signage. In my 6 years working with couples on their invitations and day-of paper goods, I’ve heard all the questions and seen many of examples of how people have handled unusual situations. I’m here to help you navigate the wedding waters! Let’s get started!
What to include in your invitation suite
As with everything when it comes to weddings, your invitations can be simple or incredibly detailed and complex. But what do you actually have to include? Let’s dive in to all the pieces of an invitation suite (that’s what we call the whole package), what to include and where, what you definitely need to include and what might be okay to skip.
You can’t have an invitation without, well, the invitation! This piece is really the only must. This includes the event and the basic info. The who, what, where, when and why. See our post about the wording to break this one down.
The reply card:
The next most commonly found piece in the suite is the RSVP or reply card. This is the little card that guests send back to you to let you know if they will attend or not. This is also where you’ll ask guests for number of attendees and meal choices if applicable. Some couples also use this to have guests respond to other weekend events (welcome drinks, Sunday brunch, etc.), if they are requiring a shuttle from the hotel, or other information that will help you coordinate the event. Or, have a little fun here and ask guests to request a song or fill in a fun little mad lib. And don’t forget the envelope, addressed where you’d like it sent and with a stamp on it!
Doing replies online? You can include a simple card that notes you request responses on your website.
Tip: Since this piece will be mailed back to you and not saved by guests, this is a great place to go simpler on the printing and save a little money.
In addition to the details of the wedding itself, you may have other details you need your guests to know. Information that you might need to share could be regarding hotel blocks, shuttle details, other weekend events, attire, or registry information.
I love including this info on an enclosure in the suite. Think of this as the piece your guests might put on their pin board to reference. Plus you can have fun with it, such as fun illustrations for each event of the weekend or as a pop of color to the rest of the suite. This could be a simple card or a full fold-out accordion piece. It can be as intricate as you’d like.
You may prefer to put all this information on your wedding website - this is a great way to save on printing and also be able to update the information as you have it ready (like add registry items or update a shuttle schedule). For this direction, I like to create a website card or tag. This is a small card that says something like, “For all the details, visit our website”. If you have elderly guests, you can always follow up with them directly to help fill in any missing details if they can’t get online. This option is particularly cute as a little hang tag tied around the invitation with ribbon or twine.
Totally unnecessary but oh-so cute is the wedding map. It is one of my favorite design details—couples can include the wedding venue and other fun spots in the surrounding area, such as your favorite restaurant, spot you got engaged, location of the Sunday BBQ or more. Of course, most guests will likely use their phone to navigate so this isn’t a necessity. But its a great little addition!
Tip: Make great use of a custom map design and frame it in your home after the wedding or print it on guest tote bags!
Invitation to other events:
Some couples add invitations to other events within the suite, so it's all sent at once. This might be for welcome drinks, an after party or Sunday send-off celebration. I like to make this coordinate with the rest of the suite, but also feel a little different since it’s for a different event. And you can even hand pick who is invited - just be careful these don’t go in the wrong envelope ;)
Another item that is completely unnecessary but a lovely touch, especially for the paper lovers out there. Go with a simple color or pattern or something more detailed. My personal favorite combo is a simple and elegant invitation and vibrant envelope liner, such as a painting of the wedding venue or area.
Tip: Save money but get a custom look by selecting a simple ready-to-customize invitation from an online source and then have an artist make you a custom envelope liner!
The finishing touches:
What really pulls together an invitation suite are the finishing touches, and these can be applied whether you’re doing a simple invitation or full suite. These might include a wrap or belly band, wax seal, ribbon or twine, pocket enclosure, vintage stamps or anything else you can imagine. This is where you get to have some fun, make it personal and special.
When it comes to what goes in your invitation suite, you can keep it simple or, if you’re anything like me, go crazy. Your guests will love it!