Today on The Bride Link we're talking all about what goes in your wedding invitations! Use this video as a wedding invitation guide and include everything you want or don't want! There are what is considered formal invitations that include multiple textured pieces of paper with intricate lettering and lattice accents...that won't be cheap. If you're simply looking for a wedding invitation FAQ, you've found it! Starting your wedding invitations seems easy at first, but if you've hit a jam, we are here to help! You can also check out our FREE Ceremony Cheat Sheet! It will help you plan your ceremony using expert wedding planning advice!
So if you're just getting started with wedding planning, this might be a point of confusion for you. Of course, you know that you need to include the date and time of the ceremony, but what else needs to go in there?
Let's talk about the invitation itself first. This is usually going to be the largest piece of your invitation suite and you're going to want to include the host of the event. So that might be parents if they're paying for it or it might be the couple themselves. Include the names of the couple followed by the date and the time of the ceremony as well as the location of the ceremony. And don't forget to include the address on the invitation. You can write it at the bottom, something simple like “the reception to follow”.
I've also seen “dinner and dancing to follow” or some sort of a description of what they should be planning to eat. So if you're serving something like desserts only, this is a good spot to put “light desserts to follow” so people can know what to expect.
Next, let's talk about your information card. AKA your details card, your accommodations card, your directions card, or really anything your guests “need to know” card. What's going to go on here is any information about wedding attire, and the address of your wedding website if you have one. Any information about hotel accommodations, shuttle travel, any directions, or any other information that you think might be important to your guests about your event. Commonly you might find a map on the back of this card if it's needed.
Another card that is sometimes needed is a reception card. You're only going to need this piece if you're having your ceremony and your reception at two separate locations. Include the address of the reception and directions if it's needed. If you want to save on your invitation costs and you are using two different locations, you can also put this information on an information card instead. Do this if you want fewer pieces that you have to pay for when you're ready to print.
Another very, very, very important card is your RSVP card. Make sure any invitation card includes an RSVP by date. Get your RSVP by date by talking with important vendors like caterers. When do they need a final headcount? Give yourself at least one to two weeks before that day and make that your RSVP by date. A little bit of leeway or cushion in case not everybody RSVPs on time is a good thing. You can contact the guests individually and see what the response is going to be about attending your event.
Any type of meal selection, it's usually going to be on your RSVP card. You can do something simple like list three different options and tell them to simply check a box for which one they want. It is smart on your RSVP card if you choose to include some sort of line where you can be notified of the number of RSVPs. If your guest count is tight you can be specific if there is a limit
So for example, if you say "and family" it could include, me, my husband, and my daughter. So if we send in an RSVP card, are we saying that my daughter is going to attend or just myself and my husband? Without a separate line, you're not going to know! It can make a big difference in your headcount and your catering costs. So make sure to include that specific line or information.
Commonly you're also going to want to have some sort of identifier so you’ll know who is "RSVP-ing". Trust me, if you forget this on your RSVP card, it is a grave, grave, grave mistake!
This is why oftentimes you'll see a line for them to put their name in. Sometimes the line might have an “M” at the beginning of it, so it could be mister and misses attending. This will let you know who the response is coming from. A great tip is the use of ghost ink! Invisible ink that lights up under UV light. You can put a little number on the back of any RSVP card in invisible ink. If somebody forgets to write their name in, you can identify them based on the number that you put on the back. You'll have a little bit of forethought required and number your guest lists beforehand. When you're sending out your invitations, the corresponding number on the back of the RSVP card has to go in the correct envelope and to the correct address. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but if some of your guests forget to put their names on their RSVP cards, you’ll be very happy that you did this.
Next, let's talk about your envelopes. You're gonna need two to three envelopes for each invitation suite. The first card is your response envelope. This is the one that is going to accept the RSVP card and it's usually a lot smaller than the other two. For formal invitations, you're going to have inner envelopes as well as outer envelopes.
The outer envelopes are going to be the most formal, so on the outside, it's going to have your return address on the back flap of the envelope as well as the guest's address on the front. Since we're being super fancy and formal, the guest's name should be written out with their full name and with NO abbreviation of cities or states.
On the inner envelope, you can be a little bit less formal and include first names instead of their full names. This is a good opportunity if you're not going to be inviting any children as part of your wedding guest. You should only list the adults' names on the inner envelope. That's a signal that the kids aren't invited.
Now for the response envelope! When they send in their RSVPs, the polite thing to do is to pre-stamp your RSVP envelopes so that way it's easy for them to respond. Knowing how much it takes to mail it back to you is good information to know. Frequently it's more than just the cost of a single stamp. Specifically, when we're talking about postage, the best thing to do is to take your first completed invitation suite to the post office and have the person behind the counter weigh it for you.
This way, they can tell you the exact amount of postage that you're going to want to include on the outer envelope and RSVP envelope. If you underestimate your postage, I hate to tell you, but none of your invitations are going to get to your guests! They’re going to be returned to the sender with no refunds. You’ll then have to pay the correct amount of postage all over again and re-mail them.
Different types of invitation suites are a bit more complicated than others. Some need to be hand sorted through the post office instead of going through the machines. If you find out that your invitation suite needs to be hand-sorted, it's best to know this in the beginning. The feeling you get when all your RSVPs are sitting on your doormat just plain sucks! It's also a good idea to go back with all the completed invitations to the post office and let them know that it has to be hand sorted if that's your preference!
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