10 Things You Should Include in your Wedding Invitations
We know it sounds obvious but aside from including the “who, when, and where”, there are so many things that you could include or omit from your invitations. Each wedding is unique to you and as such calls for different information and different levels of formality. The big thing to note is that you’re creating a keepsake and heirloom that will get your guests excited about this most special day in your life They also set the tone for your event.
#1. Important Names
Yes, we know you will be including you and your fiancé’s names on your invitations, but you should know, there’s a little more to it than just saying who is getting married. You should also include the names of those hosting the wedding, like parents or parent of either or both partners. We recommend listing the host or hosts by their full name with the appropriate title of “Ms.”, “Mrs.”, “Dr.” or “Mr.”
#2. Time and Date of Your Wedding
Right after you list your name and host name you need to include the date and time of the wedding. There is nothing worse than making your guests search for this information. Especially since it is very important that they know when festivities are happening!
Expert Tip: Be sure to include the year since weddings are often planned well in advance and be sure to include “in the morning/afternoon/evening” (or am/pm) in your time just to be clear that you aren’t having a garden wedding at midnight.
#3. Venue Information
It doesn’t matter if you are having a destination wedding or a backyard wedding, your guests need to know where to show up on the day of. Put the Official name of the venue, the city, and state. Many of your guests will need to find directions on google and this makes it soo much easier to input it on map finder programs. Zip codes are typically left off of an invitation.
#4. Attire or What to Wear
Guests prefer to know what level of formality your wedding will be so they will know what is appropriate to wear. This information can go on a general detail card, or at the bottom of your wedding invitation.
The typical categories of attire are: Black Tie (the most formal), Formal (black tie optional), Semi-Formal, Cocktail Attire, Beach or Garden Party Attire, and Casual.
#5. A Way to Reply
You really should include a reply card and pre-addressed, stamped envelope for their guests to indicate whether they will be attending. You can keep the yes/no wording traditional, casual, or even humorous. If you prefer to save on some stamps you may forgo the mailed reply card, and instead share an email address or website for guests to reply online. No matter which way you choose, you need to include a specific date to reply by (usually one to two months before the ceremony). Sometimes caterers requires that they know which dish or menu item each guest wants before the wedding. So be sure to include a menu or entree choice and leave a place for any special dietary restrictions.
Pro Tip: If you are concerned about uninvited guests, you can include a line such as “we have reserved ____ seats in your honor,” that you fill in individually for each invitation, or include a simple “number attending: ___” line for clarity.
#6. Reception Details
Receptions can be a beast all its own with lots of information: perhaps a different location, time, and more. If that’s the case you may need to include a separate reception card that addresses such information without crowding the invitation itself. If your reception is at the same venue as your ceremony, you may wish to include a line such as “dinner and dancing to follow” at the bottom of the main invitation.
#7. Wedding Website
In today’s age, it’s so easy to create your very own wedding websites to serve as a one-stop-shop for your guests. Many wedding planners will actually create them for you. While an invitations are still a necessary formality and beautiful keepsake, they can only give so much information without appearing cluttered. Listing your wedding website within the invitation suite opens the digital door for so much more. Couples can include information about their love story and the proposal, add a gallery of photos, links to gift registries, information about accommodations and things to do, an itinerary if the wedding is a multi-day event, online RSVP, and so much more. With that said, you may decide to include a separate website card versus listing your website on the invitation itself (if you’d like to keep your invitations clean of a potentially long url).
Pro Tip: Registry information is best kept online, rather than on a printed card.
#8. Directions or Maps
GPS has totally changed the world as we know it today. It may seem outdated or unnecessary to include a map or directions to your venue, but it is courteous and a nice keepsake! A custom wedding map can include landmarks in addition to hotels and wedding venues.
#9. Accommodation & Transportation Details
If people you invited will be traveling to your wedding from out of town, it is a great idea to make accommodations easy for your out-of-town guests. We recommend reserving a block of rooms at a nearby hotel under your name; chances are the hotel will even offer a discounted group rate to your guests. Wedding planners are great at securing discounts on rooms for you. Having accommodations is especially useful for extended family and friends who will want to spend time together outside of the wedding. Transportation details are usually included along with accommodation information. You can provide guests with information about where to park, public transportation, and/or available shuttles and shuttle times.
#10. Details for Rehearsal Dinners, Welcome Parties, Brunches, and More
Planning after wedding gatherings or before the day events? You may want to communicate the details about these without having a separate mailing for each event. Maybe you want to share rehearsal dinner information with some guests, welcome party information for out of town guests, or invite all of your guests to a farewell brunch. These cards are typically smaller than the invitation itself, and can be worded more informally if you choose.
No matter if you use these tips or not, your save the dates and wedding invitations set the tone for your wedding, and also help guests plan for your big day! Working directly with a wedding stationery professional or wedding planner will ensure that your guests feel informed and excited.