You’ve been busy planning your wedding and now it looks like you have everything in order. You booked the venue, chose the theme, even went through the daunting task of creating a guest list. Now, all you have to do is make the invitations and send them out - can’t be that hard, right?
Though you’ve made invitations in the past, the last one you made was for your sixteenth birthday. Not saying they were bad, but, you know, wedding invitations are a little bit different. So, if you’re not sure what you need to include in your wedding invitation, don’t worry. We’re going to show you what every wedding invitation should have. That way, your guests are given all the information they need and now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the RSVPs to come rolling in.
#1 // The Details aka. Reception card
The reception card is the meat of the invitation, it’s going to include all important information that your guests need to know about the wedding. Essentially, it’s going to include the who, what, where and when of your wedding. If your wedding reception is in a different place than your ceremony, make sure to list that too!
#2 // A Directions Card
Of course, most of us have no problem using Google Maps, but, you shouldn’t rely on Google Maps giving out proper directions. Instead, having a directions card will ensure that people know how to get to your wedding and reception.
On the card, include a list of directions to the venue with the address. In addition, you should include your wedding website address as well, if you have one.
#3 // RSVP card
This is your RSVP card, the one that you’re actually going to receive back. Of course, there are going to be people that forget to RSVP, but by having a properly-labeled RSVP card, you’ll know exactly who hasn’t responded yet. On the RSVP card, they’re going to tick off whether they’re coming or not and how many people are coming. Don’t forget to include a self-addressed and stamped envelope. On the RSVP card, you can also ask whether guests have specific dietary restrictions such as nut allergies. Don’t forget to include the deadline to RSVP.
Here’s a tip: To cut out any confusion, clearly write the names of who is invited on the RSVP card. There’s nothing worse than having the husband & wife from that family on your guest list and receiving an RSVP with for six people! Yikes.
Read this next! // The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Wedding Guest List Under Control
We Talked About This! // Listen to Ep. 004 of our Brides on the Go Podcast
#4 // Accommodation card
This card will only be included in invitations where guests will be coming from out of town. You’ll want to make a deadline for them to RSVP by, that way, you have enough time to reserve accommodation for guests. Make sure to give them enough time in advance.
#5 // Dress code
Of course, not every wedding is going to require a dress code, so, you may not need to specify. However, it’s a good idea to let people know the type of attire that’s expected, that way they know what to wear. This information will be on the reception card. Typical wedding attire is either black tie, formal, semi-formal, cocktail attire, beach/garden party attire and casual. This usually makes people less anxious when they know the type of wedding you’re having, and they can plan accordingly.
#6 // Your wedding website
More and more couples are making wedding websites for their big day. It’s an easy way to keep in contact with your guests while you’re planning your wedding. All the information that’s included on your invitations should also be on your website. Plus, you can build in online RSVP features. Of course, we recommend you still send out a physical RSVP card, because not everyone is on board with online communication as you are, and with physical RSVP cards, people tend to think those through more seriously. (Face it: when was the last time you replied “Accept” to that office happy hour you knew you would probably not go to?)
Here’s a tip: if you’re already getting worried about the number of cards in this blog post, simply put “for directions, activities, and accommodation details, please check out our wedding website at www.weddingwebsitehere.com” This will help you have one place where you can update information and everyone can have access to. Having a wedding website is also great because if something changes, like a location or where to park, for example, it can easily be edited on your site versus having to buy new cards and the postage to send those out to replace the old ones.
#7 // Pre-wedding event information
If you’re going to be having any events prior to the wedding such as a dress rehearsal, it’s important to include that information in the invitation. Though, this will only be sent out to your wedding party and immediate family. But, nevertheless, all pre-wedding events should be outlined.
How We Did It // Our founder, Natalie Edwards, chose to have a day-after wedding brunch for all the guests who traveled from out of state. She printed a separate invite card detailing the “traveler’s brunch” and included it in all of the envelopes headed out of state.
#8 // Your Wedding Registry
How else are they going to know what to buy you? Though many people will give you money as a gift, there are still many others that enjoy bringing a physical gift to the wedding or purchasing something they know you picked out.
You need to inform your guests on the gift giving etiquette you’ll be adopting for your wedding. Of course, you don’t want to make it sound like that have to give you something, however, if you prefer to receive gifts, list your registry and links to an online gift list. If you’re wondering what to say, “John & Alexa are registered at Target and Macy’s” is perfectly appropriate.
#9 // Transportation information
If your guests will need to drive between your ceremony and reception, include this on a separate card and/or put it on your website. Include details like where they can park -- there’s a big difference between having a parking lot available and expecting everyone to compete for those three available street parking spots. (We don’t want anyone to get towed while on the dance floor!) If you’re going to be providing shuttles or Uber’s, make sure that is included as well.
#10 // Outer envelope
Your outer envelope is going to be the first thing they see when they open their mailbox. Make sure it has their name on it but also your name on it as well. You don’t need to write all that information out yourself, you can easily get return address stickers, a stamp, or hire a calligrapher to help you with the addresses. Oh, and invest in an envelope moistener, it’ll save you hours of licking :)
It may look like a lot of information to include in an invitation, but the more information the better. You want you guest to feel like they’re well-taken care of and have the feeling that your wedding will be magical. Include this information in your invitation and you’ll eliminate the need for your guests asking you the same questions over and over again. If your guests don’t RSVP on time, send them a simple email reminder or give them a phone call - it’s normal for people to forget, don’t take it personally. Start sending those invitations out!
Natasha Ivanovic is a writer at Broomstick! Other than her love of writing, she loves reading, getting lost in nature and drinking a good cappuccino (it's not as easy to find as it sounds). She recently finished her post-graduate degree in forensic psychology but decided to stick with writing as her imagination always seems to get the best of her. Apply to be a Broomstick contributing writer here.