The Ultimate Wedding Invitation Guide
The sky is the limit when it comes to your wedding invitations, but where do you even start? What do you include in your invitations? When should you send them out? I know it may seem a little overwhelming, but don't worry. This article will go over everything you need to know when creating your invitation suites, as well as list out some tips and tricks to help you along in the planning process!
What is a Wedding Invitation Suite?
A wedding invitation suite includes all of the stationary included in your invite envelope; such as an RSVP card, menu card, timeline, mailing envelope, postage stamp etc.
When Should You Send out Your Wedding Invites?
Wedding invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks before the big day. Make sure you don't send them out too late, your guests will appreciate having all the wedding info in advance.
When Should I Make My RSVP Deadline?
I recommend having your RSVP deadline be 4-5 weeks before your wedding, that way you have enough time to make any necessary changes such as changing the head count for your caterer. Some people will recommend 2-3 weeks before the wedding, but remember that some of your guests will forget about them and send their rsvp back late.
What Should You Include in Your Invitation Suite?
There is so much that you can add to your invitation suite, but lets start with the basic necessities!
Outer Envelope- This envelope includes your guests address on the front along with postage
Invitation- This will be your initial invitation including who’s getting married, the date, time, along with the name and location of the venue.
RSVP Card- Your rsvp card should include your guests names or an M line for guests to write out their names, check boxes for accepting or declining the invitation, as well as a reply by date.
Postage- Included for when your guests send the rsvp back.
Optional Elements to Include:
Although you can include other elements such as your ceremony programs, escort cards, place cards, table number cards, or menu cards, I don’t think they are necessary though. Mostly because guests forget them at home and don’t bring them to the wedding. However, it's completely up to you! Some guests really like having hard copies of directions to bring with them, even if it's already listed out on your wedding website.
Inner Envelope- An envelope inside the mailing envelope, that holds the invitation and indicates specifically who is and isn’t invited. This is the envelope you will write your guests’ names on and ‘and guest’ if applicable.
RSVP Envelope- If you'd like to make it easier on your guests, you can include an rsvp envelope that is pre-addressed and stamped. This way your guests can quickly respond and drop it back in the mail without any hassle.
Reception Card- If your reception will be held at a different location from your ceremony, you’ll need to include the reception information and clearly indicate it is a separate building from the ceremony.
Directions- Even if the venue isn’t that hard to find, this can be a fun element to add to your invitation suite, especially if your venue has special parking restrictions.
Weekend Events Card- If you have weekend plans for your guests such as a brunch the day after your wedding or an after party, you can include that here. Although you may have this info listed on your wedding website, the events card will specifically invite your guests to these events
Accommodations Card- Having an accommodations card helps your out of town guests know where to stay, along with your hotel room block info. This card can also be used to list shuttle times to and from the venue.
What Should You Include on Your Invitation?
Your invitation should be the biggest card in your invitation suite so that it captures the attention of your guests. This will be your guests formal invitation to your wedding.
Names of the wedding couple
Date & Time of the Ceremony
Ceremony & Reception Location
Wedding Website Address
Tips & Tricks to Creating Your Invites
Don’t overcrowd your wedding invite, use additional cards to list out important information.
Make sure the font is legible.
Add your wedding website URL on the invite or separate piece of paper. Even if you mentioned your website on your save the date, you should still include it in your invitation suite.
If you are having meal choices for your guests, such as chicken or beef, put check boxes on your RSVP cards for people to choose which option they’d like.
The heavier your invitation is, the more postage it will require.
Your guests may forget to write out their names on the RSVP card, so number the back of each RSVP card (I recommend using an invisible ink marker off Amazon) and have that match and correspond with your numbered wedding guest list. That way if you get a blank card back, you can follow up with the number to determine who’s card it is.
Set aside a few of your invitations as keepsakes and to include in your detail photos on your wedding day.
We Don't Want Extra People We Don't Know Coming, How Do We Make it Clear to Our Guests?
Make sure to address your invitations to each guest by name, and not write “and guest”. This will help your guests to understand that only the names listed are the ones invited. Make sure you also include this wording on your wedding website:
Due to space constraints at our venue, we are regrettably unable to extend invitations for additional plus ones. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to celebrating with you!
- Or -
We would love to share our special day with as many people as possible, but due to venue restrictions, we are unable to accommodate plus ones. Thank you for understanding!
How Do We Let Guests Know About Our Dress Code?
The easiest way to get your dress code across is to have it listed in multiple places, such as on your invitation and on your wedding website. When it comes to your wedding invitation, add your dress code wording on the lower right hand corner of your invite or on the reception card. Typical dress code wording would be black tie, cocktail attire, or casual attire.
Where Do I Put the Return Address on My Wedding Invites?
Make sure that the return address should be that of the person who is designated to receive your RSVP cards. Also make sure the RSVP envelope is printed with that persons address and includes postage.
Photo 1: Erin Allsup Photography, Amanda & Aaron's Wedding
Photo 2: Christina Ney, Brooke & Tyler's Wedding
Photo 3 & 4: Banter & Charm
Photo 5: Bethany McNeil, Kelsey & David's Wedding
Photo 6: Christina Joy, Olivia & Boyd's Wedding