wedding details

You're invited to a weddingThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Aside from including the “who, when, and where”, there is so much flexibility in what to include or omit from your invitations. Every wedding is different and calls for different information and different levels of formality. Regardless, you’re creating a keepsake and an heirloom that will get your guests excited about this most special day in your life, and set the tone for your event.  Keep these 10 ideas in mind when planning your invitations!

10 Types Of Information To Include In Your Wedding Invitations

Polka dot invitations

#1.  Names

While it seems quite obvious to include you and your fiancé(e). names on your own wedding invitations, there’s a little more to it than just saying who is getting married. It’s also a good idea to include the names of those hosting the wedding, whether that be parents or parent of either or both partners. Lots of families won’t fit into the traditional mould where the married parents of the bride host the wedding. You may wish to list the host or hosts by their full name with the appropriate title of “Ms.”, “Mrs.”, “Dr.” or “Mr.”

Styling

#2.   Date and Time of Wedding

After the names of the couple and their hosts, the date and time of the wedding should come next. Don’t make guests search for this information as it is very important that they know when festivities are happening! Be sure to include the year since weddings are often planned well in advance. 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.

Modern wedding invitations smaller

#3.   Venue

Whether you are having a destination wedding or a backyard wedding, your guests need to know where to show up on the day of. List the name of the venue, the city, and state. It may seem obvious, but it will be helpful for your long-distance guests! Zip codes are typically left off of an invitation.

Gatsby wedding invitations

#4.   Attire

You may wish to let your guests 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, from most formal to least formal are: Black Tie, Formal (black tie optional), Semi-Formal, Cocktail Attire, Beach or Garden Party Attire, and Casual.

Custom wedding

#5.  A Way to Reply

Couples 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. Today, some couples may choose to forgo the mailed reply card, and instead share an email address or website for guests to reply online. Either way, include a specific date to reply by (usually one month before the ceremony). If the caterer requires it, you should also include menu options, so guests may initial their entree choice and inform you of any special dietary restrictions. If you are concerned about uninvited guests, you can include wording such as “we have reserved ____ seats in your honor,” to be filled in by you individually for each invitation, or a simple “number attending: ___” line for clarity.

Floral wedding invitations

#6.  Reception Details

Typically, the invitation itself focuses of the wedding ceremony. The reception can be a beast all its own with lots of information: perhaps a different location, time, and more. An included reception card 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.

Website card

#7.   Wedding Website

Many couples choose to create wedding websites to serve as a one-stop-shop for their guests. 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). Registry information is best kept online, rather than on a printed card.

Destination wedding invitation

#8.   Directions / Maps

In today’s world, it seems anyone can get anywhere with a cell phone GPS. 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.

Wedding detail card

#9.   Accommodation & Transportation Details

There’s a good chance people will be traveling for your wedding. It is a great idea to make accommodations easy for your out-of-town guests by reserving a block of rooms at a nearby hotel under your names; chances are the hotel will even offer a discounted group rate to your guests. This 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.

Welcome party invitations

#10.  Details for Rehearsal Dinners, Welcome Parties, Brunches, and More

Many couples wish to communicate details about before or after-wedding gatherings 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.

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 will ensure that your guests feel informed and excited.

Bio: Hello Tenfold is a stationery design studio dedicated to infusing style and personality into your wedding invitations. Founder and designer Ellie Snow combines her love for art, design, history, and paper to create life-long keepsakes at a variety of price points, from digital files to flat printed, letterpress, and foil stamped invitations. Ellie works closely with brides and grooms to create custom or semi-custom paper goods that match the style and personality of their event, and strives to make each customer feel like her most important.

Thanks to Lissa Gotwals, L’Amour Foto, Taken By Sarah, and Estudio Rojo for the photos used in this post.

 

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

When thinking of standing out in a sea of similar weddings, look no further. We’ve surely got you covered with the top 10 “ways to wow” wedding details, guaranteed to knock the socks off your guests.

Festive cocktails

Arrival Cocktails

I know it sounds silly, but presenting guests who arrive at the venue with an infused water beverage (think spa water), a mimosa (for brunch style weddings), a champagne (for evening weddings), or a nice glass of sparkling cider is sure to be a hit. As guests arrive via valet, or walking into the venue, a greeting with a butler-passed cocktail makes your guests feel special, and gets them in the mood for a relaxed ceremony.

Beverage “Station” Bars

While on the topic of cocktails, why not “wow” your guests with something different than the standard open bar.  These beverage bar ideas are starting to become trendy for weddings and bridal showers alike.  They can include alcohol or an option for those who would rather stick to a non-alcoholic beverage.  Below are our top 10 ideas!

  • Mimosa Bar
  • Bourbon Bar
  • Craft Beer Bar
  • Bloody Mary Bar
  • Sangria/Prosecco Bar
  • Lemonade Bar
  • Iced Tea Bar
  • Infused Water Bar
  • Juice Bar
  • Hot Cocoa Bar

Midnight Snacks

Surprise your guests with a midnight snack or “aftertizer.”  Here are some great ideas for options, sweet and savory!

  • Food trucks
  • Donuts in a bag
  • Mini sliders, pizzas, grilled cheese points, hot dogs and fry shooters
  • Cookies and milk
  • Pancakes and syrup
  • Popcorn
  • Chicken and waffle bites

Trolley for wedding transport

Fun Transportation

Offer your guest some local fun transportation in style. Trolleys, electronic carts, charter boats, buses, horse and carriage.  The options are endless! Keep them on their toes, and arriving on time and in fashion.

 Social-ize

Bring your social media to life, and invite your guests in to take photos and capture fun memories from their eyes. Place your social media hashtag at fun spots like the bar, the candy buffet, the DJ booth, the gift or guestbook table. You can even have your band or DJ announce it in the opening announcements. Always fun to spend your honeymoon looking through all the fun photos that your family and friends took.

Hashtag photos

 To-go parting gifts

Instead of a typical inexpensive wedding favor like a bell or a glass coaster, why not send your guests away with a fun, memorable treat like a mini emergency or hangover kit?  Here are some ideas to place inside of them:

  •      Visine
  •      Mini bottles of Advil
  •      Airborne packets
  •      Emergen-C packets
  •      Band aids
  •      Bloody mary mix
  •      Small vodka bottle
  •      Personalized sunglasses
  •      Hangover pills
  •      Ginger ale
  •      Tums
  •      Gatorade
  •      Pepto Bismol
  •      Protein Bars

Hire a babysitter/host games for the kids

Hire a few babysitters based on your guest count of those with children. Utilize a room close to the reception space so that parents can pop in on their children often throughout the long evening. Make sure you have a cute basket of snacks, a few fun DVD’s or portable DVD player, some board games, and crafts. If you have an outdoor space, you can even host a fun relay of games for the kids (tiring them out), and then have a back-up room for them to relax. Parents will love you!

Secret singers/musician

Have you ever been to a ceremony where random secret musicians or singers popped up in the crowd of guests and sang to the bride and groom and awed the people? This is an ideal surprise for large weddings.  Think of the movie Love Actually–having a group of musicians/singers serenade you and your new spouse to the tune of your most favorite songs. You can even have them seated in the reception as guests and secretly have them pop up during a silent time, possibly during first or main course and croon for your crowd. What a memorable small secret suggestion that will be spoken about for years to come!

Surprise musicians

Setup reception with pre-planned necessities

Rain forecasted? Have umbrellas ready on site. Forecasted swell of heat? Have fans and parasols ready. Forecasted freezing temps? Have pashminas ready. Always prepare early, and wow your guests with items already thought of to ease their minds, and make you the superstar couple. Here are some great details guaranteed to impress:

  • Bug wipes
  • Sunscreen bottles
  • Restroom emergency kits
  • Flip flops for the dancefloor
  • Slippers upon exiting
  • Tissue packets for ceremony
  • Mini water bottles for warm ceremony locations

Simply Couture Weddings is an award-winning boutique event planning firm located in Palm Beach, Florida, that specializes in the art of detail. Their premium featured work has been published in many publications and online blogs, including the popular Style Me Pretty blog, Munaluchi Bride, and Trendy Bride magazines, and Grace Ormonde Wedding Style. They have been awarded for The Knot’s Best Of Weddings in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Their genuine devotion for their clients is something that sets them apart in the overwhelming wedding industry. See their work at www.simplycoutureweddings.com.

Cover photo Copyright: khunaspix / 123RF Stock Photo

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