This 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
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.
#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.
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.
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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.