Aside from “how much is this going to cost me?” the second most commonly asked question is, “What exactly do I need to include?” My answer is always the same — you likely know that you’ll need an invitation and a reply card, and an envelope for each. Beyond that, the enclosures you need are determined by the type of wedding that you’re having. Is your ceremony and reception at the same place? How many out of town guests are you having? Does it make sense to include an accommodations card? It’s part of my job to steer you in the right direction, so today, let’s chat about these details and how we determine what we include in an invitation suite!
SAVE THE DATES
Your save the dates are your first official announcement to your frends and family that you’re getting married! Your announcements should include your names, wedding date, location and if you have one, your wedding website. You’ll also want to a short and sweet line that says, “formal invitation to follow”. It’s proper etiquette to let guests know that you’ll be sending them an invitation!
SAVE THE DATE ENVELOPES
If you aren’t sending a postcard, you’ll need an envelope to send your save the dates! The majority of our couples like to keep these clean and simple, but feel free to add calligraphy, wax seals or custom postage!
Without a doubt, you’ll need to include an invitation. It’s the first thing your guests will see, and it sets the tone for your entire soiree! While there are so many wording options to consider (and we’ll go over those later!), you’ll definitely want to include your names, wedding date, time, and location. We’ll also include your reception location if it’s different than your ceremony location, and your wedding attire if you’re hosting a black tie wedding.
These cards are, in my opinion, the second most important part of your suite! How else are you going to get a head count?! Reply cards are usually the smallest pieces in your suite, but can be the most fun to design. These are the cards that your guests will fill out and send back to you, letting you know whether or not they can make it to your wedding. It’s also where you’ll include meal choices if you’re having a plated dinner.
Some of our brides and grooms love to include interactive details on their reply cards, like, “We’ll dance if you play ___________”. It’s such a fun way to get guests excited about hitting your dance floor, and gives you great ideas for a play list!
More often than not, you’ll want an enclosure card. All of my brides have included them! Enclosure cards serve many purposes: you can use them as accommodation cards to list hotel information, as reception cards if your ceremony and reception venue are in two different places or as a map/directions card. Some of my brides even use them as a simple website can to direct guests to find more details on their wedding website. Info cards can have elaborate information on them, too, if you’re having a wedding weekend and are hosting multiple events throughout the weekend.
Depending on your budget and preferences, we have lots of creative solutions. There are times we use multiple enclosure cards, but we also can print on both sides of the cards as well! Consider using a larger enclosure card, and including your accommodations and reception information on a single side, too!
Your invitation suite will need at least two envelopes — your invitation envelope and your response card envelope. Your response card envelope should have your address (or the address of the person collecting your reply cards, like your parents or your wedding planner) along with postage already on it for easy mailing. Yes, that’s right, you’ll want to apply postage to your response cards! Your invitation envelope will include your return address on the back flap with your guest addresses either printed or calligraphed on the front.
Feeling fancy? We can include inner and outer envelopes, envelope liners and custom postage to match your wedding invitation design. Outer envelope include the household name and address, while the inner envelope includes the name of each individual guest invited. While it’s a super traditional and formal option, many of my classic brides are choosing this tradition!
Envelope liners are a gorgeous way to add extra color and shine to your envelopes, and custom postage is one of my favorite ways to reiterate your design aesthetic throughout the ensemble. Vintage stamps can make a tremendous impact, too.
If you want your invitations to be delivered, you’ll want to add postage stamps to your invitation envelope, and as a courtesy, to your response card envelope.
We suggest taking a fully assembled suite to the post office to have weighed. Embellishments like wax seals and ribbon will increase the weight and size of your envelopes, and will impact the amount of postage required to mail your invitations. Your reply envelopes will only require a first class stamp.
Envelope liners are a gorgeous way to add extra color and shine to your envelope! They’re our most common add-on for brides. While they’re certainly not necessary, they certainly help finish the look of your suite and help add an extra layer of protection for your invitations too!
We use belly bands to wrap around your invitation suite and hold all the pieces together. You’ll often see these paired with a 2″ square monogram tag, or sometimes we will print your names or crest directly on to the belly band itself. These are a great alternative to ribbon if you’re designing a modern modern suite!
Ribbon is a softer, more delicate way to hold together your invitation suite. Whether you’re using belly bands or ribbon, I always recommend adding them on to literally tie together the look of your wedding suite if you have more than one enclosure card! Silk ribbon is my favorite to use, and we carry a huge selection of colors and widths in stock.
Wax seals are easily becoming my favorite embellishment to design and incorporate into stationery! Wax seals can be custom designed to include your monogram, wedding crest, names, or any unique design. They come in a huge selection of colors, and are most commonly used to seal your envelopes closed but can always be used on the inside of your suite on top of your ribbon. We’ve always used them on day of stationery goods, on escort cards and menus.
GUEST ADDRESS PRINTING OR CALLIGRAPHY
We love to brand from top to bottom, and that means we start with your envelopes. We offer guest addressing, to help save you time and so your envelopes can be cohesive with the rest of your suite! We can always incorporate fun motifs like florals on your envelopes as well. If you’d like to work with a calligrapher, we have an amazing one that we work with who many of our brides have worked with!