The Wedding Invitation Suite: What exactly do you need?
Updated: Aug 18, 2019
Wedding invitations may not be the first thing you think about after your engagement, they certainly weren't on my list of things I wanted to shop for once I was engaged. When it was finally time to go shopping, I was so overwhelmed by all of the options available. Do I need a details card? Is it important to have a directions card? My mom and I eventually left the store because I couldn't make a decision on what I wanted, or even needed for that matter. After doing some research, I finally decided exactly what I needed to send to my guests to make sure they had all of the information they needed for our wedding day.
I know how overwhelming it can be to decide what pieces you need to order for your wedding invitations, so I'm hoping the guide below will help you! Let's discuss the different options available for your wedding suite first, so you know the options that you have. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list, many people include a variety of things within their invitation suite. For the purposes of this guide, I want to cover the standard options so you have a sense of what most couples typically order.
Invitation: The wedding invitation is the official request for your guests to attend your wedding. It can be as formal or as casual as you would like, but should include the bride and grooms name, date and time of the wedding, and the location.
Response Card or RSVP Card: The response card, or RSVP card, provides your guests a way to let you know if they will attend the wedding or not. For the response card, you can have guests mail it back to you, or provide your wedding website information for them to RSVP online. If you are having a sit-down dinner, and there are different choices for their meal, this is a great place for you to provide these options and let your guests choose which selection they would like. I’ve also seen couples add a line for music requests for the reception. Whatever responses, or information, you need from your guests prior to the big day should appear on the response card.
Details Card: The details card can have multiple uses. Based on my experience, I have seen the details card mainly used for accommodation information, such as a hotel room block, nearby hotels, directions, and their wedding website. Please do not feel as if this is what you must do. Every wedding is different, and you may need to include other information on the details card, The sky is the limit, so whatever you feel your guests will need to know for your big day, this is the place to put it.
Additional inserts: If you are have a welcome cocktail reception the day before the wedding, or a celebratory brunch the next day, additional inserts can be added to provide your guests the information they need. I've also seen couples add in a hand illustrated map of the city the wedding will be held in, which adds a bit more of a personal touch to the invitation suite.
You may be thinking, this all sounds great, but how do I know what to choose for my wedding?! There are a few different factors to keep in mind:
Know Your Budget: Believe it or not, your budget will play into what you'll want to include in your invitation suite. Most wedding invitations are a bit more costly than many would think due to the amount of time it takes for designing, printing quality, and assembly. Keep this in mind when deciding what or what not to include. For example, if you have any unlimited budget, feel free to go all out with the invitation, RSVP card, details card, hand illustrated map, and a separate directions card. If your budget is limited, keep it simple with a wedding invitation and RSVP card.
Keep Your Guests in Mind: In my experience, it is best to provide as much information as possible for your guests within your invitation suite. Even though many things are done online, and wedding websites are extremely common, many of your guests will forget to visit the website on or before your big day. Providing all of the information on your wedding website is a great idea, but if there are specific things your guests will need to know, my suggestion is to include a details card with this information. For example, I created a custom wedding invitation suite this past year where the wedding venue was at an estate up in the hills, and the bride and groom didn't want their guests to have to drive up the windy roads. They scheduled a shuttle service at a nearby hotel, which was available to all guests of the wedding. We decided to include this information on the details card because if it was only on their wedding website, many of their guests would have had no idea this was being offered. If you have something pertaining to your wedding day that your guests absolutely need to know, it is best to add a details card to your wedding suite.
Online RSVP: If you are on a limited budget, the online RSVP option is the way to go. First, it saves you costs on the return envelopes and stamps needed for your guests to mail their responses back to you. Secondly, the RSVP card can also serve as a details card as well. For example, you could word your online RSVP card like this: "Kindly reply by the twentieth of November using our wedding website: www.laurenandbryanswedding.com. For accommodation information, directions and registry information, please also visit our wedding website". In doing this, you only have one card to be designed and printed, and you will save yourself some money. Please note, as I stated in #2 above, if there is something crucial that your guests need to know about your wedding day, please include it in writing within your invitation suite.
Additional inserts: If you have flexibility within your budget, and you have a lot of details your guests need to know, this is something I would consider. For example, if your wedding venue is off the beaten path, and you're worried that your guests will get lost, it would be best to include a directions card. If you're having a destination wedding, you can include local information your guests may want to know, such as tourist spots and restaurants in the area. These are just a few suggestions, feel free to be as creative as you would like with these!
I hope this is helpful for you, and if you have any questions on what you should, or should not include, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy wedding planning!