Today’s invitations include much more than the time, date and place of your wedding ceremony and reception. They include several other pieces of information that will help you determine the number of guests who can attend, maps to help guests find their way, what meal option your guests prefer and even rain cards for an outdoor wedding’s alternate location in case of bad weather.

Include as much or as little as needed, depending on your wedding style and the complexity of your event. We’ve broken it down for you, piece by piece.

Save the date cards

If you have several out-of-town guests, are getting married during a busy time of year or are having a destination wedding, it’s a good idea to send save the date cards six months to one year before your wedding so everyone gets it on their calendars.

 

The invitation itself

Wording – There are many options here depending on who is actually “sponsoring” the wedding, the formality of your wedding, your overall theme and location, and much more.  In addition to the basics, (your names, your parents’ names, time, date, place, etc.), you can also note other details on the invitation itself, such as:

Dress code (i.e. black tie)

Reception to follow (if it’s held in the same location as the ceremony)

 

Response card

Most couples opt to include some type of response card to determine how many guests to expect. Some cards may also ask guests to select their preferred entrée. Make sure you add postage to the pre-addressed response postcard or envelope so it’s easy for guests to pop them in the mail. Depending on your wedding style and number of guests, you may also give guests the option to RSVP online via your wedding Web site or by simply sending you an e-mail.

 Wedding Invitations

Reception card

If your reception is being held at a location separate from your ceremony, include cards that provide information specific to this part of your big day. They should include the time and location of the reception, and may also include other details such as whether or not cocktails will be served, a dance will follow, etc.

 

Maps

When you include a map and directions with the invitation, make sure the information is clear, concise and accurate. Some locations will supply maps for you. If not, order them with your invitations or create them yourself using online map tools. Also, remember many drivers use GPS to navigate, so be sure to include actual addresses of your locations.

 

Outer envelope:

It’s proper to write out all information and avoid abbreviations. For example, spell out the full name of the state, rather than the two letter abbreviation.

 

Inside envelope

Hand write the names of all guests invited, including children if they are invited, so it’s clear who should/shouldn’t attend. For invitations to single guests, simply add “and Guest” if you wish to give them the option of bringing a date.

 

Tissue

Once needed to prevent the ink from smudging, today tissue is purely optional, decorative and for those who want to adhere to tradition.