Blog by: Teaira Abston of Dreamcatcher Stationery
The saying is so true…”When you love what you do, it is NOT work!” I absolutely love what I do. I enjoy serving my clients by designing amazing stationery for their weddings and special events. I also really love educating my clients on the nuances and small details of quality wedding stationery so that they are as informed as possible when making decisions that can
ultimately affect their budgets. Unless you are a wedding professional, you may find formal terms such as “wedding invitation suite” confusing. You may LOVE those scroll stopping images on Instagram and Pinterest of wedding invitations accompanied with other small cards but, you wonder what the other cards are and if they are even necessary to have.
Short answer, “YES! They are all necessary!”
Not just for esthetics (although, who doesn’t love a full invitation suite complete with embellishments) but also because each one of those cards contains important information and details about your wedding that your guests need to know. Your wedding invitation suite is the full set of stationery that you will send to your guests informing them of your wedding day details. It is composed of the invitation card, the details card, the response/RSVP card, and envelopes. In this post, I am breaking down the full suite and sharing my recommendations for customizing each component.
Keep reading to learn more about each of these components and WHY they are all important.
The Invitation Card
You’ve shared the excitement of your engagement, and maybe even mailed out save-the-dates but, now it’s time to make it official. The purpose of the invitation card is to officially invite your friends and family to celebrate with you as you and your fiance join hands in heavenly matrimony.
Here’s what’s included:
● Who’s hosting (Couple, Family, Parents etc)
● The request to come
● The couple’s names
● The date and time of the wedding
● The location of the ceremony (and reception, if in a separate location)
● Optional: dress code and a brief line about the reception following
The actual wording of your invitation will vary based on a few things:
● Formality of the wedding. Where will you be tying the knot? The language style of your invitation may be different if you are planning a chapel wedding ceremony after 5:00 p.m. followed by a black tie reception compared to a more casual ceremony on the beach.
● The couple’s personality. Do your friends and family know you to be a couple that is very down-to-earth and just loves to have fun? If so, you might choose language that is more casual to reflect your personality.
● The couple’s religious beliefs. If you and your fiance are tied closely to your religious backgrounds, you may have to follow specific guidelines to announcing your wedding and inviting guests to celebrate with you.
The Details Card
Are you planning an entire weekend of celebratory events leading up to your wedding day? Perhaps you are expecting a huge number of out-of-town guests, and you want to provide them with additional information about lodging and transportation. The details card is the place for these details. It’s sole purpose is to share additional pertinent information about your wedding with your guests.
Here’s what might be included:
● Travel information, such as the names of the closest airports
● Hotel accommodations; especially special instructions for room blocks for host hotels
● Transportation information to and from host hotel to ceremony venue
● Dress code (casual, semi-formal, black tie, etc.)
● Information and details for other festivities, such as a welcome party, post wedding brunch, etc.
● Directions to the venue, or special notes about accessing the venue (must have id, contact names to provide venue attendees, parking accommodations, etc.)
● Wedding website for guests to get more information and possibly rsvp
● Child care arrangements
The Response/RSVP Card
Now that you have provided your guests with all of the details about your wedding, you need to know if they will be joining you. I consider this to be one of the most important components of your invitation suite. An invitee who is unavailable to attend may either make room for an invitee on your “overflow list”, or might even mean one or two less plates at the reception (…and more money in your pocket). The purpose of the RSVP card is to provide guests with a means to respond whether or not they will be able to attend in a timely fashion.
Here’s what should be included:
● The date by which you need the response (don’t forget to add in cushion just in case)
● A line for guests to write in their names
● Entree options if you’re having a plated dinner served
● Optional: Dietary restrictions; rsvp lines to other wedding festivities, etc.
Envelopes (Mailing and Response)
Your wedding invitation suite just wouldn’t be cohesive with random plain envelopes. The envelopes included in your suite match your wedding color palette and will protect your beautiful invitation suite. You will receive a mailing envelope and a rsvp envelope for guests to send back
the response/rsvp cards.
Here are some recommendations for your envelopes:
● Provide the guest addressing directly on the envelope via printing (digital, letterpress, etc.) OR use a calligrapher. Save those Avery labels for another occasion!
● Select wedding centric or themed stamps to accompany your mailing envelopes
○ Curate with vintage stamps (include Etsy store reco’s)
○ Order custom made stamps with your monogram or picture from Minted
○ Order wedding stamps from USPS and have them shipped directly to your house to save you the hassle
● Include a stamp with the response/rsvp envelope as a courtesy. This might also encourage timely responses.
Additional Features/Add Ons
If you love over-the-top and extra pretty like me, spruce up your wedding invitation suite and make it special by adding additional details.
Recommendations include but are not limited to:
● Ribbon (silk, satin, velvet, etc.)
● Pocketfold (diff orientations: landscape/portrait, lasercut, etc.)
● Wax Seal (can be included to hold everything together with ribbon/twine, vellum or go outside the mailing envelope; include symbols, couple’s monogram, etc.)
*Read more of my suggestions for customizing your invitation suite in my previous blog post 10 Best Embellishment to Jazz Up Your Wedding Invitations.
See, now at first sight, it may seem like a lot but, each component really does serve an important purpose. Ultimately, it is all about effectively communicating with your friends and family. You are giving them all they need to know in order to determine if they will be able to celebrate with you. I hope this helps you to make more informed decisions when it comes to the design of your wedding invitation suite.