Anatomy of an Invitation Suite
When working with brides on their invitations, I get to a of questions as to what information goes where, what verbiage to use, and more. Quite honestly, there are TONS of ways to do this and tons of other blogs and opinions about it as well. But what I've found over time is that it comes down to a personal preference and depends on the bride's style. And while I try to help and add input as best as I can, I also try to encourage the bride to do what she is most comfortable with and what best fits her style of wedding.
The most important thing is to make sure you guests have all the information they need for your big day, whether that be through your invitation or wedding website. When my brides ask questions about what information goes where, I always try to think of the guest and how they could best use the information or what I think they are most likely to remember to take with them to the ceremony/reception, if not the entire suite. So today's blog I'm going to talk about some suggestions as to where to put information throughout your invitation suite.
So let's start with the basics: the outer envelope.
The Outer Envelope houses the guests name (s), guests address, and a return address. The return address can go either in the upper left hand corner or on the back flap.
For practices on how to address envelopes, how to address it if they are allowed to bring a guest, proper names, and inner vs. outer envelopes, check out The Knot's article: How to Address Wedding Invitations. (They do a better job of explaining and showing what to do than I could!)
This is an outer envelope with an envelope liner (shown here in gold). This envelope flap shown is called the 'Euro Flap' but another popular one is the straight edge.
Envelope liners come in tons of colors and designs and can even be customized to match your invitation!
Inside, the outer envelope comes either an inner envelope, a pocket envelope or both. Most people tend to do one or the other, but the pocket envelope is designed to fit into an inner envelope if needed. The pocket envelope makes invitations slightly smaller (6.5 x 4.5) than a regular invitation (5 x 7). Shown below is a pocket envelope.
The image above is an opened pocket envelope sitting with an outer envelope with a gold liner. To the right is a folded pocket envelope secured in a belly band with a monogram.
The pocket envelope organizes and houses the pieces of an invitation suite. The invitation can be mounted by itself or with a thicker paper in the center, and the additional pieces such as the RSVP, Information Card, Map Card, or Timeline Card go in the pocket. They also make these in horizontal.
If you choose to forego the pocket envelope, these pieces can be held together in a different way such as ribbon, lace, or twine.
Belly bands are a great way to secure either a pocket envelope or just a few pieces of the invitation suite together. You can get them in all colors, mounted (as seen in the middle one with Allison & Jason), and with a monogram of your choice.
- Invitation wording is very personal and sets the tone for the wedding (formal, informal, casual, etc.)
- It shows who is presenting this couple for marriage (parents, family, the couple themselves).
- (Obviously) it should include the names of both the bride and groom.
- Date and time
- Ceremony information, including an address
- Reception information can be here if it is different from the ceremony
- Reply By Date
- Means of response | website vs. mail
- What they are attending | Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding, Reception, Day-After Brunch, etc. This one is very useful for smaller & destination weddings where all guests are invited to all events. Shown in the bottom image up close.
- Menu Choices
- Other pertinent information that the bride or groom might need for the day of (if the guests are utilizing the bus or other transportation; if you need contact information)
Information and/or Accommodations Card Inclusions
- Wedding Website | And encourage them to visit it!
- Hotel Information | Including the address of the hotel, the names that the hotel blocks are under and phone numbers or websites for the hotels
- Transportation Information | Times they depart the hotel and/or reception and where they go
- Specific Attire |Black Tie, Cocktail, Casual
- If the wedding is Adult Only | This can also be included in the addressing of the envelope
- Childcare Information | Where the children should go, if they should bring anything
- Any other pertinent information the guest may need on the day/weekend of the wedding.
Map Card Inclusions
If you have multiple places to go for your wedding weekend, a map card is a great, fun way to show where things are. It's a great place to include major landmarks, addresses, directions, or what's special about the area your wedding is in.
Timeline Card Inclusions
If there are a lot of events that your guests should be aware of, a timeline is a great way to show that. These are great especially if there is a full weekend of activities planned. These work great for smaller and destination weddings where all guests are welcome at all events.
The wedding website should include ALL of the information that is listed above, and then some (registries, list of bridesmaids and groomsmen, about the couple, etc.) . If you choose not to do an info/accommodations, map card or timeline card or if the guest loses it, they can still find all of the information they need for your big day in one place.
More than anything, don't be afraid to ask your stationer if you still have questions! We are always happy to help and want to make sure that the invitations are done properly and fit our bride's style.