Welcome back for Part 2 of our series with Jessica Smith of JesSmith Designs of getting into the down and dirty of wedding invitation style, traditions and etiquette (when you should follow them and when to balk at them).
Custom Invitation Suites
Should you send bridesmaids and groomsmen an invitation? Yes! Any invited guest should receive a formal invitation. This will also clarify if anyone in your bridal party has a plus one or if their children are invited. You should also include an invitation for your officiant (and of course your photographer!)
What is the timeline for sending out invitations? This can be flexible depending on when your caterer and venue need a final headcount. I would suggest to have the response date set for approximately two weeks before the final headcount is due to the caterer and venue. That gives some time for the people who are late to respond or you would like to follow up with those that did not respond.
If you send out Save the Date Cards and a guest informally says that they can’t come, should that guest still receive a formal invitation? Yes, you should still send an invitation to anyone that you sent a Save the Date Card to. This will help keep your guest list in order and you never know if their original plans or circumstances may change allowing them to be able to attend.
What is included in an invitation suite?
a) The formal invitation with the full names of the bride and groom as well as all information as to the wedding date, venue and time.
b) Response card that will include the number of guests accepting and declining the invitation. The meal choice may also be included on the response card.
c) Directions to the ceremony location and reception venue. (Optional)
d) Local lodging information and if you have arranged any discounted rooms for your guests. You can also include if you are providing your guests with any shuttle services to and from the hotel, to and from the ceremony and/or reception. (Optional)
e) Information for your out of town guests for what they can do while they’re in town, including your favorite local restaurants. (Optional)
f) Information on your dress code, especially if it is black tie formal. (Optional)
g) Any welcome party, rehearsal dinner or day after brunch information for the guest that are invited. (Optional.)
NOTE: The wedding registry is not to be included on the formal wedding invitation. The proper time to provide your guests with registry information is on the bridal shower invitation.
What are some extras that you can include to WOW your guests?
Wax seal: You can include a wax seal for the outer envelope that includes your wedding colors, initials or logo. The wax seal should be included inside of the actual mailing envelope to prevent it being damaged in the mailing process.
Art piece: You can include a special art piece that will give an extra wow to your guest and help set the expectations for your guests as to the theme of the day.
Should you include a stamp on the return card? Yes, it is expected that you include the stamp on the return envelope. This is another opportunity to show your style and personality with custom stamps.
Why should couples invest in custom invitation suite if guest aren’t going to keep them? While some guests may not keep your invitation forever, the most important people will absolutely keep them. Your invitation is a reflection of you as a couple and your special day. Your photographer can also include them in beautiful detail photos on your wedding day. If you do not send out Save the Date cards, it will help set the tone for your day as well. Providing your guests with a custom designed invitation suite will also help your day stand out among the other numerous invitations that your guest will receive over the year. A professional designer will be well versed in the etiquette of invitations and addressing your invites.