(Pictures: Just My Type )
Let´s start from the beginning: Congratulations! 🙂 You are preparing for one of the most profound and beautiful experiences of your lives surrounded by your beloved ones. You have the date, booked the dream-venue and probably you have started the search for The Gown. So it is very soon time to think about the invitations. But actually, where to start? What are the elements of the stationery suite?
Honestly I would say that there are no exact rules or right answers to this question. Every wedding is different, so every suite will be different. However, it usually includes a primary invitation asking your guests to attend the wedding. I am often asked what to include in the text. I praise the idea of keeping everything “clean” and simple with only the most important details:
- names: full or only first names
- place and time of the ceremony
- place and time of the reception
Before you start creating the text, there are some things worth considering. Are you planning to have a more formal, traditional wedding or is it going to be more laid-back? I think that the way you form the text with the outlook of the invitation already sets a certain tone for the wedding.
Save the date
In some cases invitations are preceded by save-the-date cards. When you´re organising a destination wedding or you´re marrying during a high-travel time, it´s a great idea to inform your guests in this form. This way they can be prepared well ahead, so there is a higher chance they can actually make it to your day.
You can add enclosures to the invitation. Of course the amount and type of cards depend on the special details of the day.
RSVP-card with return envelope:
It is a more traditional way of asking the favour of response from your guests. This is usually a small card attached to the invitation with a response envelope. It is a very elegant solution, but it is maybe more common in the US than in Finland.
Instead of sending RSVP-cards, a popular solution nowadays is setting up an RSVP-function on your wedding website. (More about the website in another post.) But without doubt, the RSVP-card adds a nice touch to the suite. 🙂
General information card:
You can call it in many ways and you can attach really as many as you want to the invitation. Usually they include information about:
- details of venue
- food options
- dress code
It is good to share information that is otherwise not obvious. You can save yourselves a lot of time and probably hundreds of phone-calls / emails if you chose to have these enclosures.
However, I suggest you to have just as many extra cards as it is really necessary. I believe that too much information can be overwhelming for the guests. Here again, if you have a wedding website, you can significantly reduce the amount of prints. Of course sending these cards is a very respectful solution towards guests who are less likely to use computers in general.
If you are super prepared and organised, you can also add here the schedule of the day. On the other hand, handling out the program on the actual wedding day is quite enough and for sure your guests will not accidentally leave it at home.
A popular – and personally my favourite 🙂 – enclosure is the wedding map. Usually these little graphics are hand-drawn and they add a twist to the suite. They can present for example the direction from the ceremony to the venue, the road from the airport to city center or even different stations at the reception (cocktail-bar, dance-floor, photo booth, etc). I love the handmade feeling of these maps and I can spend a long time admiring the little details on them. They make the whole package fun and very personal. 🙂
To sum it up…
If you´re into delicate and lovely details, you´ll most likely care about the papers and colors you chose for your wedding. One thing is for sure. Your stationery is going to be one of the first things your guests interact with. It´s a beautiful and tangible way to communicate the significance of what you´re celebrating. And it is a keepsake of the day not only for you but maybe for your guests as well. That is why I suggest you to take a little time to think about it, to be creative about it and to make it special. 🙂