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The Nuts & Bolts of the Wedding Invitation

12 December 2011

What do our guest need to know? How many invitations should we order? What am I supposed to stuff into those envelopes? How much is this going to cost?

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These are all excellent questions. And ones that should be considered during the early stages of wedding planning.  You've likely heard of the invitation suite, that 4-7 components stuffed into one envelop inside the actual mailing envelope. Many sources cannot agree on what is critical to send your guests but here are some suggestions. And really, the bottom line is that it is up to you and yours. 

ArteWeddings.com suggests the following:
  • The Wedding Invitation
  • Printed Outer Envelope (addressed and stamped)
  • Lined Inner Envelope
  • Reception card
  • RSVP Card with return stamped envelope
Printsonalites.com describes a similar list with optional components:
  • The Wedding Invitation
  • Printed Outer Envelope
  • Lined Inner Envelope
  • Reception card
  • RSVP Card with return stamped envelope
  • Map and Directions card to ceremony and reception
  • Accommodation cards describing hotels nearby
  • Within-the-ribbon card/pew card (tells guests where to sit based on color of ribbon and pew bows)
  • Escort Card (tells guests where to sit at the reception based on seating chart)
  • Your married wedding address card 
Mr. Collier and I took a non-traditional approach to our invitations as we decided that for our family and more traditional relatives and family-friends we would send the standard invitation to the wedding, an R.S.V.P. card with stamped return envelope and a card that described local hotel accommodations. For our internet savey friends we decided to include just the wedding invitation and a card instructing them to respond via our wedding website at Wedding Channel That way not only did we save on 80+ stamps on the return RSVPs, I think our guests for the most part found it much easier to reply online within seconds. The online RSVP also provides the opportunity for meal selection to glean general numbers for catering. 

Just remember, that every item placed in the envelope adds weight and therefore postage as well. It is also important to have a "mock assembled" invitation that you take to the post office to determine the proper postage. And although the interesting square envelopes versus the traditional rectangle look cool, they require more postage. And at about 150 invitations that could really add up! 

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