The Recipe for a Wedding Invitation Suite
I'm back this week with another Custom Wedding Stationery 101 blog post! It's been a little while since we chatted about this topic, so feel free to browse through these previous blog posts if you want to catch up!
This week, I want to chat about another basic before we delve further into the specifics of wedding invitations. You likely know that you'll need an invitation, response card, and envelopes for each. But, what are the other common details that are included in an invitation suite, and what are the fun additional pieces you can add on to customize your suite even further? Well love, let's chat details and determine what mixtures will best concoct your unique invitation suite!
APERITIVO: TO SEND BEFORE INVITATIONS
SAVE THE DATES
Your save the dates are your first official announcement to your friends and family that y'all are engaged, and are getting married! They should include your names, wedding date, wedding city, and often times your wedding website so guests can learn more about your wedding weekend. Also include a sweet and short line that says, "formal invitation to follow." You'd think most people would guess that you'll be sending an invitation, but it's proper etiquette to let them know anyway ;)
SAVE THE DATE ENVELOPES
If you're not sending a save the date postcard, you'll need an envelope for your save the dates! Feel free to adorn these with any of the add-on options listed below (envelope liners and calligraphy are some of my favorite choices!). Many couples choose to keep their save the date envelopes a tad more simplistic, so they can let their invitation envelopes be the star of the show!
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL: INVITATION SUITE
Your invitation is like the top shelf liquor at your favorite swanky bar. It's the star of your entire suite. It is the piece that cordially invites your loved ones to your wedding day! While there are many wording options to consider, you'll include who is hosting your wedding (whether that is your parents or you as a couple), your wedding date, time, and location, your reception location if it is different than your ceremony location, and potentially your wedding attire if you are hosting a black tie wedding.
These cards are the tiniest pieces in your suite, but in my opinion they're the most fun! They are the cards that will allow your guests to let you know whether or not they can make it to your wedding weekend. They also are the perfect spot for you to ask for meal choices if you are having a plated dinner.
Pro tip: Include a fun interactive detail on the back of your response cards (such as, "what is your favorite city, and where do you love to visit there?" or a fun cocktail recipe card). Your guests will love filling out these details, and you'll get to display them at your wedding! Much better than simply counting the responses and tossing them, right? Right!
While many could argue that all you need is your invitation and response card to complete a signature suite, I am going to be bold and say that you also need an information card. All of my brides have included them, and for good reason! Info cards can serve multiple purposes. They can be accommodations cards to list hotel information, can be map cards to include a beautiful custom watercolor map of your wedding city, can be a reception and/or directions card if your ceremony and reception venues are in two different places, can be wedding weekend cards if you are hosting multiple events during your weekend (like a welcome party on Friday or brunch on Sunday), or can be a simple website card to direct your guests to find more details about your weekend.
Pro tip: I love suggesting using both sides of this card as well! I've often combined a custom map on one side with either directions or accommodations on the other, and have also paired a website card on one side with any of the above, too! Not to get too earthy crunchy, but save trees when you can, right?
Every invitation suite will need at least two envelopes - your invitation envelope and your response card envelope. Your response card envelope should have your address (or the address of the person collecting your responses, like a parent or wedding planner) along with postage already on it for easy mailing for your guests. Your invitation envelope should have your return address printed on the back flap, with your guest addresses either printed or calligraphed on the front paired with the wedding postage of your choice!
Want to get ultra fancy? You can even include inner and outer envelopes. What are these? Outer envelopes include the household name and address, and the inner envelopes simply include the names of each guest invited. This is a really traditional and formal option - most of my modern brides choose to forego it however it is a beautiful time-honored choice!
This should go without saying, but if you want to have the post office deliver your invitations (if ooonly we could hand deliver them all, right?), you'll need to add postage stamps to both your invitation and response card envelopes. Read this helpful post about how to determine the right amount of postage for your wedding invitations, and this post about my three favorite sources for wedding postage!
GARNISHES: OPTIONAL ADD-ONS
Envelope liners are some of my favorite ways to add a new complementary pattern to your invitation suite! While not necessary, they surely help to finish the look of your suite - and are really fun for save the dates, too. They also add an extra layer of protection for your invitations inside your envelope.
Belly bands are 1.5" strips of card stock that are often printed with a pattern or a solid color and your wedding crest. They wrap around your invitation suite, and hold all of the pieces together. They are a great alternative to ribbon if you are designing a more modern invitation suite!
Ribbon (my favorite ribbon to use is soft silk ribbon!) is a more delicate, romantic way to hold together your invitation suite. Whether you use ribbon or belly bands, I always recommend adding these on to quite literally tie together the look of your suite and make it feel finished!
Oooh wax seals, how I love you so. Wax seals can be custom designed to include your monogram, wedding crest, florals, or unique motif. They come in a variety of matte and metallic color options, and we can even custom color them to perfectly match your suite. They are most commonly used on the outside of your invitation envelope at the base of the flap, but can also be used inside your suite on top of your ribbon or a vellum sleeve. I also love using the seals in day-of design details, too!
GUEST ADDRESS PRINTING OR CALLIGRAPHY
You can absolutely address your own invitation envelopes if you prefer, and many of my brides like to do so to have a hand in their design process! However, if you want to save yourself time or would like your envelopes to be cohesive with the calligraphy and/or fonts in your suite, I would recommend having your designer print or calligraph your guest addresses. If you opt for envelope printing, we can incorporate some of your fun design elements (like your florals in a fun line-art version, or your wedding crest!) in addition to your guest names and addresses. There are always fun ways to get creative!
DIGESTIVO: TO SEND AFTER INVITATIONS
REHEARSAL DINNER INVITATIONS
If you are having a formal rehearsal dinner, it is always fun for you to coordinate with the person/people hosting it to design and send rehearsal dinner invitations! Since rehearsal dinners often have aesthetics all of their own, feel free to use separate design styles than you use in your invitations. Or if you'd love to carry all of your designs throughout your wedding stationery, you can absolutely do that, too!
BRIDAL SHOWER INVITATIONS
Depending on when you have your shower, these invitations should be sent before or after your invitations. Coordinate with the person/people hosting your shower too to design this piece. Or, send them directly to your stationer if you want the theme to be a surprise. And since these will be likely sent just to your ladies - don't be afraid to go ultra-feminine or a bit cheeky with the design!
THANK YOU CARDS
Goodness gracious girlie, please by all means send thank you cards to your loved ones after both your shower and your wedding. Your friends and family will be so happy to hear how much you love your new cheese platter or silverware set!
Pro tip: Opt for a design that is personalized to the two of you, but doesn't necessarily say "thank you" if you want a design that you can continue to use for correspondence throughout your married life! However, traditional "thank you" cards are super fun as well - that's what Zack and I chose to use!
So darling, I hope seeing all of the options in this wedding stationery menu will help you craft your perfect wedding stationery cocktail! Feel free to pick and choose what best suits the two of you and your personal tastes!
If you are interested in beginning your custom wedding stationery design process with me, I would love to hear more about you, your sweetie, and your wedding! Please complete the Custom Design Questionnaire on this page, and I will be in touch shortly after reviewing your responses. I can't wait to get to know you two better soon, and create beautiful heirloom wedding stationery for y'all to cherish for years to come!