Wedding Invitations Demystified

by Jeff Fain - Date: 2008-10-01 - Word Count: 588 Share This!

With so many envelopes and different sized cards, choosing wedding stationery can be a bit bewildering. Here are the essential elements of a wedding invitation explained in clear terms that any bride to be can understand.

Invitation Card

The actual wedding invitation card is the heart of your wedding stationery. Since this is the most important item, it is usually the largest in size. The invitation card should include all the indispensable information about your wedding event. Both of your names should have a prominent position on the card and are usually printed in a larger font. You can choose whether to put your first names only or your full names. The date, time and location of the ceremony should be included.

Generally, the reception time is not noted but you can write something along the lines of,  "Reception to follow at the Grand Hotel in Sheffield." Guests will assume that the reception will start as soon as everyone has made their way to the reception hall from the ceremony location. It's good to include the name of the town or city the reception will be in, if it's taking place in a different locale than your ceremony. That way guests can figure out how far they'll be driving and if they want to carpool.

Many couples also include their parents' names on the wedding invitation card. Traditionally, the bride's parents have hosted the wedding and therefore their names have been featured on the card. Nowadays many couples are breaking from tradition to include the groom's parents' names as well, or just using the names of the bridal couple if they are primarily hosting the function without parental support.

Inner Envelope

The inner envelope is the addressed envelope that your wedding invitation goes inside. It generally only includes the names of the addressees, and not their mailing address. Calligraphy or fancy writing with a gold or silver pen is often used to address these envelopes.

Reply Card

The reply card is what the guests used to give you their RSVP and entrée choices. This card should have tick boxes of places where the guests can mark how many people from their party are attending and what they'd like to eat. Make sure all the entrée choices are listed and spelled correctly. You may opt to give a short description of each dish, if you think your guests may need an explanation in order to choose.  Design your reply cards so that they'll be easy to tally when you receive them in the mail.

Return Envelope

The return envelope is a stamped envelope that your guests used to send their reply card back to you. It should be smaller and the perfect size for the reply card. They should already be addresses so that guests don't need to look around for your current mailing address.

Outer Envelope

What holds it all together is the outer envelope. This is the big envelope that everything goes inside and is addressed to your guests. Many brides choose to have their outer envelopes addressed by a calligrapher or to make stick on labels via computer. The last thing you want is for your wedding invitations to get lost in the mail because you didn't dot your i's or cross your t's!

When ordering your wedding stationery package, be sure that what you're being quoted for includes all of these elements. If reply cards and return envelopes are an add-on, it's good to know beforehand so you can calculate your wedding invitation budget accurately.

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This article was written by Heather Carreiro for Dependable Printing. Please visit Dependable Printing for a great selection of wedding invitations, shower invitations, party invitations, and much more

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