The Etiquette of Wedding Invitation Enclosures
Here's everything you need to know about each part of your paper suite.
Deciding on a paper suite that fits you and your spouse-to-be's signature style is tricky enough. Determining just how much information you can actually include, without running out of room, is another issue altogether. Enter invitation enclosures. They're there to help you keep your guests in the know without overcrowding the actual invite and are particularly useful for breaking down the many elements of a wedding.
From RSVP cards and dress code slips to handy maps, the following invitation enclosures are designed to convey all types of wedding information, details both big and small. Some of these slips have been around for quite a while, while others have changed with the times. Despite modern advancements, like wedding websites and paperless engagement party invites, physical suites are still an integral part of the wedding process. That's not to say that you shouldn't convey all invitation information online, but there's just something timeless about sending out a pretty paper suite to all your loved ones.
Here, you'll find everything there is to know about each and every slip you should include in your envelopes. Notes that offer up hotel and transportation information, details about pre- and post-wedding events (like that morning-after brunch!), and change of address news all help your guests as they prepare for the big day and beyond. We've also included the one thing you should never mention on your invitation suite. To find out what it is, and to answer all of your wedding invitation enclosure etiquette questions, keep reading.
In the age of Google Maps, a paper atlas for a single location might seem unnecessary. But when you want to help your guests acclimate to your wedding venue's neighborhood—by sharing the best lunch spot on Main Street, parking tips, or meaningful sites and landmarks—an edited map can be a charming addition. While many online map services will help you make one, a calligrapher or graphic designer can help create a more organic, artistic, and personal guide.
If your reception is happening at a venue other than the ceremony site, a reception card lets you move extra information (like the party's address) onto another sheet. This is especially useful if you're short on room on the actual invite.
Wedding Website Card
Mentioning the wedding website on your invitation is completely acceptable—it's 2018, after all! Place the URL in the lower left corner of the invitation, in the spot traditionally used for noting RSVP information. If your invitation is overcrowded, a business card-sized enclosure is all you need to convey this information to your guests.
Dress Code Insert
Guests always wonder what is or isn't appropriate to wear to a wedding. The quick answer? It all comes down to dress code. Tip them off by adding a line to the lower right corner of the invitation, indicating "black-tie," "casual," or something in between. If the hint you want to give is a little more involved (for example, "wear lawn-friendly shoes"), a separate card might be useful.
Hotel and Transportation Card
Locating a hotel (or two!) that's convenient and affordable for your out-of-town guests is a common courtesy. You can pass this research along using an insert card, especially if you've reserved room blocks. You don't need to get into the fine print, just give the basic room rate, plus any relevant contact information. Providing specific travel information to the city itself is generally not necessary. If you want to avoid this enclosure all together, feel free to include these details on your website. Grandma, who's not so tech-savvy, can get the scoop directly from you.
Notes About Other Wedding Events
If you've planned extra events for all the guests, it's a good idea to include this information in your paper suite. Be sure to add these enclosures only to the invitations of guests that are invited to each respective event to avoid any awkwardness. The same rule applies to including details of pre- and post-wedding celebrations to your wedding website. Unless every single guest is invited to the rehearsal dinner (unlikely!) or the morning-after brunch, refrain from posting publically.
While many couples give guests the options of replying online, these cards are still a common element of the invitation suite. The style of your RSVP note is up to you—we're all for a cute postcard!—but just be sure to include a self-addressed envelope, complete with postage, to expedite the process. Give attendees a deadline to encourage timely responses.
At Home Cards
Since a change in marital status is often accompanied by a change of address (and in some cases, a change of name!) this small card is a way to let people know how to contact you—and how to address you—after the wedding. You may also want to include your new home phone number, e-mail address, and website, if you wish to share them.
What to Omit from Your Invitation Enclosures
Even if your stationer provides them, it's considered poor etiquette to include cards that contain information about your registry (or to call out your gift list in any other way on the suite). Include a wedding website enclosure card instead, where guests have access to registry information. You can also ask family and friends to spread the news when people ask—word of mouth never goes out of style.