The time since your engagement has flown by. You’ve figured out how to pick the perfect wedding venue and chose the best date for your big day. Plenty of plans have been made and the upcoming nuptials are starting to feel real. Now it’s time to send out your wedding invitations and invite your loved ones to the wedding. But what’s the right amount of information to include in the envelopes?
- What to Include in a Wedding Invitation
- Wedding Invitation Design and Key Information
- Wedding RSVP and Response Card
- Reception Card
- Directions/Lodgings Card
- Inner Envelope and Outer Envelope
- Weekend Schedule and Details for Dinners, Parties, Brunches, and More
- Belly Band, Wax Seal, or Customized Stamp
- What to Include in Destination Wedding Invitations
- What is Included in a Wedding Invitation Suite
- More on Wedding Invitations
Ready-to-send wedding invitations typically weigh less than an ounce and contain 2-4 different cards. The wedding invitation is the primary card in the envelope and tells your guests the who, what, when, and where of your wedding. There are also supplement materials like response cards, reception cards, directions, and other information. These cards deliver important information to guests and dictate the style of the celebration.
Wedding invitations always include the couple’s names, date and time, and where the ceremony and reception will take place. These cards also carry the wedding theme. Imagine your guests opening rustic-styled invites or a tropical getaway invitation package. Are your cards telling the story you want them to tell? You can also include other key pieces of information such as dress code or where to find your gift registry.
Wedding invitations will be the priciest part of your overall envelope with an average cost between $400 to $650. However, wedding invitations are a timeless keepsake that will help you share your love story with friends and family. Make sure they turn out exactly how you want and plan ahead for these in your wedding budget. Also, check out our guide for more detailed information on what your wedding invitations will cost.
Response cards are one of the most important things to include in a wedding invitation. Unless a couple decides to use an online RSVP system, a physical response card is standard. A RSVP or response card, once mailed back, confirms whether or not the guest will attend. It also allows space for if they are bringing a guest and what food option they prefer. RSVP cards can be bought separately or as part of your wedding invitation package.
For more information on standard etiquette for RSVP cards, check out our wedding guest etiquette guide.
Reception cards contain all the information about the wedding reception that you want your guests to know. Details to include are as follows:
- Date and time
- Type of reception (cocktail, formal, dinner, etc)
- Directions and/or map
- Dress code
- Theme, if it’s not a surprise
Quick Tip: Try to showcase your wedding theme through those elegant floral response cards that match the invites you picked.
Directions are most important for weddings with locations that are either far away or difficult to get to. If you know that your venue is off an unmarked road, make sure to highlight this in the directions. Including this information early through your invitation will prevent future headaches.
Lodgings, if included for guests, are also often found in invitations. This tells your guests where they’ll be staying and how to get to and from their hotel during the wedding weekend. If there’s going to be provided transportation, inform your guests here.
Inner envelopes are a great option for couples who want to personalize their stationary even more. These envelopes enable you to include things like hand done calligraphy for guests’ names. They also add an elegant touch to your overall presentation. However, if you don’t want to spend the extra money or add bulk to your envelopes, don’t fret. Inner envelopes are a added benefit and not necessary to create a beautiful invitation.
Outer envelopes are needed to contain all of your materials on their way to your guests. These should be sturdy enough to hold everything while still matching your theme. You can do this with simple and standard envelopes, or custom made envelopes. Some wedding invite packages include the cost of envelopes, while other options add on $30-$100.
Details that you also might want to include your wedding invitations are:
- Weekend Schedule: Are you planning a special game of bridal bingo before your big day? Information on when and where wedding party activities will be held is usually included in a separate enclosure card. These itineraries can be simple and elegant overviews with more details provided through email. They can also contain all the necessary information.
- Rehearsal Dinner Details: Do you have a special rehearsal dinner planned? A card inside the invitation is a great place to include the when and where for invited guests.
- Wedding Website or Registry: If there’s a detail you want to highlight, such as your wedding website or registry, let your guest know. Including this information in your invitation makes it hard to miss and easy to refer back to.
All of these details can be included on an enclosure card that matches your wedding theme. These cards typically add between $50-$200 to your overall wedding budget. However, giving your guests something they can pin to their fridge makes it easier to keep track of information.
A belly band holds everything together. It’s that string or band that wraps around all the cards for a clean, finished look. If this is something you’d like for your invitations, budget around $0.20 per invite for materials. Also, if this increases the size of your envelopes too much, you may need to pay added postage.
Wax seals also cost additional in postage because they require special processing. If you prefer the look of a custom wax seal, expect a more expensive postal delivery.
Finally, customized stamps are a great way to add a special mark without adding too much to your budget. A stamp with your and your fiance’s last name is a sweet addition to any invitation.
Make sure that your wedding invitations have the correct postage before you send it out. For any envelope under one ounce and without any special processing, the postage is $0.50. Here’s the current pricing for any additional weight for USPS postage:
- Under 1 Ounce: $0.50
- 2 Ounces: $0.71
- 3 Ounces: $0.92
- 3.5 Ounces: $1.13
If you would feel more comfortable knowing exactly where your invites are throughout the mailing process, select a special processing option. You’ll be able to track your letters from start to finish, so you can make sure your guests get the info they need. You can also choose other courier options such as UPS.
Destination wedding invitations should include all the normal cards and pieces of information. However, they should also have more information on location, directions, accomodation, flight information, and more destination related details.
Also, destination wedding invitations should be sent earlier than you would send normal wedding invitations. Sending your invites earlier enables guests to book flights with more time.
For more information on how to plan a destination wedding and invitations, check out our destination wedding checklist.
Invitation suites are wedding invitation packages with most, if not all, of your invitation materials included. They help keep the look and feel of your invites and materials clean and put-together. And while the suites can appear pricey at first glance, they can actually help save you money. By buying a package, you won’t need to buy extra materials to add on, and you’ll get a total estimate right in the beginning. It can also help you save on time.
If you liked this guide, make sure to check out our post on editable wedding invitation templates. It’ll give you a new look on the details of a wedding invitation so you can start planning your design.