Your wedding invitation suite could be the single most important thing in your wedding. There, I said it! Yes, the photography, the venue, the food, the flowers, and your wedding planner are also super important, but your invitation suite is the one thing that asks your guests to join in the celebration. It is the first glimpse your guests have into the wedding day itself. I know a lot of wedding stationers say this, but it’s true: your invitations set the tone for your wedding. They let the guests know how formal or casual the event is, whether it’s outside or inside, and what vibe to expect on that day.
So what are the different parts of an invitation suite? What are the essentials and what is optional? This post is going to tell you all of that, and help you decide what you’ll need in your suite.
The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation Suite: The Essentials
Save the Date
It has become a regular thing to send out a Save the Date 6-8 months before your wedding, especially for destination weddings. This allows your guests to know that a wedding is coming and to expect an invitation soon! The 6-8-month lead time (hopefully) allows guests plan ahead so they can be there on your special day.
Obviously you can’t have a wedding invitation suite with out an invitation card! This is the main card within your suite to tell guests where to be and when. The way your invitation is worded, guests will gather information like who is hosting the wedding, who is getting married (very important bit of info!), the date, time, and location of the ceremony, and sometimes even the attire.
Your reply card is an essential part of your invitation suite, as well. How else will you know how many to plan for if you don’t give a way for your guests to respond? Your reply card can also contain information on meal choice if you’re having a plated meal, or if the wedding is adults only or child friendly (more on that to come in a different blog post!).
Whether you choose to do inner and outer envelopes or just one main envelope, this is a pretty important part of the suite for obvious reasons. But what about addressing them? You’ll need to have your guest addresses handwritten, calligraphed, or printed on the front and your return address printed on the back flap. But your envelope doesn’t have to be boring…we could print a design that coordinates with your invitation if you’d like!
Traditionally, your invitation suite needs a separate envelope that matches the size of your RSVP card and has your address printed on the front. However, I have designed a couple of invitation suites where the couple wanted to save money, so we went with a postcard Reply Card and no envelope! For casual or less formal events, it is totally acceptable to go this route.
The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation Suite: The Like-to-Have, aka The Recommended
The back of your invitation deserves some love, too! Add a gorgeous pattern, a quote, or even back your invites with book cloth (dying to do this!!) to add a touch of luxury without a huge expense.
Details or Reception Card
If your ceremony and reception are in separate locations, this is a great card to have. This is especially helpful if you’re providing transportation to and from each location. A details card can even include accommodations information and/or your wedding website!
Your envelope liner is a fun place to add a little surprise within your invitation suite. It sounds cheesy, but guests will open your envelope and will immediately be “welcomed” into your invitation suite. If you have inner and outer envelopes, traditionally the inner envelope would be the one that is lined. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can also opt to line your RSVP envelopes!
Additional Insert Card
If your details card is full and you just need to add your wedding website, registry information, or another small bit of information, this is a great way to do that. The typical insert card that Ocean & Coral Creative works with is the size of a business card, but we can definitely do different sizes if needed!
Rehearsal Dinner and/or Welcome Party Invitation
These are just what they sound like! If you plan on having either one of these events on the day before your wedding, it’s nice to have a coordinating invitation to go with your suite. Your guests will be impressed that everything you’ve sent them goes perfectly together!
Thank You Cards
Highly recommended! Keep the feeling of the wedding going with Thank You cards that match your invitation suite and thank your guests for celebrating with you!
The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation Suite: The Extras
If your invitation suite has three or more cards, sometimes it’s nice to have a belly band to contain everything! This could be a thin strip of cardstock, string, twine, ribbon, etc.
While wax seals can add more expense to your invitation suite, they sure are beautiful! You can use them to seal your main envelope, to close a wrap around your invitations, to hold your belly band in place, or to add an accent on your invitation. Wax seals come in many different colors, and they now even come pre-made so you don’t have to spend the time melting the wax!
Vellum Overlay or Wrap
Vellum is a translucent paper that can be wrapped around your invitation suite or attached as an overlay! Oh, they even make vellum envelopes now, which are absolutely gorgeous for a modern wedding. They give your guests a peek at what’s inside and they look gorgeous with a printed backer to your invitation.
If you have guests coming in from out of town, it’s a good idea to give them some information on where everything is! Your map can include important locations of weekend events, special places to you as a couple, or just fun places to visit.
Piggy-backing on the Map Card, if you have out-of-town guests coming or you want to include everyone in the welcome party, brunches, or Sunday festivities, it’s a fun idea to put a Weekend Itinerary in your welcome bags. Even if the guests don’t choose to participate, it’s nice that they have the option! This can even be combined with you map card, like we did for this Wilmington, NC wedding.
Custom Postage Stamps
How cool is it that you can create custom postage?! This allows you to incorporate an illustration of your venue, an important flower, your monogram, etc. into the outside of your invitation suite! The possibilities of what to include on custom postage really are endless.
Vintage Postage Stamps
Another way to incorporate a different vibe into your invitations is to do a collage of vintage stamps on your main envelope. The reason you have to do a collage is because vintage stamps only come in lower denominations and will not meet the current USPS postage rate unless you add multiple stamps on the envelope. Vintage postage can be curated to tell your love story, as a nod to your wedding location, or simply to go with your color palette!
Here’s a helpful graphic for you:
Feel free to Pin this to your wedding board on Pinterest (also feel free to follow me)!
I think that about covers it! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or if you’d like me to create something completely custom to you!