Wedding Invitation Enclosures – A Guide

Wedding Invitation Enclosures – A Guide

In addition to the invitation itself, you will also need to consider the various enclosures that will complete your invitation ensemble. Depending on where your ceremony and reception will be held, you may need to include additional reception details. For example, if you plan an entire weekend of festivities or a destination wedding, you may have travel information to relay. That’s where special enclosures come in. All the “extras” in your invitation envelope should match your invitation in style and formality, completing the all-important first glimpse of your celebration.

Reception Cards

If you are planning a formal celebration, and especially if your ceremony and reception will be held at different locations, you will need to include a separate reception card.

If you feel the hour of your reception makes it unclear whether dinner will be served, it is acceptable to use the phrase “dinner reception” to let guests know that they can expect a meal. If your reception will be held before one o’clock in the afternoon, you should refer to it as a “Breakfast” or a “Brunch.”

It is technically acceptable and does serve your purpose to add the words “and afterwards at the reception” at the bottom of the wedding invitation in lieu of using a reception card, but remember that you are giving up the elegance of a separate reception card. Although it may be tempting to add the information to the

invitation even if you are planning a formal wedding, the cost of reception cards is typically minimal, and including these cards completes the regal look of your entire wedding invitation.

Response Cards

Response cards offer a convenient way for guests to respond to your invitation, and they allow you to keep track of the guest list in order to provide an accurate count to your caterer. It is wise to ask for responses two weeks before the wedding to give your caterer adequate preparation time. There are several options for the wording of the response card, which are shown below and on the following pages.

Although it is best to leave menu information off of your response cards altogether, these cards can include a short list of menu options if absolutely necessary. But remember that caterers are generally able to estimate on their own.

When a guest is completing a response card, all names of those planning to attend the wedding should be noted in the appropriate blanks, including children. If an invitee has received an invitation that includes “and guest” on the inner envelope, then they should write the guest’s name on the response card as well. If the invitation has been extended to a couple but only one person can attend, that should also be noted on the response card.

Even though including response cards is preferred, if circumstances prevent you from including them or you are planning a very small wedding, a reply is requested in a footnote in the lower left-hand corner of the reception card. It may say “The favour of a reply is requested” and should include the host’s complete address. You may instead include “R.S.V.P.” in the lower left-hand corner, which refers to the French phrase “Répondez s’il vous plaît.” There are several ways to write this: R.S.V.P., R.s.v.p. and RSVP are all correct.

If there is no response card, a guest should respond with a formal, handwritten reply, penned on plain paper with blue or black ink.

Response Card Envelopes

Response card envelopes are typically pre-printed with the host’s name and address. Applying a postage stamp to the response card envelopes is a gracious gesture that will assure you of more responses.

Pew Cards

Pew cards are necessary only if you assign certain family members or close friends to specific pews at the ceremony. They may follow the example below or be simple cards with just the words “Pew Number ___” engraved on the front. Guests who have been sent pew cards should present them to the ushers upon entering the ceremony. If you have sent pew cards to grandparents or godparents and wish to have specific ushers seat them (such as a brother or cousin), make sure your wedding director is aware of the situation.

Map, Directions, and Accommodations Cards

If you feel the need to include map, directions, or accommodations cards for your guests, keep these pieces in the same style and formality as your other enclosures. Be sure the directions are accurate and that the font you use is easy to read. List all pertinent information on the accommodations card, such as hotel name, address, and telephone number.