Before you send out your wedding invitation suite to your guests, be sure you've included everything they need to know. After all, there's so much more to your invite than the time and place. Be sure to slip in a few enclosure cards or sheets, with all need-to-know extras, like accomodation options, travel info, and dress code. And if you're wondering if you need all of following enclosures if your wedding website is up and running, the answer is absolutely yes! While your wedding website is also an appropriate place for the aforementioned details, there's nothing wrong with sending along physical copies. Here, you'll find a complete guide to invitation enclsoures, from maps, to at-home cards, and everything in between.
In this day and age of Google Maps, a paper map for a single location may seem unnecessary and wasteful. But when you want to tell your guests about the neighborhood—great restaurants for lunch, the best place to park, sites that are of a particular interest to you—an edited map can be a charming addition, especially if you're throwing a destination wedding. See if your calligrapher can create a map for you, or search for a graphic artist or illustrator online. If you decide not to enclose a map, do include the street address on the invitation.
If your reception will be held at a venue other than the ceremony site, a reception card lets you movet that information onto another sheet—this is especially useful if you want to include the address of both the ceremony and reception locations.
Wedding Website Information
Mentioning the wedding website on your invitation isn't just completely acceptable—it's necessary, since your website tells guests virtually everything they need to know about the big day. Place the URL in the lower left corner of the invitation, in the spot traditionally used for noting RSVP information. If your invitation is getting crowded, a business-card-size enclosure can convey this data.
Guests sometimes wonder what to wear to a wedding; clue them in by adding a line to the lower right corner of the invitation indicating "black-tie" or other information. If the hint you want to give gets a little more complicated (for example, "wear lawn-friendly shoes"), a separate card might be useful.
Hotel and Travel Information
Locating a hotel (or two!) that's convenient and affordable for your out-of-town guests is a common courtesy; you can pass this along using an insert card. You don't need to include all the features, though. Just give the basic room rate, plus contact information. Providing specific travel information to the city itself is generally not necessary. Airline itineraries and electronic maps will help people figure out their own travel plans. If you want to avoid this enclosure all together, you can include all this information on your website. A grandparent who is not online can get theirs from you directly.
Related Wedding Events
If you've planned extra events for all the guests—a welcome dinner, rehearsal dinner, a round of golf on Saturday morning, a post-wedding brunch just to name a few—it's a good idea to put this information into the invitation as well. This information can also go on the wedding website, but that that's not a substitute for a direct invitation. It's important to note, though, that if not everyone is invited to everything, be sure to exclude any of those event's enclosures.
Even though they're not required, hosts have been providing reply cards in self-defense for so long that now most guests expect them—with stamps, even. If you decide to use one, you can choose a separate card with self-addressed envelope, or a postcard. Give them a deadline, and a place to write their names and whether they're coming. (Smart tip: Since people sometimes forget to write their names on the reply card, number your guest list, and then lightly pencil the proper number on the back of each reply card before tucking it into the addressed invitation.)
At Home Card
Since a change in marital status is often accompanied by a change of address, and sometimes 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. The title usually reads "At Home," and is followed by the date you're due to return from your honeymoon, or the wedding date itself. Nowadays, you can include your cell phone, e-mail address, and website, if you wish to share them.
This story originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.